HBO's 'Betty' Is Based on This Real Group of Female Skaters

Shannon Raphael - Author

May 1 2020, Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

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Following the success of HBO's edgy teen drama Euphoria, the premium cable channel's next addictive coming-of-age offering is Betty. The show follows a group of New York City high school girls who seek refuge from their family and friend drama through their skateboard group.

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The show is based off the 2018 independent film Skate Kitchen (which is available to stream on Hulu), which was inspired by a real skate club of the same name. 

What's the true story behind both Skate Kitchen and Betty?

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What's the Skate Kitchen true story?

The real members of the Skate Kitchen collective told their story to Huck Magazine in 2018 ahead of the Skate Kitchen movie release. 

When Nina Moran began skateboarding at the age of 12, she sought a group to practice with. The boys from her middle school would all skate together, but they made fun of her pink board. She practiced alone, but they started paying attention to her again when she got good. 

Despite her growing talent, the boys continued to tell Nina that she would never be as good as a man, and they told he she should quit. 

That's when she searched "girl skateboarders NYC" on YouTube, and that's where she discovered Rachelle Vinberg. Rachelle was also 12 at the time, and she posted her tricks on her own YouTube channel. Nina commented on one of Rachelle's videos about how much better Rachelle was than her. 

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Rachelle lived on Long Island at the time, so it took several years before she and Nina were able to meet face to face. But, the two were in frequent communication, and they decided that they wanted to get to know other female skaters. 

They bonded over feeling judged whenever they want to the predominantly all-male skate parks. 

Eventually, as they got older, they decided to help other girls feel welcome in skate parks. 

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They would offer girls the chance to use their boards when they visited skate parks, and they would try to not make them feel any sense of judgment, like they often did when they were growing up.

Rachelle came up with the name Skate Kitchen because of how many times boys had commented on girls' skating videos that women belonged in the kitchen.

The women are now in their 20s, and the Skate Kitchen group has several core members. Aside from Nina and Rachelle, there's Kabrina "Moonbear" Adams, who films the group's content. There's also fashion student Dede Lovelace, twins Jules and Brenn Lorenzo, and mixed-media artist Ajani Russell.

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The real Skate Kitchen members starred in the movie, and they'll be in 'Betty'.

Though the story of the formation of the Skate Kitchen group rivals any movie plot, the 2018 Skate Kitchen film came to be by pure chance. 

Nina and Rachelle were approached to make a movie about their group when a woman heard them discussing it on the subway. Her name was Crystal Moselle, and she would ultimately be the film's director. She loved the story of a female group trying to make a mark in the skateboarding world.

Though Skate Kitchen was based on Rachelle and Nina's story and the expansion of the group, it features different character names and a few plot deviations. The real skate girls starred in the movie as fictionalized versions of themselves. Professional actors also appeared in the film too (including Jaden Smith). 

As for Betty, the real Skate Kitchen members are starring in the series too as continuations of their movie characters.

Betty airs on Fridays at 11 p.m. ET on HBO.

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