Like subtlety in ice dancing
Camp did start out in (and still remains part of) gay culture. But the concept has long since generalized beyond that. So while Charlie White is allegedly heterosexual, I would not attribute his lack of affectations (if one is feeling charitable) or his inability to perform (if one is not) to his sexuality. Scott Hamilton sure lived up to the first three letters of his last name, but he's straight. Matt Savoie, whose style was extremely subtle and subdued, married a guy last year.
Originally Posted by WeakAnkles
There is an element of camp that involves tweaking gender stereotypes. After all, drag queens are the very definition of camp. But well, there are plenty of straight drag queens (really). Even in skating, we have Evgeni Plushenko, who did skate as a woman quite a few times, who is quite heterosexual. Plushenko, in fact, may be the campiest men's single skater in the last decade.
Which brings me to Johnny Weir. Now some have cited him as a study in camp. And he has skated to some very, very flamboyant programs. But at the same time, he did just as many, if not more programs that are downright introverted. This was especially true earlier on in his career. I would even say that Weir is more comfortable doing those lyrical, navel-gazing pieces competitively than when he has to vamp it up.
At least you're coming around! It seems like it's incredibly difficult for most people who are very vested in this sport, who know exactly how much one wrong edge will cost, and how much blood and sweat went into each performance, to see figure skating as camp. After all, camp is ridiculous. And to them, figure skating is, well, serious business. However, from the perspective of the mainstream and most people, figure skating is undeniably camp. And I think, even for skaters and fans, the sport is campy as all get out if they take a step back.
Originally Posted by sather
Many things that are considered camp are only camp from the outside. There's the camp that the creators took very seriously, but no one else can (like the movie Showgirls). And there's the misunderstood camp. A sport that's in a similar boat to figure skating, synchronized swimming, is the butt of many jokes, and frequently brought up as the one sport people want to see cut from the Olympics. But synchronized swimming is actually one of the most difficult and strenuous aquatic sports.
The problem is that camp still carries negative connotations. Camp is frivolous. Surely, if we love something, it can't be camp. But it can! Drag queens spend hours practicing their act, undergo painful stuffing, tucking and eyebrow-plucking, but none of them will deny that what they're doing is pure camp.
Figure skating cannot take itself too seriously. It needs camp. In some ways, it has gone a bit overboard with deemphasizing it. Due to guidelines and instructions current judges are getting from the ISU, it seems pretty darn clear to me that the theatrical, emotive and performance aspects of the program component scoring guidelines are mostly ignored. Skating skills dictate the rest of the PCS. And many, many performances that are truly and magnificently performances get a shoddy PCS. As a result of this pruning, competitive skating is evolving into a less and less campy sport. This makes it a more boring sport for not just the hardcore skate fans, but casual audiences. Sure, when figure skating is campy, casual audiences may not appreciate how difficult it is because it looks fun. But at least then it's fun.