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Thread: Changing The Image Of Men's Figure Skating

  1. #31
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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.
    I've been wondering the same thing. Some men just have more artistry and musicality than others. Some men are more sensitive, soft, and detail oriented. People think that these kinds of men are gays. I don't understand.

  2. #32
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    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.
    Actually, I agree with you on that. I was just responding to a post about who has simple outfits. I posted once or twice about Kozuka's purple thing, and I think it needed something to make it a bit less dull - but a belt or some minor details, not a bunch of feathers and sparklies. I think a more elaborate look can work - for instance, Brian Joubert's costume for the original Matrix program made sense even though it wasn't like a sports uniform. But I'd rather not see stuff like this, this, or that - the last two at least didn't make it through the entire season (though I'm not sure there was much improvement in Yuko's case).

    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.
    To me, men's figure skating is much more exciting - more contenders, more variety, and, to be shallow, more eye candy . I'm all for making it the highlight of any figure skating event. I thought one reason they flipped the order at 2008 Worlds was that the Swedish men were much more competitive than the women. But whatever the reason, I was very happy about it.

  3. #33
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    I agree that the men's division should be the finale - for the reasons stated by others.

    Depth of field makes it less predictable which in turn keeps the people on the edge of their seats wondering who's going to bring their A game to the ice that day. 2009 men's worlds comes to mind. A nail biter right down to the last 45 seconds.

    The women don't have that edge right now - with the top runners pretty much a given. I'd rather sit on the edge of my seat than settle into it.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennylovskt View Post
    I've been wondering the same thing. Some men just have more artistry and musicality than others. Some men are more sensitive, soft, and detail oriented. People think that these kinds of men are gays. I don't understand.
    ITA! Personally I think it takes a male that is very secure in his own masculinity to let the softer side show. Artistry is not gender specific!

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    To me, men's figure skating is much more exciting - more contenders, more variety, and, to be shallow, more eye candy . I'm all for making it the highlight of any figure skating event. I thought one reason they flipped the order at 2008 Worlds was that the Swedish men were much more competitive than the women. But whatever the reason, I was very happy about it.
    I also fee that Men's skating today is more diverse, not just in the top 4 skaters. doesn't feel like a done deal before the competition begins.

    Back to the topic, the point is that figure skating should improve its position as a sport. It's not about being a macho - it's about being an athlete. And the difficulty in passing this message lies in the fact that a lot of artistry is involved in this field and it cannot be separated.

  6. #36
    L'art pour l'art Medusa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    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.
    That's actually not true. If you read one of the interviews with Lambiel, you can read that he mentioned that he never thought that colourful tight costumes, gold, silver and other shiny stuff are "not masculine", because as a half-Portuguese he has been used to men clothed like that - the Toreros. Is bull-fighting a sport? Well, it could be considered one. Are the men athletic and powerful? Definitely! Is it considered masculine? Heck, yeah!

    Quote Originally Posted by yangjie View Post
    why do some north american view beatifull men as gays?
    That's not the point. The point is that it shouldn't matter if people are gay or straight. And I really wished that some of the skaters who were asked like that Canadian ice-dancer, would have answered: "Of course I was picked on as a child because I am a skater. Just like they picked on the girl with the really bad acne, or on the guy who was like a human calculator or on the girl who used to wear shirts with sheep on them." What's with the whining "I was picked on because people thought I was gay because I am a skater"? Everyone gets picked on as a child / teenager. Why does the sport has to change because the world is so narrow-minded?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I posted once or twice about Kozuka's purple thing, and I think it needed something to make it a bit less dull - but a belt or some minor details, not a bunch of feathers and sparklies. this, or that - the last two at least didn't make it through the entire season (though I'm not sure there was much improvement in Yuko's case).
    In Kozuka's case I think the colour is the problem. I can't imagine many outfits that look great in pure purple, not even evening dresses.

    Why do you have to pick on the Russian costumes? That's pretty much what they have always worn for skating. Remember Gordeeva / Grinkov 1988, in baby-blue with pink-white flower ruffles for both of them. This is an international sport, people come together from all sorts of countries and cultures. And in some of those pink and shiny is also "manly".

