This week we have Cindy Whitehead in the She’s Trending interview corner. Cindy has conquered the male dominated industry of skateboarding and is now supporting girls in action sports to break down barriers and follow their dreams. Her ultimate goal is to give women in action sports the same opportunities and recognition as their male counterparts. Cindy has lived a very rad life and has no plans of slowing down anytime soon, she continues to pave a way for herself and for the girls who are inspired to follow. A big thanks to women like Cindy, who are igniting confidence and self-esteem in the women of the future.
Q: Who is Cindy Whitehead, what do you do and why?
A: I am a former pro skateboarder and also a wardrobe stylist. I am also the founder of the not for profit organization Girl is not a 4 Letter Word
Q: What made you gravitate towards skateboarding?
A: I realized I was better at it than my brother, and i liked that and it pushed me even more.
Q: At the TEDxYouth event in Santa Monica, CA you mentioned skaters always want to be first to do something. During your time as a pro skater, what did you aspire to do first?
A: At the time, a lot of skaters were with Vans Shoes and some rode Nike – I rode Nike for a long time, but nobody was skating in Pumas, and I thought “These are perfect to skate in – I wouldn’t mind being sponsored by them.” So i wrote them and arranged a meeting and they said yes and so I became the first female skater to be sponsored by Puma and the first female to appear in their Anniversary Book.
Q: You also had mentioned you were better than you brother in skateboarding. Were you two competitive growing up?
A: I was super competitive, my brother was 4 years older and he was bigger and stronger and very good at things like swimming and water polo. I looked up to him and wanted to be like him, but i am very competitive so it was more competitiveness on my part than his part.
Q: How did your grandmother impact your life?
A: My grandmother impacted my life in a huge way. She knew how much i loved skateboarding and she encouraged me to focus and do demos and contests. With her skateboarding took precedence over a lot of other things sometimes – even school, but she knew that I was bright and that I would be ok and that skateboarding was a very positive outlet that would take me places. She was a trailblazer too and I loved her for that and for her support.
Q: At the Age of 22 you retired from skateboarding and went into fashion styling. When did you develop a passion for fashion?
A: Always! If you look at pictures of me from back in the day you see that the outfits I put together all had some sort of meaning or thought process behind them. I never just threw on what was on the floor and went out. I had an idea of how I wanted to look, whether it was color coordinated or a little mismatched it had a purpose or a reason even down to sticker placement on my helmet. I didn’t even know this career existed so when i found out about it I went for it because you should do that you love.
Q: You have a stellar list of athletes you have styled. You have worked with Kobe Bryant, Mia Hamm, and Peyton Manning who have been some of your favorite athletes you have styled?
A: A lot of my male athletes are favorites, Sergio Garcia, for golf, is just one of the nicest and fun people to work with. But I have a soft spot for the women that i work with. One of my best days working was the day I got to meet and style Pro Surfer and World Champion, Lisa Anderson. She was a huge inspiration to me, growing up as a surfer she was a Trailblazer – so that was awesome. I have had a chance to work with a lot of pro female athletes like Mia Hamm and Michelle Kwan. All of these girls inspire me greatly, especially the ones who had to persevere and break glass ceilings in the work that they are in.
Q: On September 30, 2012, you skateboarded down the 405 freeway. What did that moment represent for you? Do you see yourself skateboarding on any more freeways?
A: Yeah, I have thought about it but the problem is that there are law enforcement people that know about this and I worry that if I try it again and I got caught they would really throw the book at me because I have done it before. But i have thought about it and there are a couple of places that i want to skate so there are some possible plans going into possible motion.
Q: After scrolling through a few pictures online, I noticed you tend to wear Chucks, Pumas, Vans, and boots? What is your go to shoe?
A: I live 3 blocks from the beach so i hate to say it’s probably my flip flops but if I am doing something specific then sneakers are key or a low heel boot for certain occasions.
Q: Back in the 70’s you wore headphones while you were skating. What were you listening to then and what are you listening to now?
A: I was listening to everything from The BeeGees and Foghat to The Rolling Stones to Boston to Jimi Hendrix, and Ted Nugent. The only thing I didn’t really listen to was punk rock but everything from pop music to rock ‘n’ roll, but I really like rock ‘n’ roll. Joan Jett was a favorite, she is a badass. Right now I listen to generally the same types of music, I am a huge T Swift fan, Lizzie, Pretty Reckless and any traditional rock that comes on I am stoked about.
Impact Your Community
Q: In 2013 you created Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word. What was the inspiration behind GN4LW? In 10 years where do you see GN4LW?
A: Originally, I was doing a project for Board Rescue, they had asked skaters to create board art to be auctioned off for their art gallery project. I was laying around one day when I had the idea Girl is Not a 4 Letter Word and i really liked it so i wrote it down, designed the look for it, and created a skateboard that would be one of a kind. When it came time to think about what my company name should be I thought it should be based on that. So Girl is Not a 4 Letter Word became the company name and we have just moved forward from there. Its an iconic name, people joke that it’s the only company name in skateboarding that is a full entire sentence, but people remember it and it says something.
In 10 years hopefully every little girl out there knows what it is and not just in skateboarding and in action sports but everywhere. And hopefully girls don’t even realize that people have used girl as a 4 letter word. That is my hope, that in 10 years girls look at me and say “I don’t even know why you would say that.” That would be awesome.
Q: How can people help and get involved with Girls is Not a 4 Letter Word?
A: They can go to our website and check out the girls we profile, give them some props and support. Also, check us out on instagram. All of our products that we do collabs with give back to girls in action sports in numerous ways. Support us by sharing our content, buying products or telling your friends about us.
Q: With all of our interviews, we like to sign off by saying thank you! We know you’re trending, which is why we chose you to be one of our featured guests. In honor of our tradition, we would like you to finish the sentence…I’m trending because…
A: I'm trending because it is cool to support girls in action sports.