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A lot of people who are into Zentai, they don’t have people around them who understand why they like having no face and no identity
May 1, 2010 8:08 PM   Subscribe

“We were online, and I saw this link and it intrigued me: a person encased in a suit,” says Ben, a 25-year-old computer programmer from Irvine, California. “My girlfriend thought it was the weirdest thing she had ever seen.” But Ben saw something else—something he didn’t even know his life was missing. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it. After a couple of weeks of bringing it up, I convinced my girlfriend to let me buy one. Finally it came in, I put it on… and I felt free.”

I thought that I'd describe why I've been walking around my campus as Spider-Man. Contrary to what some people think, I don't feel like I do it to get noticed, I actually do it so I (that's me, Shawn) don't get noticed, if that makes any sense.

The Zentai, as photographed by Google, and others.
posted by unmake (95 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
"A growing number of people " ... this number is small than you suspect...
posted by HuronBob at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


that thunderous roar you hear is the oncoming flood of It's Always Sunny references
posted by One Thousand and One at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2010 [17 favorites]


As seen on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2010


This is interesting but scary. I feel like if I encountered someone in a head-to-toe face-covering suit, after ruling out that the person is up to no good, then to each his own, but sometimes it's not possible to do that, and up to that point I would feel a little nervous. It raises interesting questions about the obligation to show your face in public, especially in light of the attempts to ban Muslim head and face coverings. I don't feel the same sense of nervousness when thinking about encountering someone wearing a burqa.
posted by amethysts at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Among the reasons given for liking zentai:

-- Smoothing out all imperfections
-- Overwhelming sensation of security
-- Portable safety blanket; pulling the sheets up over your head

I wonder if this is a small shard of a glimpse into some of the obsessions that parts of our society have? For me, dressing up in something like this would feel suffocating, nightmarish, and claustrophobic. I never pull the sheets up over my head. I even hated wearing Halloween costumes as a kid. I can't be the only person who's felt that way.
posted by blucevalo at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


What OS does it run?
posted by Artw at 8:24 PM on May 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


It always starts the same way. I am in the garden airing my terrapin Jetta when he walks past my gate, that mysterious man in black.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2010 [41 favorites]



One Thousand and One: "that thunderous roar you hear is the oncoming flood of It's Always Sunny references"
That thunderous clap you hear is the sound of the door closing on all Sunny references.
Thanks alot, Buzzkill McGee.
More on topic, does this seem like a way to be anonymously exposed?
posted by Red Loop at 8:27 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Spider-pig 3.3
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:28 PM on May 1, 2010


I've often felt like going to work encased in a refrigerator box, so nobody could look at you and you didn't have to look at them. This seems like an expression of the same impulse.
posted by mecran01 at 8:28 PM on May 1, 2010


I wonder if this is a small shard of a glimpse into some of the obsessions that parts of our society have?

My initial thought was that a zentai suit was analogous to an autistic "hugging box", with the sources of tension being different, but the underlying purpose similar.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 8:29 PM on May 1, 2010 [15 favorites]


Some people have this contradictory craving for both tremendous attention and an anonymity that will free from them from the personal responsibility that that attention entails.

Some of these people put on zentai suits.

Others go on internet message boards.
posted by DZack at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2010 [48 favorites]


This is a question, not a theory. Did the 60s, 70s and 80s barrage of Disney-style anthropomorphic animals make a certain amount of kids of that period into furries? Did the 80s and 90s trend toward Power Rangers and Ultraman create zentai?

(because when I was a kid, I watched M.A.S.K., and I wonder if I would achieve some kind of transcendental personal satisfaction if I had a motorcycle that could convert into a helicopter.)
posted by Valet at 8:53 PM on May 1, 2010 [18 favorites]


Others go on internet message boards.

The rest take it to the streets of Gotham City.
posted by griphus at 8:53 PM on May 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I saw someone wearing one of these suits on the Playa at Burning Man. I thought it was just performance art. Call me a hayseed.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2010


These remind me of full body condoms.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:04 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Darryl, for instance, remembers when he finally realized the Power Rangers were actually actors in bodysuits

The Power Rangers are whaaat?!!
posted by humannaire at 9:05 PM on May 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


1. I'm guessing that doesn't smooth out all imperfections.
2. How well can one see in that?
3. AAAAAAAAAH.
posted by emjaybee at 9:06 PM on May 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, covered head-to-to in Lycra....you mean...cyclists?
posted by cheeken at 9:11 PM on May 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


i was hoping this was about full-body casts. the whole casting obsession thing is just one of those wtf things that i couldn't believe i didn't know existed.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 9:15 PM on May 1, 2010


Hey, dude, yeah, you...come here...your wetsuit is on backwards.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:20 PM on May 1, 2010


This thread could use some GREEN MAN.
posted by chunking express at 9:22 PM on May 1, 2010


This thread could use some GREEN MAN.

You mean like this?

Who knew the NHL were so ahead of the curve in fetish wear.
posted by furtive at 9:30 PM on May 1, 2010


[Subdued Pride] It would take more than a Zentai suit to smooth out MY imperfections. [/Subdued Pride]
posted by unSane at 9:37 PM on May 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Q: Why does this remind me of Rodak's minions, the Lugomen, from Space Giants?

A: Because I'm a nerd.
posted by darkstar at 9:45 PM on May 1, 2010


i loved it when the lugomen died, and that sound they made when all their guts oozed out. i miss that show.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 9:46 PM on May 1, 2010


God I love those Green Men outside the Vancouver penalty box. Back in '82 we started the white towel/'surrender to the refs' trend, and now we've created this beauty of a tradition. Time for a Cup methinks..
posted by mannequito at 10:02 PM on May 1, 2010


This could be related to another TV phenomenon.
posted by wobh at 10:20 PM on May 1, 2010


Hugbox? Fascinating. So that's why I enjoyed crawling in between the mattress and foundation, as a kid. And yes, it was very calming.

