Last weekend, one of the buzzier stories out of the Olympic ladies’ figure skating short program competition was one you might call … surprisingly surprising. The French figure skater Maé-Bérénice Méité made headlines: for the fact that she skated to a Beyoncé medley, and even more so, for the fact that she did it in pants.
More accurately, she did it in a bedazzled black unitard, but that didn’t stop news outlets and viewers on Twitter from pointing out Méité’s eye-catching, subtly subversive pants. “This French figure skater may not have won a medal, but her pants took people’s choice,” raved Yahoo! News, and AOL named Méité’s bodysuit to its list of “most dazzling figure skating outfits” of these Olympic Games.
It’s not that women never skate in pants. On the contrary, nowadays young skaters—influenced by 2000s-era stars like Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen, who ushered in an era of sportier practicewear—fill the local ice rinks of America with yoga pants and Lululemon workout tops when they practice. U.S. Olympic figure skaters Mirai Nagasu, Bradie Tennell and Karen Chen commonly train in gloves, a T-shirt or athletic top, and a pair of black leggings—even though until just two decades ago, women commonly wore (and in some clubs, were required to wear) practice dresses or practice skirts when they worked out.
When it comes to competition-wear, however, pants and unitards have a much murkier, more troubled history. The skirtless, body-shaped silhouette, common as it is in other women’s Winter Games events like speed skating, skiing, ski jumping, biathlon, skeleton, luge, and bobsled, remains a rare sight, especially in ladies’ singles. Even in recent years, with an increased emphasis on the athletic aspects of figure skating as a backdrop, the sport’s insiders make it clear that a woman wearing …read more
Source:: The Atlantic – Culture