Series: The Shades of Synchronized Skating #2
Posted on January 31 2021
The Shade of Synchronized skating is a project collaboration between Aurora Tights and Get It Called that highlights three synchronized skaters in a self documented series covering the months from November to April. The Shade of Synchronized details the experiences and thoughts of select synchronized skaters of color throughout their season as they transition from team tights to complexion specific tights from Aurora Tights. Along this process, the skaters are self documenting:
1. Thoughts and experiences prior to switching to their Aurora Tights tights
2. Thoughts and experiences during/after switching to their Aurora Tights tights
3. How the skaters feel they have grown, their experiences if it has impacted them or their surroundings, and the reactions of others.
We are excited to share the experiences of these skaters and to bring you all along for the journey! And a special thank you to Avery, Brianna, and Nadia for sharing with us their first hand experiences in the synchronized skating world.
The images you see below are a comparison of their previous tights to their Aurora Tights.
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Avery Diary Entry #2
I hope that everyone enjoyed their holiday season, took the time to rest and enjoyed some family time.
I wanted to catch everyone up on my experiences wearing my Aurora tights over the past several weeks and share with you a conversation I had about the topic of ‘tight colour’ in my skating life. With very little ice time due to the COVID lockdowns, I tried to take advantage of the time while I had it.
Let’s start though, with my slightly incorrect shade ordering, how embarrassing. When Aurora tights offered me assistance with choosing my tight colour online, I declined as “I knew exactly what colour I needed”. I should have taken their advice as I first picked out my shade as being the beautiful TRUE colour that Aurora tights has to offer. Once I received them, I realized they were darker than I needed so I went ahead and ordered myself a pair of the lighter shade “Lily”. My mom thinks I did this on purpose so that I could make the order ‘more worthwhile’ by also ordering that Power Shirt I wanted, but I told her she was misled.
I wore my new Aurora ‘LILY’ tights to my first synchro practice after receiving them, and I just love them. They are comfortable, lightweight and they match my skin tone perfectly. It was a busy day at our practice as we were filming our No Hold and Twizzle Elements to enter them in an upcoming virtual synchronized skating competition. Although we were focused on our filming, I managed to mention to a couple of my teammates that I was involved in this project with Aurora Tights and Get It Called. Both of them were very interested in the project and my specific involvement and their responses to me were very positive.
I was surprised when one of them later mentioned to me she never thought about the lack of tight colour choices when she bought hers. She remembers commenting about skaters whose tights didn’t match them but never considered that they may not have had any other choice. I thanked her for coming to me about it and I reminded her that this is the reason that we want to have these conversations. I let her know that tight colour was never an issue for me also and although her and I are clearly of different races and skin tones, she was not alone in her feelings.
To lighten the conversation, I told her about the year my coach wanted straight ponytails for practices and competitions! “Your hair should be just below the shoulders when straightened” (Can you guess what emoji I would insert here if I could?)
Here is the 1st problem, we must cut my hair short so that my ponytail matches the length of my teammates when straight. We all know what that means, when curly it will be much shorter! Thankfully, I have a good sense of humour as I quickly earned my new nickname ‘Maui’ (from Moana). And the 2nd problem, now we must straighten the Moana cut and maintain it straight in all types of weather!
And lastly the 3rd problem, what am I going to do with that one hair that refuses to straighten and sticks straight up? My teammate and I both laughed, and I realized that this project is starting to mean more to me than just a review of my past tight colour experience.
I admit that it has been awkward and difficult to spark conversations on a topic that could be taken so personally. The last thing I want to do is make someone feel uncomfortable when maybe they are not ready to discuss their experiences. Hopefully by me sharing my experiences first, it helps others to open up.
We are in full lockdown now in my region and it will be a while before I can get on the ice again, however I will not stop having these discussions when possible, I just may have to get a little more creative to have them. Stay safe and healthy everyone!
Brianna Diary Entry #2
Although I have not had my Aurora Tights for very long yet, I can confidently say that wearing them has been a positively impactful experience. Through eleven years of skating, I have never owned or worn a pair of tights that even remotely matched my skin color, so of course I was excited for the opportunity to finally wear ones that did. I ordered the shade “Amber”, and after receiving the tights and trying them on, I was amazed at how well the color matched my skin. I had worn the light tan colored tights for so long and gotten so accustomed to my legs being a completely different color from the rest of my body that I never even imagined how I’d look otherwise. However, looking at my old tights after trying on the Aurora Tights, I realized just how bad they really looked. I couldn’t believe that I had worn those light tights for the last eleven years and been okay with it. I was so excited for an opportunity to skate while wearing them, and fortunately I got that experience at a test session. It was honestly a little weird at first, since I had never worn dark tights before, and I was somewhat worried about whether or not I would stand out because of it. However, I realized that it was pointless to worry about the reactions of others and focus on my own feelings. I felt more comfortable and confident while wearing the tights, so worrying about anything else was futile. By the time I was ready to skate out for my test, I was completely rid of any lingering feelings of self-consciousness and felt great about myself and my appearance. I noticed that the confidence I felt because of the tights was reflected in the confidence I portrayed while on the ice. After my experience that day, I realized how much I regretted not having been able to wear tights that matched my skin color before now. Since I had gotten so used to wearing the tights that were way too light, I doubted that the simple change would make much of a difference, but I was mistaken. I was glad to have been able to wear something that was specifically designed with people of color in mind, rather than something designed for white skaters that I was forced to wear anyway, despite how unflattering it looked on me. I’m looking forward to having more positive experiences with these tights as I wear them in the future.
Nadia Diary Entry #2
Skaters of color have always struggled to find clothing to match their specific skin tone, and finding skating apparel that matches has been no exception. However, Aurora Tights offers skating apparel that matches all skin tones to ensure that all skaters feel confident while on the ice. I first heard of the brand Aurora Tights just after last years National Championships. The moment I realized that a company was making tights designed to match all skin tones, I knew that I had to get a pair. I did not know how they would look, or if they would be an exact match, but I knew I had to try them out. After years of wearing tights that did not match my skin tone at all, there were finally tights that were offered that would match other complexions. I am lucky enough to be on a team where a lot of time and consideration goes into making sure that the mesh on our dresses matches my skin tone. However, having tights that match my skin tone was definitely a first for me. Once my tights arrived, and I put them on, I immediately felt a sense of confidence while wearing them that I had never felt before. I had always been confident in my skating, but I always felt a sense of embarrassment while skating in tights that I knew did not match my skin tone, or the mesh of my dress. So finally having tights that matched my skin tone perfectly has given me the confidence that I had previously been lacking especially while competing. A few weeks ago my team partook in the first virtual competition of the season by submitting our video. This was my first opportunity to wear my Aurora Tights with my dress. I had never felt so confident skating than I did in that moment. I finally got to have the same experience that each of my teammates did, which was having a dress and tights that matched my skin tone. Going out on the ice knowing that I did not stand out amongst my teammates because my tights did not match my skin tone was both amazing and empowering for me. For some skaters like myself, it is the first time that we have truly felt totally confident in our own skin while competing. Skaters will no longer feel embarrassed or stick out in a crowd because their tights or mesh does not match their skin tone. Aurora Tights truly gives me hope for the next generation of skaters because it allows all skaters to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin while competing.