    That's what I don't get with this whole campaign: Does Skate Canada want to change their athletes, all the North-American ones or all the ones in the figure skating world? Well, good luck convincing the Russian Federation that what they have done for decades should now stop because Skate Canada says so. Or do they only want their athletes to appear toned down à la V/M at Worlds? What kind of message is that to the Canadian audience? "Our guys are serious sportsmen without the bling and any gayness - and the rest of the world sends a bunch of poncey costume puppets" - and therefore what should happen?

    Let's say D/D look even more tame and well-behaved than normally next year at the Olympics, have a good performance and the audience thinks "Oh, our serious sportsmen were so great". They are followed by K/S, she completely over the top again with all the colours of this world on her dress, plus loads of shiny stuff - he in one of those tight tight body suits that show everything and with some really nice man-cleavage. They are clean and land the Quad, are of course in front of D/D.
    Should the Canadian audience now get worked up because their serious sportsmen loose against the poncey costume puppets? Because that is what this campaign implies, if you look like that, you are not a serious athlete - or in the worst case scenario - even gay! (Not that I think that or that it matters, just an example of a very colourful and sparkly men's costume)
    Last edited by Medusa; 05-04-2009 at 06:23 AM.

  7. #37
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    It's apparent that the female posters want costumes as colorful and glitzy as possible - not for the Sport but for fashion discussion.

    I propose a Schism to request Men to skate in uniform and the Ladies to wear the glitz.

    Still no one has given an answer to my question. What exactly is the purpose of ornate costumes? It's not traditional. No one back in St. Peterburg wore ornate costumes at the first World Championship. Everything was plain until Sonia Henie and her movies brought on the glitz.

  8. #38
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danale View Post
    Back to the topic, the point is that figure skating should improve its position as a sport. It's not about being a macho - it's about being an athlete. And the difficulty in passing this message lies in the fact that a lot of artistry is involved in this field and it cannot be separated.
    That's true. It's like people making fun of synchro swimming - they can't look past some of the wackier aspects of it to see the amazing athleticism of the competitors. I don't know how people can consider poker and NASCAR racing to be more "sportslike" than skating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Why do you have to pick on the Russian costumes? That's pretty much what they have always worn for skating. Remember Gordeeva / Grinkov 1988, in baby-blue with pink-white flower ruffles for both of them. This is an international sport, people come together from all sorts of countries and cultures. And in some of those pink and shiny is also "manly".
    Because not being Russian, I don't get them culturally, and to me they look hideously ugly (the outfits - not the skaters ). In Yuko's case, I feel the costumes Tamara has her wear are infantalizing (did I spell that right?) and I dislike it. I don't mind the colors on most of the Russians, I just find the costumes unflattering. Here's an example of how to do a tutu right - and by a dance team not known for their great sense of fashion... And it would have worked with a different color scheme, too. Plenty of Russian skaters have managed to wear colorful, fun outfits without going over the top.

    That having been said, two of my examples were decidedly non-Russian. Ugly costumes are ugly no matter who wears them. Even my favorite skaters are not exempt. But you are right: the bottom line should always be who skated best, not who looked best.

  9. #39
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    ^^^
    The Big Question: Should those costumes be part of the scoring?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    ^^^
    The Big Question: Should those costumes be part of the scoring?
    Of course not, or Stephane Lambiel would never have won his World titles and Olympic silver medal



    I love Stephane, but that zebra costume was just...

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    you are not a serious athlete - or in the worst case scenario - even gay! (Not that I think that or that it matters, just an example of a very colourful and sparkly men's costume)
    Did you really have to?
    But seriously, Daisuke seemed to wear what his Russian coaches/ choreographers wanted him to.
    The video refers to this creation (by TAT, I guess? Remember what she did to Evan?!):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leFAgGvCRxs
    The Romeo and Juliet thingy was a product of Morozov's genius.
    I'm not sure Daisuke himself would have chosen the same outfits, he probably just obeyed.

    Those K/S doll and clown costumes are theatrical, IMO. Yuko does look like a teenage girl sometimes, but ah, as long as they land their jumps...

