Nationals: lil’ Tammy Faye, eat your heart out:

DRESS AND MAKEUP:

Part of what people do in any form of skating is to draw attention to themselves and their actions on the rink. This usually requires careful attention to what they’re wearing – hair, makeup and costuming.

Makeup – well, when I was an actor in high school, it used to bother me a good deal to have it on for the dress rehearsals and performances. It looked crude, awful and fake up close – but the makeup was to allow the folks in the auditorium to see and understand my facial expressions, and respond accordingly. So when I see Mere’s huge makeup supply, I grimace a bit (being a ‘don’t need makeup’ sort of person), but I know that she needs it to compete.

Clothing – Guys usually will use some kind of stretchy long trousers and a form-fitting flexible shirt, and girls usually have skin-colored tights with a one-piece dress over their torso (sometimes with form-fitting long sleeves, but always including a short skirt) that approximately looks like a variation on a one-piece swimsuit. Both sexes cover their skating boots with extensions of their costumes – to maintain an illusion, I would guess.

In either case, it’s how to flatter their body shapes and put an outfit on that will go with their moves and not snarl them up. A skater will usually have a small assortment of skating outfits – some for practices, and one for a particular event. We have been very lucky; our skating club maintains an informal assortment of outgrown used outfits, and Mere’s coach’s wife is a really gifted seamstress and turns out fantastic costumes for Mere’s use.

Clothing colors are bright and eye-catching – some pure black, but a lot of even those have swirls and patterns of gemlike ‘bling’ glittering away as they move and spin across the floor. Many guys dress more sedately, with only two major colors, but female skaters are much more ‘shiny’ – all sorts of bright colors, patterns and a ton of ‘bling’ in their hair and everywhere.

Oh, the hair – girls and women always have it tied up in some manner. Loose long hair would get in their face and mess up their ability to keep a eye on things around them, like the wall, the floor, their pairs partner. Any clips or barrettes are usually encrusted in ‘bling’. And hats, loose scarves and other loose props are not allowed, along with ‘unnatural’ hair coloring.

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