The term "Ice Princess"

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by coppertop1, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    I think ice princess can be a good or bad term depending on who you're talking about. Calling Alissa Czisny an ice princess isn't a bad thing b/c that was her style of skating. She was a gorgeous, graceful and beautiful skater who excelled at skating to softer "princessy" music. Her natural qualities complimented that kind of music and she pulled it off very well and made it look effortless and completely organic.

    People often use the ice princess term to refer to the direction Frank Carroll is steering Gracie Gold and, in her case, the connotation is negative. Gracie's natural qualities don't include being graceful or soft; these are qualities that are being forced onto her so that she'll fit into that elegant/graceful mold that skaters like Alissa/Michelle/Sasha fit into naturally. As a result, Gracie's elegance and gracefulness comes off looking very forced. She has improved and presents herself better but, IMO at least, she looks like she's trying to be elegant and graceful. It's obvious that they're pushing her into a style of skating rather than allowing her to develop a style that's more complimentary/suited to her natural abilities.

    For me, that's a turn off. Gracie's performances come off looking manufactured, rehearsed and pageant-like (i.e. fake) which makes it very difficult for me to enjoy watching her. I'm just not interested in buying what she's selling when she's on the ice...
     
  2. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    ^^^ I would never refer to Alissa as an Ice Princess. Gorgeous, graceful, ethereal, beautiful, etc. IMO, the Ice Princess label includes a diva like quality and disdain for those around them. I don't think anyone would consider Michelle an Ice Princess. She had neither the "icy" nor "Princess" (think JAP) to have earned that term.

    When I think of Ice Princess, I think not only of music or line, but of a spoiled and shallow young lady.
     
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  3. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like everyone uses the term based on what traits (skating-related or otherwise) are most noticeable to them, so there won't be any consensus reached any time soon. Nor should it be; we wouldn't be FSU if we did .
     
  4. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    See, I never considered "ice princess" (in terms of ice skating) to mean a diva/shallow/mean girl/better than thou type skater. If that was the case I'd just call them a b*tch! :LOL: No, I'm kidding (kinda...).

    I've always associated ice princess with a more literal translation: a princess on the ice...graceful, beautiful, elegant, interpretation and performance, etc. :love: In that sense of the word, I do consider Alissa and Michelle to be princesses of the ice (or a Kween in Michelle's case).

    I don't see anything wrong with my interpretation of the "ice princess" persona if it fits. When it doesn't fit, it comes off as a bad thing.
     
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  5. coppertop1

    coppertop1 Active Member

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    Relying solely on jumps and power, IMO, is a mistake because if the jumps fail there's nothing to fall back on. A skater needs presentation and athleticism. I think skaters choose classical music because that's the music in the past judges like, it's less an issue now but it's always a safe look, though it can come of as uninspired. Problem is so many skaters choose the same pieces of classical music where they could branch out (see music that should be skated to). Some skaters who are powerful are also very lyrical, like Joannie Rochette and Shizuka Arakawa. In those cases their elegance accentuates their speed and power. Neither of them are princessy but were still elegant.
     
  6. Meoima

    Meoima Well-Known Member

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    Gracie Gold? Disney Princess look-alike.
     
  7. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    IMO, the meaning of "ice princess" has changed. When I heard it used to refer to the then-current stars of the sport like Peggy Fleming and Dorothy Hamill, it was at a time that competitive sports were considered a "male only" domain, unsuitable for girls. The term emphasized that female skaters could have it all -- competitive success and femininity. The choice of music, costumes, hair, make up and that sort of thing were also used to emphasize their femininity. Now that women have more options ...such that femininity and competitive sports are not considered mutually exclusive ... the term is viewed differently.
     
  8. justiceforfs

    justiceforfs New Member

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    If the term "Ice Princess" contains the meaning of "classy", I wanna vote for Kim. Not all Korean women are aloof they actually tend to be very perky and expressive at Kim's age, early 20s. Kim is just an introvert which is one of her characteristics.
     
