When Cindy Whitehead was 14 she signed her name as “Andy” on the Little League registration form so she could play on the boys baseball team. This was her first message to the world that she would NEVER let her gender stand in her way!
And neither would her grandmother, who gave Cindy her first skateboard at 15 and encouraged her to follow her passion for skating. That passion would eventually lead Cindy, at the age of 17, to become the Number One female skater in the United States for pool riding and half pipe.
At first, Cindy’s mom was a little confused by her daughter’s dream of skating professionally. Girls just didn’t do that back then. But soon, she too became convinced that Cindy had a gift and it would be a sin to waste it. Mom became a fan.
When Girls Unlimited asked Cindy if she was teased in school about “playing with the skater boys” she shrugged.
“They didn’t bother me about it,” she said. “But so what if they had? Why would I care what they had to say?”
To that, we say, “BRAVO!”
Although she didn’t care what people thought, Cindy still tried to keep her school life and her skating life separate because she didn’t want to explain herself and her dreams over and over again. One day though, the school newspaper let the cat out of the bag and from then on she was a local, Hermosa Beach, California celebrity.
By the time she was supposed to be a junior in high school, Cindy was already a pro, skating all over the world. She left the school building forever, but she didn’t leave school. Knowing how important an education is to a full life, Cindy graduated high school at a fast pace through correspondence classes.
In her limited free time, she hung out and skated with all the big skater guys like Steve Rocco and Rodney Mullen, who was the biggest freestyler in the world. Cindy is a very close friend of Tony Hawke, whose name is known even to those who don’t follow skateboarder news.
Today Cindy is a very successful sports stylist.
She makes sure that athletes look awesome in photo shoots and that whatever makes its way into the photo is authentic to the sport. She has dressed the likes of Tiger Woods Kobe Byrant, Mia Hamm and Peyton Manning. And, as if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she developed her own brand, Girl is not a 4-Letter Word. Our Girls Unlimited staff proudly wears the Girl is not a 4-Letter Word t-shirts she designed!
Cindy believes in giving back, which is one of the reasons we think she is so cool!
In her work with Dusters California, a company that makes skateboards, she designed a Girl is not a 4-Letter Word board. Some of the profits will go to Longboarding for Peace, which supports ALL female skaters. Some of the proceeds will also go to GRO, an organization that inspires, educates and supports girls in action sports. Cindy has also teamed up with XS Helmets by designing a Girl is Not a 4-Letter Word helmet for women who participate in action sports.
We love Cindy, and guess what, SHE LOVES US BACK! She thinks we’re awesome!
“Girls supporting girls is the biggest and best thing we can do in sports or otherwise.When we stop pitting ourselves against each other we grow further, we get farther and we get stronger. If we walked into the world and complimented another woman every day, there would be no stopping us!”
Her advice to all of us,
“Do what you love even if people think you are not cool or your passion is weird. Do what your heart tells you to do. Kick some butt!”
If you want to learn more about Cindy or see her designs, go to her website, cindywhitehead.com. Or you could always stop by the Smithsonian museum in Washington, DC. Her skateboard, helmet, and other paraphernalia are there forever.
By the way, the skater in the photo is NOT Cindy. She’s Beverly Flood, a 17-year-old pro-skater following in Cindy’s footsteps!