Gnarly in Pink is a short op-ed New York Times documentary by Ben Mullinkosson and Kristelle Laroche that premiered in film festivals in 2014. It provides a look into a group of six-year-old girls known as the Pink Helmet Posse who love skateboarding. The film portrays the lives of three young girls who enjoy both skateboarding, which is sometimes perceived as a male activity, as well as pursuits more typically associated with girls. Using footage of them skating and interviews, it compares and contrasts their interests with their gender and explores some of the challenges they face.
Why does the film begin with the girls painting their nails? How does the perspective shift once we see that they are at a skate park?
How would you describe the Pink Helmet Posse? How does the film use music, settings, interviews to give us a sense of who they are? Would you classify the Pink Helmet Posse as feminine, masculine, neither, or both? What clues from the video make you think so?
How does the film use music, toys, and other cues to distinguish between the boys and the girls? Why do you think such distinctions are made?
What are some activities that have more girl than boy participants? If you were to make a film about a boy’s version of the Pink Helmet Posse for one of those activities, how would it be similar to “Gnarly in Pink” and how would it be different? Would boys participating in a “girls’ activity” face the same or different challenges as the Pink Posse?