Why Don’t They Look Like Me? The Diversity Dilemma in Outdoor Media

Backpacking Granite Lake in Emigrant Wilderness by Blair Lockhart, the diversity dilemma in outdoor media
4th of July backpacking in Emigrant Wilderness. Photo by Blair Lockhart.

Sometime last year I was tossed on a list of women of color to follow on Instagram. This struck me as odd. Mostly because I don’t particularly identify with being Asian. I’m not Paulina the Asian outdoor blogger. I’m just Paulina, this person who also happens to be yellow. I grew up in the Bay Area, the suburbs of Cupertino to be more precise. I’m fortunate enough to live and play in a place where almost everyone goes outside, regardless of gender, background or skin color. Being a person of color wasn’t really a thing I was aware of. Diversity wasn’t a thing I thought about. It just was. Until recently.

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Bears Ear National Monument

Pro Tips: Tommy Caldwell Talks Public Lands

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

Today, June 8, is a day you might call a monumental day. Today is the anniversary of the Antiquities Act, which gives the President of the United States the authority to designate national monuments from federal lands. 101 years ago today, our government thought that America’s public lands were worth protecting. Today, that isn’t the case.

I got the chance to sit down with Tommy Caldwell and talk about our public lands and what they mean to him, and thought it’d be a fitting conversation to publish today.

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Portola Redwoods State Park Peters Creek Loop

Hiking Peters Creek Loop

Hiking Peters Creek Loop Portola Redwoods May 2017

Nestled deep in the Santa Cruz mountains, down some twisty roads, is my favorite local state park: Portola Redwoods. Creeks, short waterfalls and old growth redwoods are tucked inside this lesser traveled park. The trees aren’t as large as the ones found in nearby Big Basin State Park, but more often than not, you’ll find them in solitude. Weekend obligations kept me in the Bay Area a few weeks ago so I popped over to this park for a bit of solo hiking and mileage in preparation for long missions this summer.

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Pro Tips: Angie Payne Talks Advocacy

Angie Payne Save Red Rock Mountain Hardwear Advocacy Stewardship

Climbing and advocacy are two things that are close to my heart. Protecting and giving back to the places that I’m so lucky to play in is something I feel really passionate about. Mountain Hardwear posted about Save Red Rock last month with one of their athletes, Angie Payne. I got to sit down—well, send off millions of questions via email more like it—with Angie to ask her a few questions around being a professional athlete, stewardship, and advocacy.

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Feral Female Weekend Outdoor Female Friendship Force of Nature

Lady Squads and the Inaugural Feral Female Weekend

Feral Female Weekend Outdoor Female Friendship Force of Nature

Back in February, I headed down to SoCal to hang out with some very, very rad ladies: Kam Altar, Oshie Magturo and Shawnté Salabert. I think it was my first real ladies’ trip. No dude friends, no boyfriends, no men. I’ll come out and say it: female friendship is something that’s very new and different for me. When I talk about “ladies’ weekends,” my long time (male) friends mock me and ask “What girlfriends?”

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