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why white people suck and the MEC

Oct. 22, 2018, 10:25 a.m.
Posts: 568
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Do white people dominate the outdoors?

Let that question sink in for a moment. If you consider every advertisement you’ve ever seen for skiing, hiking, climbing and camping, you might think that’s the case. It isn’t true at all, and it’s part of a bigger problem. White athletes hold the spotlight in advertising, while the diversity that exists and continues to grow in outdoor spaces isn’t represented in the images we produce and promote. The truth is that we haven’t represented the diversity of Canadians or of our 5 million members.

We’ve let our members down.

We can’t move forward until we acknowledge our past. Historically, the models we’ve used in our catalogues and campaigns and on mec.ca have been predominantly white. And this imagery has perpetuated the vastly incorrect notion that people of colour in Canada don’t ski, hike, climb or camp. This letter is about recognizing the role we’ve played in underrepresenting people of colour in the outdoors, and committing to change. It’s not OK.

As CEO of MEC, I promise that moving forward, we will make sure we’re inspiring and representing the diverse community that already exists in the outdoors.

This initiative isn’t about patting ourselves on the back. It’s also not about me, another straight white male with a voice in the outdoor industry. This is a conscious decision to change, and to challenge our industry partners to do the same. We know we’ve been part of the problem, and we’re committed to learning from our mistakes and changing the way we represent the outdoor community.

Outside is for everyone. It’s time we acted like it.

MEC CEO David Labistour

this message arrived in my email today. i imagine some of yours as well.

Oct. 22, 2018, 10:54 a.m.
Posts: 14380
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

" Historically, the models we’ve used in our catalogues and campaigns and on mec.ca have been predominantly white. And this imagery has perpetuated the vastly incorrect notion that people of colour in Canada don’t ski, hike, climb or camp. This letter is about recognizing the role we’ve played in underrepresenting people of colour in the outdoors, and committing to change. It’s not OK. "

I got the same e-mail and I thot meh cuz I see/have seen lots of un-white/un-male  models in the MEC  online stuff

Oct. 22, 2018, 12:59 p.m.
Posts: 10069
Joined: June 29, 2006

Posted by: MEC

Do white people dominate the outdoors?

Ummm... kinda. It is a good call by MEC to diversify their ads if they want to diversify their customer base, but most of the people spending cash on outdoor equipment are white. Is stating the obvious controversial now?

Posted by: MEC

This initiative isn’t about patting ourselves on the back. It’s also not about me, another straight white male with a voice in the outdoor industry.

I think it is... a little bit.

Oct. 22, 2018, 1:26 p.m.
Posts: 18446
Joined: May 29, 2004

Well while were on the subject...it would be sweet if mec and other outdoor manufacturers could actually make clothes for normal sized people...we are not all 13 year old anorexic triathletes. I used to buy large or xl gear but cant even bend over in most xl pants nowadays...and no I haven't gotten fat....and 2xl t shirts....wtf.

And do people really make their buying decisions based on the race of the models in the catalogue?


 Last edited by: three-sheets on Oct. 22, 2018, 1:31 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 22, 2018, 1:37 p.m.
Posts: 1498
Joined: July 11, 2014

The actual initiative of getting more people into outdoor sports from non-white backgrounds, great, but the tone and messaging is the usual diversity trope crap. Curious what MEC is spending on this... NSMBA also just spent a bunch of money on a diversity conference the other week. Seems like there's money to be made by folks selling diversity workshops/materials to not-for-profits...

Oct. 22, 2018, 1:39 p.m.
Posts: 14742
Joined: Dec. 30, 2002

Posted by: JBV

Do white people dominate the outdoors?

We can’t move forward until we acknowledge our past. Historically, the models we’ve used in our catalogues and campaigns and on mec.ca have been predominantly white. And this imagery has perpetuated the vastly incorrect notion that people of colour in Canada don’t ski, hike, climb or camp. This letter is about recognizing the role we’ve played in underrepresenting people of colour in the outdoors, and committing to change. It’s not OK.

As CEO of MEC, I promise that moving forward, we will make sure we’re inspiring and representing the diverse community that already exists in the outdoors.

