Talking about girl's skateboarding from a male perspective is somewhat awkward in the sense that it can unintentionally come over as patronising even when it's not intended. This brand new piece, celebrating Lacey Baker starts by illustrates that perfectly, which initially seems a shame as Lacey is no doubt one of the most exciting (and certainly ground breaking) sponsored skaters out there right now.
All too often the barbed compliment "she's not just good for a girl, she's good" raises its head and though it's never intended as such, it seemingly puts forward the notion that, on the whole, girl skateboarders aren't expected to be good. Thankfully people like Lacey, Samarria, Lizzie and Nora are smashing these preconceived ideas and hopefully soon skateboarders will be celebrated simply for their contribution to skateboarding and no longer categorised by such binary markers.
However, once that is out of the way, this focus on Lacey really does highlight how important skateboarding and the notion of being true to oneself really is. Feeling constricted by the idea that female skaters had to be pretty first and talented second, Lacey cast aside the fake overt femininity initially used to market her name and chose a path that represents her as the person she really is. Not caring for the rules, her attitude and ability changed the mold of how we all see women skateboarders and, by proxy, how we see all skateboarders regardless of societal labels.
Sometimes we need somebody to be brave and to walk their own path so we can see where we were going wrong before. Lacey has done that and has ripped every step of the way. Championing herself, she's championed us all and that's something we should all be stoked on!