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Thread: Mao Asada - a question & opinion (non-spoiler)

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    Mao Asada - a question & opinion (non-spoiler)

    Mao Asada is one of the most impressive up-and-coming singles skaters. I was thrilled that ESPN opted to show both of her skates from the recent Cup of China telecasts. Paul Wylie was spot-on in describing her skating as similar to that of 'a very young Kristi Yamaguchi.'

    BUT HERE IS MY PEEVE, in the form of a question to all of you:

    Is it just me or is Mao Asada purposely trying to look and act much, much younger than her 15+ years? Is this kid for real? Mao appears to be 9 or 10 years old, not 15+. She seems to be milking the little itsy-bitsy-girl thing for all it's worth - facial expressions while she sits in Kiss n' Cry, applauding like a kid in a circus. Even Tara wasn't this bad! I love her skating but, sorry, Mao's 'persona' looks a tad phony (or genuinely immature) to me.

    Think back to when Michelle, Carolina, Katarina, Roz, etc., were 15. They didn't look or act like this, did they? Or am I being too harsh on Mao? LOVE her basic skating & musicality, though. Lots of potential there.

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    Some of it might be cultural. I grew up in Asia and went to college in North America. I can tell 15 years-olds act very differently in the western and eastern worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller
    Is it just me or is Mao Asada purposely trying to look and act much, much younger than her 15+ years? Is this kid for real? Mao appears to be 9 or 10 years old, not 15+. She seems to be milking the little itsy-bitsy-girl thing for all it's worth - facial expressions while she sits in Kiss n' Cry, applauding like a kid in a circus. Even Tara wasn't this bad! I love her skating but, sorry, Mao's 'persona' looks a tad phony (or genuinely immature) to me.

    Think back to when Michelle, Carolina, Katarina, Roz, etc., were 15. They didn't look or act like this, did they? Or am I being too harsh on Mao? LOVE her basic skating & musicality, though. Lots of potential there.
    I read an article that her older sister Mai sent her some toy thingy for COC. It seems like she still enjoys toys. To get an answer, you have to ask your Japanese friends to watch the tape and see that is consistently with other 15 y/os in Japan. IMO, there is nothing wrong with applauding like a kid in a circus after placing so well in the first senior competition

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    Maybe just Japanese federation or their coach diddn't prepare them to do good PR behavious....She looks like a 15 years old to me. From my observation, in general kids raised in US or Western are more independant in term of socialbility than those raised in Asia.

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    I, too, thought about the cultural divide at first, then I recalled the maturity of a 15-yr-old Miki Ando, another Japanese skater. Fifteen is a very interesting age for homo sapiens...so many variations in maturity & demeanor. Fascinating. Well, I'm looking forward to seeing much more of Mao in the years ahead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller
    I, too, thought about the cultural divide at first, then I recalled the maturity of a 15-yr-old Miki Ando, another Japanese skater. Fifteen is a very interesting age for homo sapiens...so many variations in maturity & demeanor. Fascinating. Well, I'm looking forward to seeing much more of Mao in the years ahead.
    Not sure birth order has anything to do with it either. I remember someone told a story of some Japanese press went to the ice rink to interviews the Asada sisters last year. They brought food for the sisters (interesting Japanese practice, can you imagine Peggy Flemming bringing lunch to visit Tara Lipinski?), and Mao started eating because she was hungry, and Mai who is 2 years older kept nudging her to stop eating and talk to the press.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller
    I, too, thought about the cultural divide at first, then I recalled the maturity of a 15-yr-old Miki Ando, another Japanese skater. Fifteen is a very interesting age for homo sapiens...so many variations in maturity & demeanor. Fascinating. Well, I'm looking forward to seeing much more of Mao in the years ahead.
    I don't remember exactly, was 15-yr-old Miki Ando also appeared 'big' (in body) than Mao? May be not just cultural influence alone. Also have something related to body maturity? (this could also being generic related or developed by food cultural). I've noticed a lot of girls (mostly raised in China, Asia), they transfered to young adault maturaty (lack of phrase) very quickly once the got their first p.

