figure skating outfits

(83 Posts)
pinkyredrose Sun 17-Mar-13 17:38:33

Am currently watching the figure skating on BBC2, all amazing so far so good.

But noticed that all the mens outfits cover them from neck to toe and all the women show legs, cleavage, shoulders and arms. Anyone know why this should be?

I did get my feminist hat on a little, it obviously can't be because some outfits hinder movement otherwise the men would surely have skimpy outfits on too?

Very interested to hear opinions.

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 23:46:55

I do feel men should have more choice, but they normally do what they are told to keep the peace. During exhibition skating competions however there are no constraints, but during official competitions there are rules, the skirt length isna safety issue but I have no idea why the men can't wear one.

But from personal experience men hate the dresses when they put them on you get "omg these ate fucking cold" " argh it burns your arse when you fall over" " this fucking thing is riding up my arse and crushing my nuts" grin

Do you not think men should have equal choice, though?

I can understand that, within the constraints you describe, women may have more choice than men - but I think it matters that both men and women have some constraints on what they wear, and I think it matters that there is sex discrimination.

Obviously we don't have to think about these issues all day, every day, but is it wrong to consider them sometimes?

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 23:37:29

Women do get a choice though, I've flat out refused to wear some dresses and never been questioned on it, and many other skaters have done the same. You generally discuss the "look" of your dress with the seemstress she then draws up to 5/6 designs and you choose what you want.

Women do get a choice and a lot more than the men, that's what im getting at. Men do get the short straw when it comes to costumes, they have to match her and it can cause some rather nasty arguments generally involving the sentance "im not wearing pink!" or "im nit having sparkly bits" but the poor men are bullied in to submission and end up with baby pink crystal encrusted flouncy collars and cuffs lol

The costumes are really personal choice, I know you think they are not but they are. I've seen girls throw full on strips about dresses with blade guards and skates flying across a ice rink at 5am because its not the right one!

Some women are more flashy and risky than others and if you sit and watch competition after competition you will see that over time each skater develops their own style of dress that they like.

Oh, sorry, you're in pain. You're not sounding short at all, don't worry. Feel better soon.

*wear, not were, apologies.

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 23:26:05

Sorry if im sounding short, im in pain with a UTI blush

Why is it a debate for another day? confused

Surely, either women can choose what they were, or they can't. Apparently, they can't choose, and neither can men, and the judges and audience have a bearing on what women wear too. So, surely these things suggest it is in fact quite important, what women and men get to wear?

It's obviously not 'personal choice', as you've explained clearly. So, how come these choices are gendered, do you think? Do you think it is right to be looking at this in terms of 'taking this away'? Personally, I think that seems rather unnecessary - what do you imagine anyone wants to do that? Is it something someone has said off-board, or is that what you think people mean on this thread, even though no-one has said or hinted at it?

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 23:19:36

What I am saying is, men and women HAVE to dress differently on the ice because of the rules. Men can not wear a dress to compete, but women can wear a catsuit if they choose too but generally wear dresses because they prefer too and its a personal choice.

So perhaps the men are being supressed by not getting to wear a skirt but women can wear trousers? But that's a debate for another day.

What my overall stance on this is, the dress choices and looks are a personal choice to the skater. If she wants to wear a dress that is revealing its her personal choice! You can't say its unfair as they have a choice, the choices are non revealing dress, revealing dress or trousers.These women like to look nice and feel confident ina dress of their choosing, why take that away from them?

TheSmallClanger Sun 17-Mar-13 23:17:53

It may be "the way it is", but that doesn't mean we shouldn't discuss it and work out why it is.

My personal opinion is that the more variation in how people express themselves through their appearance, the better. Things aren't usually either/or: you could skate in dance pants and a spangly leotard together if you wanted to, to use a skating example. It's the same for the "men in tuxes" thing: we talk as if there is a choice between a boring identikit dinner jacket and women's clothing, when there's a sizeable grey area of interestingly coloured/cut/fabric'ed suits and variations on menswear.

kim - we need to publish the MN Little Book asap! grin

Mind you, though, I always wonder because apparently men in tuxes aren't identical and clever people will immediately see the difference. My uncle, who is very pretentious and into judging people's appearances, will immediately know if someone is wearing a posh brand or not (and he doesn't consider this remotely unfeminine though to be interested in fashioin otherwise, is).

Maybe we're just forced to concentrate harder to place men on a social spectrum?

mab - I thought you were saying men in tuxes weren't the normative focus of attention, and judges look more at women?

If that's true, then, yes, it's different ... how could it not be?