This initiative isn’t about patting ourselves on the back. It’s also not about me, another straight white male with a voice in the outdoor industry. This is a conscious decision to change, and to challenge our industry partners to do the same. We know we’ve been part of the problem, and we’re committed to learning from our mistakes and changing the way we represent the outdoor community.

Outside is for everyone. It’s time we acted like it.

MEC CEO David Labistour

I see he suffers from too much privilege.

He should just step down.

Oct. 22, 2018, 1:40 p.m.
Posts: 14742
Joined: Dec. 30, 2002

For whatever reason, I couldnt put my text outside of the quoted area.

Oct. 22, 2018, 1:49 p.m.
Posts: 1182
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: aShogunNamedMarcus

For whatever reason, I couldnt put my text outside of the quoted area.

It’s cause you’re white and you suck

Oct. 22, 2018, 2:22 p.m.
Posts: 14742
Joined: Dec. 30, 2002

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: aShogunNamedMarcus

For whatever reason, I couldnt put my text outside of the quoted area.

It’s cause you’re white and you suck

Thank you.

I clearly needed someone else to point it out for me.

Thats how much it sucks to be white.

Oct. 22, 2018, 2:52 p.m.
Posts: 10069
Joined: June 29, 2006

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: aShogunNamedMarcus

For whatever reason, I couldnt put my text outside of the quoted area.

It’s cause you’re white and you suck

HAHAHA.

I have found if you want to write something after a quote you need to first write the text then insert the quote in front of it.  Otherwise, you can't tab past the quote.  This sounds like a job for Cam!

Oct. 22, 2018, 3:21 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: March 11, 2007

I don't understand this. Were they called out for not having diverse advertising? If not then this is all about patting themselves on their back. Otherwise they would just shut up and do it.

Oct. 22, 2018, 3:35 p.m.
Posts: 840
Joined: March 18, 2017

I received a Ski-Doo product catalog a few weeks back.  Showed their team/ambassador athletes.  My Bro In-Law pointed out that besides one female, the entire team was middle aged white males.  Which didn't surprise myself one bit.

/coolstorybro

Oct. 22, 2018, 4:20 p.m.
Posts: 14380
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

what can I say I'm white, I'm male ... I'm sorry

Oct. 22, 2018, 5:20 p.m.
Posts: 1182
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

From a social justice perspective there couple of different layers to consider, but from a simple standpoint of MEC's model demographics compared to the demographics of the country then yes the catalogue and MEC's advertising do not reflect the demographics of Canada correctly. I say that without having looked at the catalogue and simply going off of memory of their adverts I've seen. 

If you consider the activities that MEC sells gear for, I honestly do not find it surprising that their advertising tends to focus on the white and often male demographic. One only really needs to look at participation in those activities to understand why this may be so. The real question though is why these activities tend to be over represented by the white and male demographic. A few answers spring to mind. One of course is monetary as many outdoor sports require deeper pockets to participate in. If you look at the demographics on poverty, people of colour and women tend to be over represented compared to the population as a whole. Another factor is cultural, as many of these activities tend to fall more into the cultural domain of whites. Note that there is probably some crossover between the cultural and poverty factors as well. A third answer would be biological. Many of those activities tend to have higher elements of risk and adrenaline, both factors associated more closely with male behaviours. So when you consider those factors, it becomes less of a surprise that these activities tend to have higher participation by white males. So now the question becomes is that necessarily a bad thing?

So in terms of social justice and equal representation what should we be doing? Does it make sense to over represent advertising demographics with backgrounds that do not accurately reflect the participation of the activities? A simple answer to that is yes. A slightly more detailed answer is that one of the reasons often cited for lack of participation in a particular activity is a lack of sufficient role models, and this is something that can cut across ethnic categories. So by MEC working to improve the full representation of Canada's demographics into their literature or even boosting the profile of minorities it goes a long way to helping those people realize they have a place in outdoor rec. So I'd say good on them and good for making an announcement of it to bring attention to the issue even if it may seem to be a bit of a marketing play as well.

Oct. 22, 2018, 7:06 p.m.
Posts: 568
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

David Labistour and his team of MBA's and PR gurus can kiss my ass, and the asses of those that founded and developed the MEC.

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