    I think both Mao and Kim(Korean girl still skated at Junior this year) have better chance to reserve body type even after their puberty....they will be majore players in next generation of Lady skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gezando
    Not sure birth order has anything to do with it either. I remember someone told a story of some Japanese press went to the ice rink to interviews the Asada sisters last year. They brought food, and Mao started eating because she was hungry, and Mai who is 2 years older kept nudging her to stop eating and talk to the press.
    so cute

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    Yes, Miki Ando definitely had a more 'womanly' body, even at 15. What struck me the most about Mao in the Cup of China /kiss n' cry were her facial expressions, mannerisms & continuous hugging of a huge teddy bear (not the usual little clowning by most skaters with stuffed toy). Actions, more than looks.

    Sorry to overdo the issue but I just find this fascinating. One can't help but think that Mao needs a 'maturity makeover' next year, to make judges think 'lady' rather than 'child'. Something akin to Michelle's 'Salome' makeover in 1997.

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    Generally Asian girls look 3 or 4 years younger than western girls. So Mao looks like a 12 years old girl in US. She is also the yougest in her family, I guess her parents and older sisters always think she is the baby. Acturally most east Asians treat their yougest children like babies. The third reason that her performance on ice looking young is her coach or parents' strategy. Probably they think it's impossible for a 15 years old to have the artistry matching the other over 20 years old top competitiors, and itt's wiser to have her doing programs highlighting her youth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mzheng
    I don't remember exactly, was 15-yr-old Miki Ando also appeared 'big' (in body) than Mao? May be not just cultural influence alone. Also have something related to body maturity? (this could also being generic related or developed by food cultural). I've noticed a lot of girls (mostly raised in China, Asia), they transfered to young adault maturaty (lack of phrase) very quickly once the got their first p.

    I think both Mao and Kim(Korean girl still skated at Junior this year) have better chance to reserve body type even after their puberty....they will be majore players in next generation of Lady skating.
    You hit the nail on the head: it's because Miki's body is more mature than Mao's at the same period that she behaves in a mature fashion. I was an early developer (breasts and menstruation in 5th grade, age 10-11) and I couldn't act like a kid even though I was one. I notice that kids who mature earlier tend to act older because childish behavior is viewed negatively if it comes from a mature looking kid. My cousin was a late developer and she was allowed to act like a kid longer.

    I don't think Mao looks or acts any different from gymnasts. They act kind of young as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soogar
    I notice that kids who mature earlier tend to act older because childish behavior is viewed negatively if it comes from a mature looking kid. My cousin was a late developer and she was allowed to act like a kid longer.
    .
    Now it is back to the env you growup in with or ref as cultural influence. It is usually the parents or adaults around you, they scorned you if they considered you are a grown up. (usually once you have the first p they are considering you a big girl).

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    Mao's older sister Mai is a willowy beautiful girl, Mao OTOH looks cute. I think that the sisters have been hearing that all the time. It is my speculation Mao may be holding onto this cute image for a while.

    Here is a picture of older sister Mai

    http://photo-archives.jpn.org/2005DO...1e0188_std.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by mzheng
    Now it is back to the env you growup in with or ref as cultural influence. It is usually the parents or adaults around you, they scorned you if they considered you are a grown up. (usually once you have the first p they are considering you a big girl).
    I don't think it's specific to my situation. I was in a store a while ago and this really big boy started crying and throwing a fit. I must have been giving them a funny look because the mother said to me," he's only 7, he's really big for his age."

    To use an extreme example, mentally [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color] people often behave in a manner that makes people uncomfortable around them. It's not because the behavior is particularly abnormal, but rather that it's disturbing to see a fully grown adult act in a childlike manner. (I'm not looking to start a debate or trying to insult mentally [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color] people, this is my observation and many people feel uncomfortable around the handicapped- just what I think is going on).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mzheng
    I think both Mao and Kim(Korean girl still skated at Junior this year) have better chance to reserve body type even after their puberty....they will be majore players in next generation of Lady skating.
    I agree that Mao and Yu-na will likely not change too much.

    Not to mention, Mao is actually pretty tall. She looks very young because she doesn't have curves where most women do. When you look at her older sister she also seems very narrow also for her height.

    I think last year Kimmie Meissner was 15, and even though she didn't act very young, commentators where hinting on how young she looked/acted. I remember when Peggy quoted her "I want my movements to be big enough to reach the people in the cheap seats" she talked as if this was a very childlike thing to say.

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