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I propose a Schism to request Men to skate in uniform and the Ladies to wear the glitz.
    I think that won't bring back the men's figure skating. Rather, it'll kill it even faster.

    Think who are the majority in the audiences? No matter what you do, the majority men in the general population won't like men's figure skating. People who like figure skating are the people who have found the beauty, excitement, attractiveness, and strength in this sport. Take any of these away will undermine the sport and drive away even the current audiences.

  13. #43
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    The thing that Elvis said in the interview article linked in this thread, that seemed most important to me, was this:

    "There's no risk....There has to be risk in order for sport to happen. Without the risk, you've got nothing.'".

    I think that he was trying to tell us something that may too easily be forgotten. When I watch a male sports competition, I do want it to be more than a Holiday on Ice exhibition. I want to feel thrilled. I have noticed at even the non-competitive shows which I have attended, when the audience gasps, and how enthusiastically they applaud various things, and I have seen that they do not respond equally to everything. When I saw Lucinda Ruh skate in a U.S. Stars on Ice show years ago, she did a fine job of showing her mastery of spins, but she did little if any jumping. The audience's response was tepid, at best. That stayed in my memory.

    It was apparent that, even with a female skater, and in a non-competitive show, the audience wanted some thrills. The uncertainty, the *risk*, of landing jumps, provides those thrills. I believe that with a male skater, the majority of the audience most definitely expect thrills, and especially in an athletic competition. "Amaze us!" seems to be the dominant emotion; they come to be amazed, to be thrilled. The mass TV audience that can provide hefty financial support of the sport, does not consist merely of former skaters or those currently studying skating with their coaches; it consists of average people. Mathman once pointed out succinctly and eloquently that you cannot *make* people like a scoring system by scolding them. In the words of the old proverb, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.".

    In business, the main thing is to "know your demographic", i.e., to know enough about your consumer or audience, to be able to give them what they want, so that they will keep coming back for more. No businessman ever got rich by arguing with his customers about why they *should* like what he has for sale. He has to please *them*, not himself, if he is going to make money.

    Elvis points out that "It has nothing to do with your sexual preference. It's all about what men's skating is -- power and strength. Whether he's gay or straight, it doesn't matter." This is not about costume or orientation; it is about the power inherent in the male body. It is about why we are particularly impressed when a female can do the triple axel, because we *are* aware of the sheer anatomical differences that affect landing the most difficult jumps. Because of this, even the most fluid and lyrical of male skaters does have to be able to show power and strength, when in competition. This is why a solid, strong triple axel is the "without which, nothing" in men's competitive skating.

  14. #44
    Custom Title NatachaHatawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Still no one has given an answer to my question. What exactly is the purpose of ornate costumes? It's not traditional. No one back in St. Peterburg wore ornate costumes at the first World Championship. Everything was plain until Sonia Henie and her movies brought on the glitz.
    I think there are several reasons. The first aim of a costume is to highlight the performance, to coppliment it, although ornate costumes don't always do this. The second I believe is that skaters like nice costumes (even though theu're not always nice!). The third I think, is to help people paint a visual image of the performance. It helps skaters to be remembered amongst others by all those people who watch skating but cant' tell the difference between two different skaters.


    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    Of course not, or Stephane Lambiel would never have won his World titles and Olympic silver medal



    I love Stephane, but that zebra costume was just...
    I don't agree. I think anybody else would have looked ridiculous, but Stéphane managed to pull it off. I think it really fit with the music, the choreography etc.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by NatachaHatawa View Post
    I think there are several reasons. The first aim of a costume is to highlight the performance, to coppliment it, although ornate costumes don't always do this. The second I believe is that skaters like nice costumes (even though theu're not always nice!). The third I think, is to help people paint a visual image of the performance. It helps skaters to be remembered amongst others by all those people who watch skating but cant' tell the difference between two different skaters.
    It's a thought but nothing official in the Rules as far as I know. I am sure the judges know exactly who is who. But the ladies in the audience may say 'i thought the boy in fuscia should have won'

    I don't agree. I think anybody else would have looked ridiculous, but Stéphane managed to pull it off. I think it really fit with the music, the choreography etc.
    Exactly. Stephane had been the best those nights. He could win wearing a Speedo.

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