Speed-Skating Suit Scandal

Teenage skater in 'g-string' stir There are a few blogs reporting that the suit is see-through. It’s probably worse than that. The suit is opaque, and the underwear effect is part of the design. The “strings” are the leg seams, and the triangle is fabric meant to reduce drag. Speed skating suits utilize several different kinds of fabric to maximize performance at various points. This article on the Canadian suits says that there are at least five different fabrics used in the construction.

The problem is that the suit designer either consciously or unconsciously fetishized the patterns on the suit. A friend pointed out that the top of the suit, which looks like an abstract speed-stripe design at first, actually looks quite a bit like lingerie if you take another look. Basically, the suits make the women look like they work in a cabaret club, wearing a bustier top and g-string bottom. The short-track suits don’t have the kinky bottoms, and don’t feature the bustier design for the top.

Considering that it is Japan, I’m not entirely sure the effect was unintentional. This is the place that turned a fighting game with a mostly balanced male/female ratio and few risque unlockable costumes for the female characters (matched by silly or cheesecake costumes for the male characters) into a full-fledged fap-fest complete with posing, photo shoots, ever-shrinking swim suits, and breast dimensions several cup sizes larger than the original character models. The game designers obviously put a lot of thought into the breast physics, though the movement wasn’t exactly natural.

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And for contrast, I give you this: Slovenly snowboarder barred from games' opening ceremony.

There was talk about banning him from competition. Seriously. He’s been featured on the morning news two days running, and he and his coach were pressured into giving official apologies. Remember my earlier post about school uniform inspections? This is another example of how terribly important “proper attire” is to most Japanese.

I think it’s ridiculous, but then again, I thought the flap in the US about Janet Jackson’s boob-baring was insane too. Not for the first time, I'm reminded of a song…