For the Sanctity of Figure Skating Pt. 4

November 6, 2012 § 2 Comments

As a male figure skater who has competed with a collegiate team, you quickly come upon consequences of gender differences between you, the skaters on your team and skaters you compete with. Source: I am a male figure skater.

Oh my.

Just to get it out there, male figure skaters are equipped with rudimentary mammary glands, nipples and a different set of reproductive organs. Duh, and/or hello.

Most figure skaters previously have never had to change in front of other males. Over the course of their figure skating career, they have the luxury of a single-gender locker room to take instagram photos with their teammates and their longtime rivals, look at the event groupings, do flexibility stretches, put on bottles of hairspray and finally, put on rhinestone-studded figure skating dresses. Mind you, there are bathroom stalls where one could do such wardrobe procedures in bathroom stalls but you can’t fit too many team members in a stall. Plus, #toilets, #fluorescentlighting and #stalls aren’t that flattering in an instagram photo.

USFSA and the competition chairs go the extra mile in case they receive entries from teams with male figure skaters. They usually do. They’ll provide male figure skaters with the opportunity to change in their own locker room, away from the other locker rooms that are assigned to teams in general. If the competition chairs and the host arena cannot afford to give such an opportunity, well, guys have to change with girls in the locker room. Slap on those slacks, competition top (jersey, diamond-studded shirt, short-sleeve thermal, etc.), ankle bunga pads to prevent chafing and finally your skates. When the ladies have to change, some will change in the stalls and save the instagram/mirror pictures for later while there are others who will have this exchange with you.

Teammate: “Hey, I’m going to change into my figure skating dress. Could you go out of the locker room for a moment?”

You: “Sure.”

Depending on the tactfulness used in the conversation, it can be quick and painless. Other times, the exchange gives off a “Get the fuck out of my locker room because your testosterone is really adding to the tension and ruining my prep” kind of vibe. Really depends. God forbid you leave something in there and remember ten minutes later and walk in just when your teammate starts changing. Awkward.

That’d just be upsetting for all parties.

***

Gosh, that was a really long gender set-up for the next thing. Rule 4033 under the 2012-2013 USFSA handbook states that ladies can wear skirts, trousers and tights. You know, anything that leaves a visible outline of the pelvic orifice on the outside of the tights is covered by the skirts so female skaters are in the clear.

Well, that same rule 4033 clears up a common misconception. “Men must wear trousers; no tights for men are permitted.” Wait, wtf? But what about the stereotype that men who figure skate can wear tights?

That’s right. The higher ups of USFSA believe there are some packages mailmen should not deliver. Male figure skaters simply have no clothing accessory (skirt, a really frilly shirt, garish color scheme on the pants, etc.) to shield everyone’s eyes from their crotch creating a bulge in the tights. That’s just a topic parents aren’t ready to discuss with parents just yet. Really, this is just speculation at most and like the music with insinuating lyrics and swear words but it may be up to the competition referee’s discretion to determine if the skater can compete in his current outfit. That said, it may be up to the competition judges to determine how egregious your costume violation it is and dock your points accordingly, no matter how stunning your performance was. (Can a skater even get a negative cumulative score? Is that even possible?)

The “Sanctity of Figure Skating” posts generally address music and this was only about costume. I will leave the reader with a song that may or may not summarize the constant self-comparisons in the sport, from wishing I had those skates and blades, that dress, that body, that triple axel and those moves to wishing I was a little bit taller.

thefigureskatinglawyer

P.S.: Rule 4034 is a really innocuous rule. It’s not like there’s a rule 4034 of the internet out there… is there?

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