What is a babe?
This is the question we found ourselves asking after our group of over 40 adventurous women voted to name our annual adventure “Babes Off the Beaten Path.”
Was this setting the wrong tone? we wondered. Shouldn’t the backcountry be one of the places where a woman can truly escape from the constant barrage of societal expectations on her appearance? Can’t we be hairy and stinky and rugged and not have to worry about whether we’d be considered a babe?
I was once at an outdoor store perusing women’s apparel when I came across a display of women’s backcountry underwear. They were trimmed with lace and offered in seductive colors. The packaging read, “Technically Sexy!”
I felt so suddenly filled with rage. Really? I had to be three days unbathed and still worry about being sexy and wearing the right panties that would make me attractive to men? And that “technically” part—so that bit of lace is all that’s holding me back from being an otherwise undesired blob of unattractiveness? But, hey, all while being moisture-wicking, lightweight, and breathable, at least! Sigh.
Later, our group was discussing an article about women’s outdoor apparel where the author lamented, please stop making women’s activewear pink!
Well, what’s wrong with pink? I thought. The point is that there should be options. We should be able to embrace the color, fabric, adventure in which we personally feel the most comfortable. This thought led me back to “being a babe.”
Maybe being a babe isn’t an objectifying thing. I contemplated. Maybe it just needs a more vocal group of advocates to speak its true definition.
As the gutsy gals of Wild Wilderness Women kept chatting about this topic, we realized just how perfect our trip name actually was. It would give us a chance to reclaim “babe.” It would give us a chance to explore its true definition. It would give us a chance to provide visual, verbal, and written evidence to the world of just how diversely bodacious being a babe really is.
In just over a month, eight of us head out for our inaugural Babes Off the Beaten Path annual adventure. We’ll be spending four days in the great wilderness of Glacier National Park—being total babes.
And, leading up to it, we’re bringing our exploration of “babe-ness” to you! Both our group’s members, and the wild wilderness women of our broader communities will be sharing their stories and art of what it means to be a babe—and we hope you’ll join us!
Interested in submitting a piece to our blog? Head over to our contact page and email us your pitch! Would you like to help our first eight babes in this August journey? Please consider giving a donation toward our trip, so that we can ensure this adventure is as accessible as possible.
Finally, make sure to check out this educational video from our Annual Adventure Maven, Allison Strauss, who has been critical in making this upcoming trip a reality. It’s a little lesson in babe-dom.
Thanks so much for following along on our wild ride—we can’t wait to hear and share in your stories!
XO—Korrin, Co-founder & President
Header photo credit: Mika Weinstein