Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ear Candy

Allison and I have a little disagreement. Let's see where you weigh in.

She says the recent spate of noise canceling headphones spotted at fencing events doesn't count as a fashion trend--it's functional.

Photo E. Merritt, Milwaukee
NAC, 2012
I get the functionality, though much as I hate the incessant beeping of unhooked scoring boxes, not to mention the banshee wails of adolescent epeeists, I'd be afraid to sink too deeply into blessed silence for fear of missing a call to the strip.

However, given that some of the models I saw at the recent Milwaukee NAC (such as these Beats Studio Dr. Dre's), cost $200--I think there is a fashion statement being made here somewhere. (BTW, the Dre's also come in lime green, pink & electric blue. Match your club colors?) 

I remember not too long ago wearing an iPod mini with earbuds during warmup was THE mark of the cool kids. Maybe Dre headphones are an example of the Suessian Sneetches effect--as soon as enough people adopt the "latest thing" it's time to move on to the opposite. In this case, the biggest freakin' earpieces possible.

I won't dispute that these accessories contribute to the "cool" factor of some of the young bucks.

photo E. Merritt, Milwaukee
NAC, 2012
(Note this guy didn't actually have the headphones on his ears--because he was listening to the ref's instructions. Good on him.)

Frankly I'd been wondering how long it would take for headphones to take off in the fencing scene. During the last Summer Olympics, the swimmers attracted a lot of press for wearing fashionable ear candy. 

China's Sun Yang, men's 400m freestyle London 2012 Olympic Games
7/28/12 in London. He won gold.
(Since swimmers don't wear much, they have limited options for expressing their fashion sense. Then again, I always figured that very limitation accounts for at least some of swimming's popularity as a spectator sport. Yow.)
Michael Phelps wears a pair of headphones  before the men's
4 x 100m freestyle relay finals, 2012 Summer Olympics. Getty Images

New as the phenomenon of giant-headphones-on-fencers is, you can tell it has gone mainstream, if not become downright pass√©. How can I tell? The Vets have already adopted it.

Photo E. Merritt, Milwaukee NAC, 2012
(Hmm, why is it I'm ok asking Vets if I can take their pictures--they always cheerfully comply-- but I feel the need to sneak up to teenagers and take photos from the back or side? I think I have some shy issues to address here. I know it really is more polite to ask.)

Ah well. I feel the Fashionistas should experiment with this trend if we are really to understand it. 

So--what do you think? 

1 comment:

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