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Thread: Changing The Image Of Men's Figure Skating

  1. #16
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Thanks for the link re:Elvis' piece on "If you're very lyrical and ....." He doesn't really sound like an artist to me. Every artist has their own quality and point where she/he is good in. It's very unfair, really unfair for him to say 1) "if you're very lyrical....that's not men's skating". A skater has to be lyrical to be able to connect with the music and make the audience understand the music; 2) "..and you're really feminine and soft...that's not men's skating". That's is opinionated. Every skater is unique and never the same. They have their own identity/quality on the ice. Just because some male skaters are feminine or soft, doesn't make them at all belong to Elvis' category of men's skating. There will be skaters who are more daring than the others but that doesn't give them the right to judge and categorize other skaters. There will be skaters/competitors who on competition day wouldn't want to receive lower scores and there will be skaters who are daring to go for some programs where they are very aware of the rules of deductions. So, that's how it goes, but one cannot ever say who is stronger than the other because of some qualities the other skater doesn't approve of. One thing I am definitely sure is that every single skater should be acknowledged and congratulated for giving out all their strength in their programs. Every single skater is strong, others may be lucky and others are just not meant to be in the podium. But all the same, they are all very important figure skaters.

  2. #17
    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I have to agree on costumes. What is the point of sequines and bangels?
    - even with ladies, they go overboard on the "bling" i.m.o.

    Surprised someone isn't mentioning uniforms by now. The worst thing to say around people who sell outfits for skaters. Although the people who are making them definitely have been making the guys costumes look like this in the first place.

    Elvis has been on this for a while, and I see his point. One most assuredly needs to listen to the complete comment of what he is suggesting. As soon as someone mentions the word Macho, people exaggerate 'think their own concepts' and he is looking at a number of different views before encouraging direction.

    It is going to have the association of "gay" as soon as there is a guy dancing solo in some minds. So be it.
    The prerogative of the skater is the definitive aspect of an expressive sport - this is a great aspect of this sport I.M.O. The only things to adjust are the forum / elements of the competition and put restrictions on the "costume" - i.e. Kat Witt comparable ruling of appropriate attire.

    Also a skaters responsibility to think "what can help" and just try it themselves?? - examples?? Is Evan L. doing better with publicity due to his more "macho" persona, compared to other skaters who are more feminine ???

    Well, women I think have always "faired / sold" better in the arena of F.S. anyway, so maybe the thought is to stay consistent with what has been the larger aspect of popularity to the sport itself ??

    Historic to media exposure, the Feminine side (ladies) has "sold" better than the masculine side (men) so individuals' attempt to change the formula for men (possibly to gain more attention?) was to do what the girls were in getting all that publicity??? Maybe this has upset the balance of the sport and what has really hurt the popularity???

    Who knows, but I think trying different ideas is the right course to see. It is not really compromising the sport any to have these ideas and implement on small scales. j.m.o.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 05-03-2009 at 10:16 AM.

  3. #18
    Tripping on the Podium
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    In my opinion, the sports will be compromised as to the reasons of Canada FS and as to what Elvis has said about male skaters being very lyrical, very graceful, and costumes were also mentioned. All these things that they have mentioned about makeovers, the skaters have to compromise their artistry, individuality, style and idea on how to execute/show their level of performances which makes them different from one another and their identity on the ice will not be theirs anymore.

  4. #19
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    "Men's skating is power, strength, masculinity, focus, clarity of movement, interpretation of music."
    As opposed to women's skating, which features anemic weakness, feminity, being spaced out most of the time, sloppy execution, and galumphing along while music plays irrelevantly in the background.

  5. #20
    Vancouver 2010, 247.23, Bronze
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    As opposed to women's skating, which features anemic weakness, feminity, being spaced out most of the time, sloppy execution, and galumphing along while music plays irrelevantly in the background.
    So finally you admit it!

  6. #21
    Sitting Here on Blue Jay Way silver.blades's Avatar
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    I don't have a problem with the idea behind the campaign, but I do have a problem with how it's being presented. I'm a female dancer and a figure skater and I take a fair bit of crap as far as this sport is concerned, and I know many boys fair worse. Skating has decided to advertise as a sport and as such it needs to be seen as a sport by the general population to improve its popularity and ratings. I see no problem in advertising and emphasizing the work, injury and exhaustion that goes into the sport, there's no reason skaters should be taken any less seriously than other athletes as they currently are by many. This doesn't mean, however, as SC seems to be approaching this, that we should have people essentially advocating that any lyrical program is not athletic or masculine, that having to wear sparkles on a costume somehow diminishes the athletic integrity of the sport. The direction that SC is coming at this campaign is inappropriate and they seriously need to rethink their strategy. The hockey crowd is never coming to figure skating competition so why waste money trying to get them in? Selling the athleticism required will at the very least improve the respect for the sport from other sporting groups, which could in the long run lead to higher ratings., and not just on the jumps either, a point needs to be made for the sport as a whole.

