The author doesn't come right out and call it an eating disorder, but when someone stops eating, that's what it is.
Originally Posted by Olympia
All i can say about that picture of Anjelika Krylova is
For me there's 2 different ideal body types for skating. Michelle's body type and on the other end of the spectrum is Mao, Caroline and Yu na.
the Golden Era
average body - Kiira, Adelina, Kanako
Originally Posted by lavender
lean and short - Akiko
lean and petite - Michelle,
broad and stocky - Tuk, Ito
athletic - Joannie, Gold, Harding, Wagner
tall and leggy - Yuna, Mao, Carolina
One thing for sure:I think ladies with long arms(like Yuna's) usually has more graceful arm movments over those who don't(like Gracie's).
I don't think there is a single, permanent "ideal" figure type in skating. Rather, I think the "ideal" figure type varies by discipline and changes over time, based on changing technical requirements and the evolving judging system.
For example, to consider ladies. In the 1940s-1960s, school figures were the dominant factor, jumps were not that important, and successful ladies back then had what we'd now consider a less athletic look. Then in the 1980s and 1990s, the judging system changed; school figures became less important, jumps more so. What mattered in this era was the number and variety of jumps landed on one foot. The most successful ladies had a generally "short, slim & compact" look. Most were between 5'0"-5'4", and typically on the shorter side of that range (although Witt and Thomas were outliers at 5'5"). And probably more ladies than not had long torsos/short legs. Now, in the 2010s, the judging system has changed again. It's all about GOE and the "quality" of the jump (i.e., height, edge takeoff, flow out of landing). This change seems to have favored the emergence a group of taller, more willowy, long-legged skaters, typically 5'4" and over, leading examples being Kim, Kostner, Asada, Gold, Sotnikova, Korpi, Gao. So I'd argue that the "ideal" figure hasn't remained static but has changed over the years.
And the "ideal" figure type is very different in dance and pairs. In pairs, it is still very advantageous for the lady to be short, between 4'10"-5'4", and preferably on the shorter end of that range. A shorter torso/long legs is preferred but not essential. In dance, meanwhile, ladies can be much taller, although with increasingly difficult lift requirements, we may see a trend toward more petite, willowy dancers, like Meryl Davis.
To me, these are the best looks for figure skaters.
Originally Posted by sky_fly20
Kim and Mao are not really tall. Leggy yes tall no. They are both around 5 ft 4 inches tall.
I think this is a very good way to think about the question.
Originally Posted by eyria
Of the newer skaters, we have Courtney Hicks who is short, short-waisted and muscular, and Polina Edmunds, who is on the tall side, willowy, with very long arms and legs. Of course, Polina at 15 isn't all the way through puberty yet, so we don't know how she will look (or skate) when she fills out a bit.
I immediately thought of Caryn Kadavy.
Ideal from an aesthetic standpoint, or a technical one? The first is just a matter of personal preference, so there is no ideal. I don't think there's an ideal for technical ability, either. Midori Ito and Yu Na are very different in body type, but both are powerful jumpers. In general, skaters tend not to be very tall--men as well as women. But there are exceptions. Evan Lysacek is tall and Shizuka Arakawa istall for a skater (5'5 or 5'6"). Shizuka is another one who was a very good jumper, but was no twig when she won her World Championship. So I don't think one can generalize. By the way, why are these types of questions always directed mainly at female skaters? What is the ideal male skater's body type?
the Golden Era
pre puberty bodies are not counted
Originally Posted by chuckm
No, they're not tall compared to the general population. But they are on the slightly taller side for female figure skaters (who as a group are short).
Originally Posted by Jammers
I meant for it to be an open-ended discussion beyond who is "fat" and who is "not fat." So you are free to answer the question as you wish.
Originally Posted by jenaj
That's a great point RE: personal preference; which is what I think is driving a lot of this perception-based assessments of people's health and ability. Clearly some folks have a stuck image on what LOOKS good and somehow ties that to what is good from a sports perspective.
Also we started on women because that's what the original discussion was, but I"d be glad to talk about guys too!
Also, I agree that eryia's answer was great and sort of the academic discussion I love!