  9. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    I'm with you on this, kwanatic. By the way, I also like your avatar. :) (y)
     
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  10. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I love yours too! :40beers:
     
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  11. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    I first heard the term used to describe certain coddled and spoiled gals who lived at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs when the old World Arena existed on site. Not people like Peggy Fleming who came from humble backgrounds and were there due to sheer talent.

    The first time that I heard the term on TV was by Jill Trenary ca-1988, when talking about defending her 1987 US senior title, saying that she hated being called an ice princess.
     
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  12. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    THIS. Could not have said it better.
     
  13. euligranco

    euligranco New Member

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    It is my opinion that the term "ice princess" is a pejorative generally used by a "wannabe" who never made it past regional competition to describe the success of one who did.
     
  14. gotoschool

    gotoschool Active Member

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    I usually think of the term positively because the first time I really heard it used a lot was with Mao Asada as the "Princess of the Ice" after she won Worlds in 2008. I looked at it as a very slender skater with a soft, lyrical, flitting like a butterfly style, dancing with agility to trills on the piano like Chopin with really flexible spins and spiral sequences and soft landings on their jumps that have quick, whip saw spirals because they usually lack the height of power skaters. I also thought of princesses as having juvenile elegance, meaning it hasn't developed fully but it is wholly appropriate to their age.

    After I heard the term associated with Mao, I started looking at other skaters and immediately thought of Sasha Cohen, who reminded me of her in terms of flexibility, light lyrical style with poignant and ethereal qualities that resonated with the audience, though Sasha lacked some in jumping athleticism and was older so the term expanded in my mind.

    Then going back further, I thought of Kristi Yamaguchi as a princess because of her face off against the power skater, Midori Ito in the 1992 Olympics. These are two of my favorite skaters after Mao, but in terms of the topic Yamaguchi's princess-like qualities included subtlety, lyricism, elegance and vulnerability, with smaller but more aesthetically pleasing jumps, more graceful spins and agile movements. Though Yamaguchi did have considerable speed and some power, it didn't compare to Ito; therefore, she seemed more like a princess. With these skaters, the term had positive qualities, though to me Asada and Yamaguchi expanded this princess type of skating to include other qualities as they grew older, so that Asada in my opinion skated with considerable power and speed in the LP at Sochi and Worlds, and her body type became a little more full and muscular.

    Julia Lipnitskaya and Zijun Li. also have light, lyrical style with highly flexible spins, whip saw jumps, juvenile elegance and very slender body types. To me, both these skaters are lacking in jumping athleticism like Sasha Cohen, which often lead to falls and urs. Kristi was always plagued by the triple salchow, put a hand down on the triple loop in the 1992 Olympics, and though strong technically usually won through artistry. Finally, Mao had problems with under-rotation calls ( though I think quite a few of them were wrong) and with reworking jumps. So, potential jumping problems is another characteristic of princess type skaters. I have heard very slender hips makes it more difficult to handle the stress of jumping once they get older, though it helps with flexibility in the spins, spirals and extensions. In terms of appearance, it seems princess skaters are supposed to have a tender beauty or to be very cute.

    I agree with your post; it seems to me that this princessy style is being forced on Gracie Gold and that she is more of a power skater as seen in her speed, her big but inconsistent jumps and her fuller body type, but she does have good flexibility in spins like the Biellmann, though not as much as Sotnikova whose I spin has far better extension. But, I do think their natural skating styles resemble each other in some respects and that Gold should go for more of a power approach like Sotnikova.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  15. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Jill Trenary also talked about hating the term "Queen of the Ice," bestowed on her upon taking the "crown" from Debi Thomas in 1987.
     
  16. coppertop1

    coppertop1 Active Member

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    With regards to Ashley Wagner's Romeo and Juliet, I don't think that was meant to be Princessy. Didn't Sandra Bezic say "Her Juliet is strong and defiant". But I agree that program never really meshed, I think part of it is the music was a bit heavy.
     
