I've seen plenty of comments of 'X skater having the "perfect" body', 'Y skater should be playing basketball instead or skates too manly' (all because of a muscular build), or 'Don't want to be mean but Z skater looks really heavy.' I've seen them one form or another on forums and YouTube comments. For the record, I am quoting (anonymously) posters who have said this, be they ubers or just non-ubers.
I believe Canada released an article about how the Asian women are successful primarily because of their body frames. Not for nothing, it wasn't very encouraging.
I'd imagine it's different for every skater, which is another thing. Some skating fans need to understand that no two skaters will have exactly the same body frame/type and that their bodies work differently. *gasp* /rantIt's hard to believe that building muscle would hinder a skater's air turns. I'll have to think about that.
Joesitz, Sasha is a good example of someone with muscle that rotates well in the air. Yes, Sasha's body changed dramatically as her career progressed. However, during the Salt Lake City, Sasha was probably the most muscular in her entire skating career. Yet, she had no problem springing into her loop and axels, most notably of her jumps. Her rotation is incredible.
Jenny is right about this and it has been going on for a long time. When I was skating, I was naturally thin and weight was not really a problem for me. I didn't pay much attention to it until one summer at skating camp when a couple of the girls spent a lot of time talking about weight, food, calories etc They were far from heavy, but they said they had put on a few pounds during the winter and were unhappy about it.
One day after a trip to the buffet restaurant in town, I made the mistake of telling one of them that I had eaten too much was not looking forward to my jump lesson. She immediately launched into a graphic lesson in how I should just go throw up my lunch and the sooner the better. She said they had all started doing this and were losing weight. Their parents and coaches were pleased that the weight issue seemed to be under control and they seemed to think they had discovered a brilliant way to have their cake without the calories.
This was in the early seventies and I had never heard of bullemia but that's what it was.
Good for Jenny to come forward with this problem. Maybe it will help others to "wise up."
For some reason my last post was deleted. So I will just say this is such SAD news
This is sadly all true. I am a skater and I am pressured to lose weight. My coach is my main supporter and NEVER tells me I am fat or that I need to lose weight. She is like my therapist and my best friend and if I have problems in life I go to her.The atmosphere around me does pressure me on my weight. All the girls I skate with are stick thin while i am an average sized person my bmi within normal range. But I sometimes think I really want to lose weight. Skating dress companies really lower myself esteem, their sizes are so tiny and an average sized adult is who normally wears an Adult Small or Medium in most clothes is considered a large or an extra by a skating dress company. My body in the skating world is considered "large" which in skating dress designer language means fat. My family members call me overweight or fat a lot and sometimes I want to quit skating because off all the weight pressures. I don't have an eating disorder but I feel like all the pressure the skating world puts on being skinny may want to induce one. I hate it how normal sized people (not fat, not skinny) are considered fat in this sport. By the way many skaters do have large thighs(including me) thanks to super strong leg muscles
Last edited by icedancingnut31; 07-07-2009 at 12:17 PM.
This is not fundamentally a skating issue, is it? It's a broad cultural issue. Just about everyone whom people are going to pay money to watch -- actors, models, dancers, athletes, or pop stars -- is expected to be thin unless their performance area (like football or sumo wrestling) actually demands extra muscularity or beefiness.
Even opera singers (the traditional "fat ladies") are now pressured to be thin - e.g. the recent story of Deborah Voigt who lost a role because she didn't fit into the costume and then had gastric bypass surgery. And even male models, dancers, skaters and actors have to worry about their weight, so it's not just a female issue (even though it's far worse for women -- compare the PR over Jessica Simpson's weight gain over Russell Crowe's).
There must be some psychological factor in this demand for thinness at a time when the population as a whole is increasingly obese. Or maybe it's economic. We can't be bothered to slim down ourselves so we pay our entertainers to do it for us, just like we hire a cleaning lady to take care of our house. Or perhaps we're projecting our desired selves into those gorgeously thin bodies. Or perhaps watching those almost transparent, "angelic" bodies is a way of experiencing transcendence in a post-religious society.
Anyway I don't think this will change in skating unless the entire performing-arts aspect of skating disappears and it becomes pure sport. Since I would oppose the switch to pure sport, my recommendation is a big increase in the education of skaters and coaches about healthy nutrition.
I really don't think censoring skating boards on the topic of weight is an appropriate response, any more than I think skating boards cause eating disorders. I always stand up for courtesy toward skaters, but not at the cost of censoring free speech.
This board isn't censoring "weight talk" yet, is it? I just mention it because the idea always comes up in the context of eating disorders.