As an active duty Navy family, we are definitely feeling the strain of the economy and military cutbacks. With all this talk about the struggling middle class, who would have thought that rich guys like Ralph Lauren are in the financial hurt locker?
I mean, why else would he feel the need to pinch pennies by having the US Olympic Team uniforms made in China? The poor guy must be clipping coupons for foie gras and hitting early bird specials at Le Bernardin. Otherwise, he surely wouldn’t have made a deal with the country that is currently our biggest Olympic, economic and political rival to design and manufacture our team uniforms. Right?
And, did anyone else notice that, despite the absence of stars and stripes, the US Olympic uniforms are emblazoned with HUGE Polo logos? Ralph Lauren must be financially strapped if he felt the need to shamelessly promote his brand at the expense of patriotism. Bless his shriveled, greedy little heart, he must really be strapped for cash.
But to be fair, Ralph’s not the only one committing Olympic fashion faux pas this year. The Spaniards are being accused of wearing McDonald’s uniforms, the reserved Brits are blinged out in metallic, and the stern Germans are uncharacteristically warm and fuzzy in baby blue and pastel pink. Are we in some sort of Twilight Zone of haberdashery or am I missing something here?
If the Olympic Opening Ceremony’s Parade of Nations wasn’t bizarre enough, the uniforms worn by athletes during competitions has me wondering whether pole dancing might soon be added as an Olympic event.
Most striking are the women’s beach volleyball uniforms, which consist of booty-revealing bottoms that are about four square inches short of being thongs, and the tiniest sports bras ever made. And apparently track “shorts” are now passé — runners wear bikini underwear instead. Similarly, our women’s diving team suits have extremely high-cut leg openings which expose the athletes’ buttocks and guarantee a turbo wedgie with every dive.
What’s the practical rationale for showing so much flesh? Was the fabric creating performance issues for these athletes? Too much drag perhaps? Based on how many times I’ve seen them reach back to pull their uniforms out of their rear ends, I highly doubt that the athletes find that the new thong-like bottoms enhance their performance.
Even some male athletes are over-exposed. Take the Men’s Water Polo Team for example. Are they wearing those itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny swim trunks to balance out the un-sexiness of their ridiculous swim bonnets that are fastened with big bows under their chins? They look like what might happen if an Amish cross-dresser got a job at Chippendales.
Now, if any group of athletes had a reason to expose more flesh, you’d think it would be our Olympic swimmers, who benefit from the smooth hydrodynamics of water against bare skin. But no, for some reason, they are wearing more fabric than ever this year. The men are forgoing skimpy “Speedos” in favor of conservative bicycle shorts, and the women are sporting knee-length wrestling uniforms. Go figure.
Other than fencers, whose uniforms not only cover every inch of flesh but also flash dramatically in bright robotic green and red lights making them look like sword-wielding R2D2s, the only other athletes who insist on being totally covered are Olympic archers.
In keeping with the ancient tradition of the sport, one might reasonably expect an archer to be simply clad in a bark loin cloth or animal pelt. However, for some unknown reason, they all dress like Gilligan, wearing buttoned up shirts, bucket hats, chinos and boat shoes. I keep wondering when the Skipper’s going to show up and cheer, “Hey Little Buddy!”
As crazy as this year’s Olympic clothing choices seem to be, I can’t rule out the possibility that the attention-getting uniforms might just be a brilliant strategy for better ratings. Be it bare buttocks or bucket hats, I have to admit that I can’t seem to tear my eyes away.
Let’s face facts: more viewers lead to better ratings. Better ratings lead to more advertising. More advertising leads to more sales. More sales lead to more money in the pockets of businessmen like poor destitute Ralph Lauren. More money in Ralph’s pocket might keep him from giving our jobs to the Chinese.
I’m not sure if that’s top down or bottom up economics, but keeping an eye on Olympians’ bottoms might just be improving our country’s bottom line.
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- PHOTO: American Athletes Try on the Controversial Olympic Uniforms (stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com)
- PHOTOS: U.S. Olympic Uniforms Actually Made In China (huffingtonpost.com)