If you're not attracted to men, or penises, that's entirely your business. Equally if you're not attracted to women or vaginas. But you are describing a gendered distinction and insisting it is both 'the way it is' and somehow not amenable to discussion ... so I am curious as to why that is, and sexual attraction seems obvious since it is one of the basic differences in the way individuals see men and women, isn't it?

I am getting confused about whether you think it's wrong for men and women to end up dressing differently, or not? Half your posts are suggesting it is and half not. confused

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 23:05:57

Its part of the performance not part of the marks, there is a difference. You can't be marked on it but you can look good doing it, and feel confident wearing whatever dress you want. Top competions are broadcast and skaters what their routines and costumes to amaze the spectators but they want the judges to mark their skating. Its rather a simple set up really.

And yes the catsuits are worse you get a mega camel toe envy

kim147 Sun 17-Mar-13 23:04:20

Interesting point about what men used to wear. Go to a black tie event (look at the name) and the men are all in tuxedos. Identical. But the women have more choice - or is it more pressure?

<Considers asking LRD when she wants to start writing our book as far too much material for a mere thesis>

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 23:02:14

Its a sport nothing to do with attraction! If you like watching men in a tux that's up to you, if a woman feels confident in a dress she has designed and a man happens to find her attractive is that different?

I don't see why attraction comes in to a sport. I've had enough Lycra glad penises thrust in my face during a routine im not attracted to them?

So the costume does matter and is part of the performance? Come on ... it's one thing or the other! Let's be honest.

pretzel - I can see it would be fun, too. I would have liked to see it.

IMO, rigid rules tend to be sexist, and crap for creativity. No matter what the context.

latebreakfast Sun 17-Mar-13 23:00:31

So if your bank manager turned up in a shift dress and a pair of heels you wouldn't look twice? His choice he can do, they just don't.

This is all about status. Most of us are conditioned to believe that women have lower status to men. A man wearing a dress is lowering his status to that of a woman - and he therefore looks ridiculous. This idea of status seems to be subconscious - even when you're aware of it (and are an ardent feminist), the thought of your DP wandering around in a dress just because he wants to remains deeply disturbing.

Most of us challenge the status quo by ensuring that our daughters can do anything they want to do - however "masculine" society perceives it to be. Of course we do, not least because subconsciously they're raising their status by doing so. Hardly any of us do the same for our sons - and so the whole idea of status is reinforced in both directions.

PretzelTime Sun 17-Mar-13 22:59:47

She looked great in the Robin Hood outfit, it was elegant. I'm so pissed off with what it considered OK outfits for men and women. I can't understand why you'd want rigid rules for what the sexes can wear when it comes to art and performances.

spongebobscardypants Sun 17-Mar-13 22:59:20

Ohhhh I've been in skate world all my life! Wonders who MOB cld be!!!! Me and my family love the dresses and customising them to suit the wearer! Never have I heard a wearer complain and if they did they can wear the catsuit. Which I stink is more revealing than a dress!

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 22:57:10

Its a costume, its part of the performance. A good judge won't care what you have on as long as its regulation standard dress.

Its a performance sport, the costume adds to the enjoyment of it for both skaters and spectators.

Why does a skirt help women to be elegant and graceful, then?

It's not true to say 'its just how it goes' - because at points in history, men have dressed flamboyantly. Besides which, I think quite a lot of women find men in tuxes very appealing - I know this may seem strange if you are naturally looking at the woman, but some women find men attractive. It's quite normal IMO.

kim147 Sun 17-Mar-13 22:55:52

"its just how it goes"

Indeed.

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 22:52:23

Why look at the woman more? In a lift you look at her she is smiling look at them man he looks like he is about to shit a brick sometimes, women are elegant and graceful and the skirt helps this. Men can be elegant and graceful but in a pair they are generally there for strength and to throw. In a throw jump you want to/need to be looking at her, her landing will get you the marks.

The same could be said for ballroom, he is in a black tux she is in a flamboyant feathery dress hmm its just how it goes.

secret - oh, that's fascinating ... because that is cross dressing (among other things), the Robin Hood outfit. Is that coincidence or something to do with it?

Her other outfit looks quite tame to me now, but I guess standards have changed?

Oh, I see ... so people don't actually like the judges to be paying attention to their costumes, and this is something that they check up on?

That sounds quite sad. Sensible about feathers, of course.

So are you saying you feel it's the judges who are to blame, because they look at women's dresses but are not meant to do so?

I should say I'm shocked but I'm not really. It must feel shit.

kim147 Sun 17-Mar-13 22:48:23

Does your smile get judged?
Or is that synchronised swimming?

<Sorry smile >

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