NOW I have your attention… Do women need to take their clothes off to feel empowered?
Women’s empowerment is a hot topic; the rise of social media has encouraged a revolution of expression through the visual medium of Instagram. How female empowerment has been displayed in the outdoor women’s space has changed in recent years, Instagram has helped, some may say hindered. There has been a change over time on Instagram in how women are displayed participating in outdoor activities. Women do get outside and love it.
- Related: The Ski Retreat – Intentional Weekends in the Mountains for Empowered Women Who Ski and Snowboard
There was a trend that still happens, though proving to be less frequent. Women climbing mountains and sharing topless photos taken from the top of a mountain. The trend got attention and caused a stir. In 2011 Mountain Babes or @mtn_babes was formed, their Instagram profile focused on women in picturesque mountainscapes topless facing away from the camera. The page still has 55K followers, yet, they stopped posting in 2018… why, this is still to be determined. Then last month the profile had three posts with various snacks in mountainscapes… A mystery.
There appeared to be some backlash over the Mountain Babes page, maybe women were sick of only being represented in this way. We do not all just get our clothes off the moment we reach the highest point in a hike, sometimes it is much too cold for that.
As invigorating as it may be to get our clothes off and show it over social media as a form of expression there is more to it. As women all over the globe, we push for equality in the sports and outdoor realm. We want to be taken seriously and we are sick of being left out. Pages like these can get misinterpreted and the image they show can impact culture in the sports space. There has been a sidestep in the evolution away from the Mountain Babes page to other more influential Instagram pages. These other profiles feature photos of women in mountainscapes with their clothes on, doing awesome things in awesome places.
Proving we do not have to take our tops off to be noticed or to prove we got out in nature, as freeing it may be.
A list of women based online Instagram communities which have something to do with the mountains, nature, or travel:
- @mountaingirls 322K followers: The community started in 2015 although their Instagram started in 2012, it encourages women to embrace nature in many ways. Some of their motto, “It is simple – Being a mountain girl is about having a genuine love of nature in your heart. Through nature, we relate and drive each other to continue the search for what makes us feel good inside. Together we bring to fruition the things that help us live our lives to the fullest.”
- @likeamountaingirl 141K followers: Their motto, ‘We celebrate women who find beauty, strength, and themselves in nature.’ With #likeamountaingirl as their hashtag to be featured on the profile. The photos are aesthetic and with women in various locations globally in outdoor mountainscapes.
- @backpackinggirls_ 172K followers: Motto, ‘Adventure girls exploring the world.’
- @explorerbabes 292K followers: Motto, ‘Inspiring and empowering women to travel and explore the world.’
In contrast, the virtually inactive @mtn_babes with 55K followers, their motto: ‘Climb Mountains. Get Naked.’
Creator of Mountain Girls posted on July 31, 2020.
“Hello everyone! My name is Meg, @megkkee – I created @mountaingirls as a space for people to connect through the world of adventure sports and outdoor activities. I started this account in 2012, all in hopes to grow a space where women could feel empowered by each other. The whole idea has been” if she can do it, so can I!” I am absolutely honored to have each and everyone one of you following along, engaging and want to thank you for being a part of this online community. Thank you!!
Late 2015, I hosted my first weekend retreat at Powder Mountain in Utah, and since then have held over 25 gatherings all geared towards getting women a head start in outdoor activities like climbing, mountain biking, yoga, snow sports and more!! It’s been such a pleasure to create a safe and encouraging space for us to grow together, make friends and get the most out of life through a social media platform. It’s really about putting the phone down, connecting, being present and living your best life.”
This list is not all-inclusive, there are many more Instagram handles that promote female empowerment in the outdoor space. Maybe they do not even mean to display empowerment, they may just be women who are simply sharing the life they love leading. With the rise of the online community, there seems to be a group for everything if you look on Facebook or search for a handle on Instagram or look for a particular hashtag.
Female empowerment is more than taking tops off for Instagram posts, it is about embracing life. It is about loving and appreciating the body we have and what it allows us to do. Because we can climb mountains, make a fire, or do whatever it is which makes us feel empowered.