  17. MNC

    MNC Bringer of Ice Cream

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    Some years ago during a sports segment on Norwegian television asked a few young figure skaters (all female) what they wanted to achieve when they got older.
    The unilateral response was "I want to become an Ice Princess™®" :huh:

    And here I was hoping for "I want to land a quad axel!" or "I want to become World/European/Nordic/Norwegian Champion!" or "I want to be the best".
    :mitchell:
     
  18. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Just how young were these girls?
     
  19. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Should we teach young girls that there's something wrong with wanting to be a princess? I understand if they are being pushed towards that without being allowed to have any other option, but if they simply want to be a princess, what's inherently wrong with that? The term princess isn't always negative, is it?
     
  20. MNC

    MNC Bringer of Ice Cream

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    11-14 I think. Which I guess why I found it so disappointing, they were (at least according to my judgemental self :lol:) approaching the age where the sport no longer serves as just a fun pastime. I've never heard of (cross-country/alpine) skiers dreaming of looking pretty.

    To be fair princess vs. queen have different connotations in terms of skill and/or power. Compare "Snow Queen" Marit Bjørgen, because she has conquered all of the cross-country distances (which of course take place on snow), versus Leah-Emmeline Skøytesen (random made up name) "Ice Princess" ...because pretty!

    It's a very nice breath of fresh air to hear the sisters Gjersem voice their drive to reach sporting goals:cheer2:and that they manage to keep interviews etc. focused on the athletic side of things.
     
  21. MNC

    MNC Bringer of Ice Cream

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    Princess (à la HRH Victoria of Sweden) vs. Disney Princess are different concepts though. Kids should be able to choose to be whatever they want to be. :40beers: But if they only want to be a princess because all their friends want to is it really their own choice? :p TBH If I had a child who wanted/decided to be a princess, you bet I would let them but I would do it with a twist and attempt to decorate their room in a medieval-rococo style, not a single thing in pink!/fuchsia or plastic. All the way or no way, dude! :ROFLMAO:

    Btw I am having massive flashbacks to about 13-14 years ago when there were a lot of discussion surrounding the book/made for tv movie "Little girls in pretty boxes".
     
  22. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Nevertheless, there are plenty of teen and adult athletes who pursue their sport as nothing more than a fun pastime or hobby: to challenge themselves physically and/or strategically, to interact socially with other participants, to keep fit, without the talent, means, or time to reach a skill level at which they would compete for anything meaningful such as championships or representing their country, their city, even their school.

    So I wouldn't object to kids this age treating skating as a fun pastime.

    Some athletes of any age or either sex may use recreational (i.e., pastime) sport to imagine themselves as warriors, adventurers, heroes.

    Or, in the case of figure skating and some other aesthetic sports, or non-preprofessional dance training and performance, as artists.

    So why not princesses?

    I guess it depends how we understand what it means to be a princess, why a girl would aspire to that role.

    Is it just about being born into a position of superiority, being admired for who one is rather than what one does?
    Is physical beauty the most important characteristic -- being valued for how one looks rather than what one does?

    I agree that these aren't the values I would want to encourage in adolescent girls either.

    By this age they should understand that princess isn't an identity you can aspire to attain, a few modern examples of commoners marrying royalty aside. And that girls and women can and should define themselves by their own actions, not purely by appearance or by kinship ties to kings and princes.

    That's why I don't like the idea of girls this age aspiring to be princesses. I have no problem with them pursuing sport as pastime and indulging in fantasizing about something bigger while they do so.
     
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  23. Meoima

    Meoima Well-Known Member

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    Actually the reason I am not fond of ladies is that most try to be "graceful pretty princess/queen". And the ones that do not fit that mold get criticized relentlessly. Surya Bonaly was called not feminine enough, if I remember correctly.