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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.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 17-Mar-13 22:06:02

It's funny, isn't it, what we think of as looking daft and what we don't? My mate teaches History of Art and says you always get classes saying that those Renaissance sculptures of naked men look ridiculous because men in sexy poses just look silly. But I am guessing that to Renaissance men and women who fancied men, that wasn't so.

If someone wishes to bring in figure skating men wearing fluttery fabrics, I won't say no.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 17-Mar-13 22:08:42

It is a feminist point, mab. Most of us do get to choose our own clothes, right? But what's interesting is how we choose, because basically everyone's visual senses are conditioned by society, aren't they? If that weren't true, there'd be no such thing as fashion.

So, the interesting thing is, how come virtually all women just happen to choose very similar things? And virtually all men choose another different, very similar set of things?

If a man decided to wear a dress figure skating, what would happen? Would it be seen as an empowering choice, or would some people think it was a little odd?

SecretNutellaFix Sun 17-Mar-13 22:11:02

Not always the case that it's just women who show flesh

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 17-Mar-13 22:15:09

Those links don't work for me. sad

Trekkie Sun 17-Mar-13 22:17:01

Well quite nutella, in my minds eye of a male figure skater, skin tight groinal leggings and no top / not really there top feature quite prominently.

I'm sure they aren't usually "covered up".

or maybe it's just my brain grin

SecretNutellaFix Sun 17-Mar-13 22:17:40

Philippe Candeloro- loved really flamboyant costumes or naked top half.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 17-Mar-13 22:18:38

Ahh, thanks. Good for him. smile

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 22:20:39

He can wear one, but professional figure skating is a job, you earn. 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.

Why do we all choose similar ones because skating like ballroom dancing has a fasion of its on. So things come and go, couple of years ago it was crystals now ita mesh panelling. Its a trend within a sport. Also skating dresses are a set shape to begin with, with a regulation standard skirt for safety reasons.

I think your all being a bunch of sour mouthed twits about this. Its like saying why are the majority of wedding gowns strapless? They just are. Now that Kate Middleton has set a trend for lace sleeves that's working its way in slowly, when a certain dress catches the eye of skaters it will become a trend slowly.

Trekkie Sun 17-Mar-13 22:22:50

Not that I am saying that there is equality of flesh disclosure in figure skating.
But that to me it is less bothersome when all people involved are showing some and the primary purpose of showing it isn't to sexually arouse people.

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 22:23:38

I would really hate to think that when I was competing in a dress I loved that had a bit of fleshy panelling that the feminist movement was hating me for it sad

SecretNutellaFix Sun 17-Mar-13 22:25:14

same chap

Trekkie Sun 17-Mar-13 22:25:27

I think that looking at the difference between male and female fashion is intersting though mabongwen. Seems that female garb gets smaller and smaller and male gets baggier and baggier.

Am pleased for men that the option of a beard is back on the table though grin

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 17-Mar-13 22:26:39

Yes, I get that mab. Of course it is a job. And of course it has a fashion of its own. But do you not think it is interesting how that fashion works for women and men, and what it says about how we see women's bodies and men's bodies?

That's all I think anyone is getting at (?).

I don't feel 'sour' about it, I just find it really interesting. Same way I find the fashion for strapless wedding dresses interesting, and the fact that this is a different fashion from the one back when my mum, or my granny, or my great-gran, got married.

It's not true to say 'they just are'. People research this stuff, just like any other social trend, and there are actually reasons why. For starters, if you look at wedding dresses now, loads are like Kate Middleton's. That's a simple example of how things are influenced. And it would tell an alien from outer space who'd never known our culture, that we think this young woman is special and important, because of the man she married. Surely that is actually quite an important bit of cultural information?

I get that lots of people think this sort of stuff is trivial, beneath their notice because it's 'just fashion' or 'just clothes' or 'just feminism', but why be so keen to belittle other people's interests?

