Sunday, February 21, 2010

Red with Embarassment?

I'm frequently rooting for Canada in these Olympics; I like to see the home team do well. And I've heard the Canadians are a bit disappointed with their performance thus far in speed skating.

I have a theory about that.

I think the skaters are demoralized by what they have to wear. Both short track and long track, women and men. (The male and female athletes wear the same uniforms. Nothing wrong with that; I quite like it, actually.)

In short track, as the athletes bend over and present their muscular backsides to the camera, it's obvious that the coarse, black, speckled, hairy pattern on the upper and inner thighs was a mistake.

And in long track it looks like the skaters stepped into a crotchless Spanx-style condom. I'm sure the suit really provides a revolutionarily aerodynamic edge, but . . .

Perhaps they should have thought a bit more about these color and texture choices.

Short Track

Long Track

(Note to the Japanese speed skaters: my husband thinks your shiny gold uniforms make you look like superheros. But I'd like to point out that they're see-through.)


RobMonroe said...

I've not been able to figure out the saran wrap on their legs. Just weird.

I really like the look of the front of their outfits. Better than the US suits, to me.

Sarahlynn said...

There's nothing exciting about the U.S. suits; I agree. And I do like the look of the Canadian suits. Except for the crotchless plastic wrap and the black seat stain.

Carmie said...

I feel for any athlete that has to wear something skin-tight. I realize it is aerodynamic and aids their performance, but I also wonder how many body-image disorders are encouraged through the use of such outfits. Gymnastics, swimming, track...the list is quite lengthy!

I kind of like that some of the newer snow sports require baggy outfits. It's just different, at least!

Sarahlynn said...

I've never heard a serious, professional athlete talk about having to wear revealing uniforms, but with youth and amateur athletes, uniforms really are related to body image concerns.

Take ballet classes and eating disorders, for example. And I will always remember how it felt to be 13, 14 years old and squeezed into a ridiculously tiny and unflattering volleyball uniform. (By 16 I was more comfortable being nearly naked in public. Hooray for progress.)

But on the other hand, I really don't like the snow-boarding uniforms. (Moguls, freestyle skiing, OK. half-pipe? Nope.) I think the uniforms shouldn't take too much away from the sport by unnecessarily revealing the athletes (women's beach volleyball?!!) or being so baggy that they hide the athlete's form during competition, distract from the cleanness of the performance, and probably even restrict movement to some extent (modern NBA shorts, snowboarder pants belted around the butt).

I'm surprisingly opinionated about this!

Emom said...

I was wondering about the saran wrap look also...what is the deal....and see through uni's are a little distracting to say the least...smiles.

Sarahlynn said...