New Fairies: Rayssa Leal
A fairy ... And a skateboarder? You better believe it. Every time Rayssa takes flight on her board, she's inspiring a new generation of girls to follow her lead.
When she was younger, Rayssa liked fairies as much as she liked skateboarding. For her, there was no distinction between "this is for boys, this is for girls"—it was just about having fun. The combination of these two loves changed her life. When she was six, she went viral for landing a heelflip in a fairy costume. The video kick-started her career, earning the attention of the skate community and the world. Now at just thirteen, she brings magic to the sport as one of the world's best athletes.
When did you get your first skateboard? Tell us about it.
RAYSSA: I got my first skateboard as a gift when I was six. I wanted a scooter and I asked my dad for one. But one day later, he gave me a skateboard and I was like, "Wow, I don't think I can do this".
"At first, the only people supporting me were my parents, because people thought like, 'skateboarding is for boys, girls can't do it'".
Tell us about when you decided to wear a fairy costume. How did that happen?
RAYSSA: It was funny. It was Brazil's independence day and I was on my school's parade. I put on the dress, which my grandma made and, once the parade was over, I thought, "OK, I just need my socks and sneakers and I can go ride my skateboard". I started warming up and quickly did a heelflip. My mum filmed it and posted it.
You broke two stereotypes with one video. One: girls can't skateboard. Two: skateboarders all look the same. Tell us about this.
RAYSSA: Wow, it was pretty wild. Everybody was posting comments like, "Wow, a girl, dressed as a fairy, pulling off moves no grown man could pull off". Skateboarding is not just for princes, but for princesses too and I showed them that girls can do it well, too.
"There are plenty of girls who are great at it all over the world. To know that skateboarding wasn't like this just a few years ago is very rewarding".
You know you're the source of inspiration to many girls, right?
RAYSSA: I've received so many encouraging messages on Instagram, saying they've shown my videos to their parents so they'll let them start riding skateboards. I'm really happy to be able to expect more girls in skateboarding and not only girls, but boys too.
"When fairies have fun, they put an end to all this prejudice".
Can you send a special message to the fairies who fly without having wings?
RAYSSA: You go, fairies, because you're helping eliminate the prejudice from our world. You can dream and you can make your dreams come true and, when fairies fly, the world becomes a more magical place.
Director: The Fridman Sisters Photographer: Gabriel Bianchini