What an interesting topic and the comments made by everyone- sort of like a Sociology paper meets skating!
Originally Posted by gio
As a Japanese living overseas, I do notice much much more individuality in their fashion every time I visit my folks in Tokyo. A big shift from the token designer bag look- Now it's lots of layers and second hand vintage ghetto mixed together... or whatever it it they're doing. See I'm so out of it
I think the 'flirtatiousness' of the skaters nowadays could be largely attributed to the federation's effort to give amateur skaters as much exposure to the show audience as possible from a young age, putting together a number of exhibition-type shows like the Japan Super Challenge designed to fund the young talented and judged based on audience interaction.
Meanwhile, a comment from a guest judge and the former Royal Ballet Principal, Tetsuya Kumakawa, on Mao's Chopin Ballad number:
It's not by the explicit audience interaction, but rather by her sincere attitude to skating, love of the sport and respect towards Chopin that I was moved (from watching the performance).
So there! Sex kittens, divas, quiet 'classical' types, hooray for individuality!