  7. #22
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    There is only one answer: The two segment parts of Figure Skating should be divided in 1. Tech only and no music or costumes. And 2. The Free Skate with sequineless costumes but definitely music.

    Note: I said Free Skate and not that gobbledeegook PC thing. It doesn't take much to see who is ON and who is OFF

  8. #23
    Down With It
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    Not sure I understand who they're trying to target here.

    Take me, for instance. I'll never watch men's skating because it's just not my thing. No matter what TPTB try to do to make it appeal to folks like me, it won't happen. No matter how "macho" or "butch" they make it, I still won't watch.

    Heck, even the ladies event is quite bleh now. Everyone's doing the same thing now, no one stands out. Sure, some do the same thing better than others, but that doesn't change the overlying trend.

    I honestly think it starts with the TV networks, since that's the direct connection that skating has with the majority of the fans. Tell the TV networks to portray it more as a "sport", let them show more of the bruises and falls and training routines and less of the glam and make-up, etc. Also tell them to educate the viewers on the new scoring system and to criticize it less. If TV begins to show it differently, then that might have the most effect on changing perceptions- assuming they can be changed in the first place. Then you move up to the federation level. JMO

  9. #24
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    Why compare FS with such a completely different (team)sport as ice hockey, just because they use the same arena and similar footwear? Why not compare the FS men with crosscountry skiiers or speed skaters running around in tricots? Or with skijumpers with their unsexy outfit. (If that's the point)

    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I have to agree on costumes. What is the point of sequines and bangels?
    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post

    Tinymavy, I'm not sure Buttle's costumes can be described as simple - they're not elborately sequined and feathered, but this isn't exactly in line with, say, Scott and Tessa's FD outfits, or Kozuka's Barney look.
    But it would be boring if ALL skaters used just black or blue or very simple costumes. Some of the fun is to react and comment on the costumes. Apart from sport and art figure skating is great show.

    I also wonder if this "macho" discussion - don't like the word, don't know exactly what it stands for - is very much a north american phenomenon. At worlds in gbg 2008 the final competion was the mens LP instead of as always the womens LP. I think the organizers had to fight a bit for that, but it turned out to be the right decision. I was there and felt the immense support from the large audience. I sometimes wonder if some men(sport journalists) are jealous because the male figure skaters are so much admired by women.

    Well, thanks for the link IDLERACER . Probably this is mostly a trick to have a debate and draw attention to the sport before Vancouver. Suppose that's why they make this drastic comparison between violent and graceful men. Seems also like a media/TV problem that I am not familiar with.

    Finally I agree with you who want "all sorts" and variation, which is a big reason for me to watch figure skating.

  10. #25
    Down With It
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    I think they need to separate SHOW skating from COMPETITIVE skating.

  11. #26
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    this is RIDICULOUS!

    why do some north american view beatifull men as gays?

    thats a streotype.

  12. #27
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yangjie View Post
    this is RIDICULOUS!

    why do some north american view beatifull men as gays?

    thats a streotype.
    No one said anything about gay. The question posed was about feminine-like sport, and in my book costumes with sequines are feminine-like. They just don't wear sequines in other sports. However, If anyone gets bored with costumeless figure skating, they can watch any number of Pagaent contests

    btw, macho is a Spanish description of a very virile man.

  13. #28
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    Why compare FS with such a completely different (team)sport as ice hockey, just because they use the same arena and similar footwear? Why not compare the FS men with crosscountry skiiers or speed skaters running around in tricots? Or with skijumpers with their unsexy outfit. (If that's the point)
    That's a compliment because most people do not think it is a Sport., and the comment that follows kind of confirms that some fans need the costumes rathr than the actual sport.

    But it would be boring if ALL skaters used just black or blue or very simple costumes. Some of the fun is to react and comment on the costumes. Apart from sport and art figure skating is great show.
    And 99 per cent of fans find it serious rather than fun.

  14. #29
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    Sequines are not necessory. I can do without them. But I do mind if men wear uniforms like speed skaters or hockey players. It will take away some of the artistic beauty of this sport. I think it needs to have a balance. To promote the masculinity side of figure skating is necessory, but to take away the artistic side of it is a mistake. To de-emphasize the quad jumps is to undermine the masculinity and will have nagetive impact on men's figure skating.
    Last edited by jennylovskt; 05-04-2009 at 08:12 AM.

  15. #30
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    No one said anything about gay.
    Actually, they did.

    If you watch the ABC video that is linked in the original post on this thread, Elvis Stojko says, "It's not that men's skating has to obliterate the gay guys who are skating or the gay public that is watching, but to strike a balance."

    The whole piece is one of those "snicker, snicker" type of features. Like "snicker, snicker, look -- male figure skaters trying to act straight -- how cute."
    Last edited by Mathman; 05-03-2009 at 10:23 PM.

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