Trekkie Sun 17-Mar-13 22:27:28

mab firstly the posters on here are individuals and not speaking for "the feminist movement"

and secondly lots of posters have said hey doesn't bother me

and thirdly if people don't like it then it's fashion / society etc the usual suspects they will get narked with rather than individual women competitors

kim147 Sun 17-Mar-13 22:30:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 22:30:28

Yes but that's fasion, and you don't have to comply if you don't want to, I don't believe me, I don't wear a skirt past my knee in day to day life, but when I've got to get my leg above my head then quickly in to another position I don't want to snag it and split my chin open again. Its a functional side to the costume. I could skate in a leotard but don't fancy the ice burn on my arse when I fall so the skirt helps smile

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 17-Mar-13 22:34:27

mab - of course you don't have to comply. confused Who is telling you you do have to comply?

Tell them to fuck right off if they try it, how rude!

But anyway, to get back to the point ... yes, kim, it'd be a fun dissertation to write, too. I would seriously love to do that.

TheSmallClanger Sun 17-Mar-13 22:35:10

Male figure skaters aren't allowed to wear skirts for competition. They also have to wear a top with sleeves (armpits covered up) and trousers rather than tights. Partly, this is due to homophobia, although I suspect that most male skaters don't actually want to wear skirts anyway.

For skating exhibitions, pretty much anything goes.

A while back, a few of the top female skaters were experimenting with trousers and catsuits - Irina Slutskaya used to compete in spangly catsuits, as did some others. One of the dance skaters was actually prevented from competing in trousers, although I can't remember her name.

Many skaters might like the glitz and glamour that skating tends to encompass, and play up to it for presentation marks, but I do wonder about other girls who might enjoy skating and be good at it, who are put off by the hyper-femmey expectations of the judges and their peers? There is suitable dancewear out there that gives the right silhouette and range of movement, that doesn't involve faux-nudity or diamante.

I say this as a skating fan, and also as the mum of a rhythmic gymnast - RG has skating-style costumes now that seem to get more outlandish and expensive by the year. It is market-driven.

mabongwen Sun 17-Mar-13 22:35:15

I just feel its unfair to critique a athlete on what she has worn to compete, look at Jessica Ennis and other track and field ladies running in Lycra knickers and a crop top! The men have longer shorts and tight vest tops! But the women choose the knickers! What does that say?

Figure skating is a sport and has a costume to compete. Day to day fasion is different and deserves to be discussed outside the realms of sport.

Trekkie Sun 17-Mar-13 22:36:49

Or you could skate in the same as the men wear ie trouser things.

Not saying you should - but that the prevailing fashions and acceptable modes of dress obviously have a hug influence on the costumes selected.

It would take a very unusual individual to say sod this I'm going to do my figure skating in a different sort of thing to everyone else. Maybe put no makeup on. Something. But I suspect it would adversely affect their marks / getting someone good to dance with them and so on and I bet the trainer etc would have a lot to say about it.

So it's not purely individual choice. Norms are adhered to, by both men and women. Perfectly understandably.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 17-Mar-13 22:37:21

What's wrong with critique?

I would agree it's unfair to blame an athlete for what they wear, but surely critique is fine? Do you actually mean you would be offended at any mention of outfits that wasn't purely factual?

I thought you said women competitors get judged on their outfits?


TheSmallClanger Sun 17-Mar-13 22:37:39

Oh, and thanks for the Philippe Candeloro vids. He was my favourite skater - I tend to like the French male skaters a lot.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 17-Mar-13 22:38:57

I totally agree with trekkie btw that it'd be very hard for an individual to change things from within. But things do change. Take ballet, and just look at how conventions for what people wear have changed!

Doesmybumlookbiginthiss Sun 17-Mar-13 22:39:29

I think they look great and believe the world would be much blander without elegant graceful women skaters with great legs in short skirts...phwooooarr! grin

FairPhyllis Sun 17-Mar-13 22:40:23

This is relevant to any discussion of male figure skating costumes. I think it's meant to be a parody of Candeloro.

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