This Zentai thing seems generally harmless enough, at least until some people decide the suit provides an opportunity to misbehave anonymously. But I think you'd likely get trouble in places in continental Europe, where wearing masks is prohibited.

As for burqas, they don't make me nervous. The idea of having to go about encased in black fabric makes me sympathetic to the wearer, as it looks terribly hot. But I could see where some folks that went to Catholic school as kids might get nervous. Surely there must be a ruler hidden inside all that fabric somewhere, hmm?
posted by Goofyy at 10:22 PM on May 1, 2010


I came across this phenomenon after watching Team America, looking up Rent, checking out the longest running broadway shows, and clicking the 'see also' links on Mummenschanz, which I saw once when I was younger - it was awesome.

Most of the Zentai people seem to be male; there's a furry association, and yeah:

"I couldn't be bothered with the arms so yeah, double layering fun! I'm really enjoying the double layering thing (since the bad first experience) but for totally different reasons. There's none of the sensuality going on. Yes there's friction and constriction but it just accentuates what it would feel like if you actually had to put skin on!"
posted by unmake at 10:23 PM on May 1, 2010


So... a new interpretation for Slender Man: he's a zentai follower with second thoughts, hence the suit on top of a grey-whitish lycra cocoon?
posted by Iosephus at 10:23 PM on May 1, 2010


Related, and far freakier: Animegao.
posted by LSK at 10:38 PM on May 1, 2010


amethysts: This is interesting but scary. I feel like if I encountered someone in a head-to-toe face-covering suit, after ruling out that the person is up to no good, then to each his own, but sometimes it's not possible to do that, and up to that point I would feel a little nervous. It raises interesting questions about the obligation to show your face in public, especially in light of the attempts to ban Muslim head and face coverings. I don't feel the same sense of nervousness when thinking about encountering someone wearing a burqa.

I would feel the same sense of awkwardness I do when confronted with heavy breathers and the guy who gets staff to look up Nancy Friday books and read out the titles. That unwilling involvement in someone else's fetish. Even if it's essentially harmless (heavy breathers obviously are a little more intense than Nancy Friday dude because they're often obviously masturbating) and not actually requiring anything from me other than doing my job it still irks me and makes me all sorts of fighty.
posted by geek anachronism at 10:47 PM on May 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is pretty insane. Guess I know what we're doing for Idiotarod 2011....
posted by ph00dz at 10:59 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


These people don't seem like giants at all.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:19 PM on May 1, 2010


"Dan, was tonight good? Did you like it?

"Did the costumes make it good?

"Dan...?"

"Yeah.

"Yeah, I guess the costumes had something to do with it. It just feels strange, you know? To come out and admit that to somebody.

"To come out of the closet."

--Watchmen
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:21 PM on May 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


> 2. How well can one see in that?

Better than you might think, emjaybee. For one thing, while the material looks opaque from a reasonable distance, it's not perfectly opaque, especially when stretched tight. It dims the vision but doesn't completely block it. Find a pair of colored tights in your wardrobe or that of an understanding friend, and stretch them over your head like a bank-robber obscuring their face with pantyhose - you'll find that the world is muted, and takes on whatever color the tights may have, but it's navigable.

For another, if I recall correctly, some zentai are made with thinner material on the face, or around the eyes, to aid in this effect.

(haven't worn any myself, have some friends who do now and then, but we do have a sheer black spandex hood for kink purposes and i wouldn't mind having a zentai or three around the house if i could just lose a few more pounds.)
posted by egypturnash at 11:24 PM on May 1, 2010


Some people have this contradictory craving for both tremendous attention and an anonymity that will free from them from the personal responsibility that that attention entails.

I kinda like this explanation. A zentai suit isn't about the kind of anonymity that involves being socially invisible or forgettable. If anonymity was the only goal, then instead of being faceless they'd deliberately strive to appear as average as possible; to not say too much nor too little; to not say anything particularly stupid or noticeably clever; to modulate their behavior to be unremarkable and innocuous. This, of course, would mean being relatively free of self-obsession.
posted by Ritchie at 11:28 PM on May 1, 2010


yeah, to me this is like the breathable version of latex/leather/whatever kinky hoods and outfits.

I have never attempted to wear latex, I think it is for the relatively coordinated. I can see myself slowly suffocating or somehow pinning an arm to my side irretrievably.

This, however, in rainbow colors, would actually be the best outfit.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:32 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is very interesting. I had a girlfriend who a decade ago was very into this - she wasn't inspired by anyone else as far as I know, it was just an aesthetic choice for her, but I have numerous pictures of her that could be right out of this article.

In her case, it was the reverse of the facile "Some people have this contradictory craving for both tremendous attention and an anonymity that will free from them from the personal responsibility that that attention entails" analysis. She was a dancer because she loved dancing but not particularly fond of the public eye so that style gave her a chance to dance while hiding herself from view.

See also.

I see this as a style with longevity - it has a lot to appeal to different types of people and is wild, and yet still somehow completely safe for work (if you have an enlightened employer - at my last job, the guy who sat next to me wore a dress, so I imagine this would be fine). We'll be seeing more of it and we'll be seeing it still in 20 years.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:39 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


If anonymity was the only goal, then instead of being faceless they'd deliberately strive to appear as average as possible;

I think you're completely and utterly wrong. I know a lot of people who want to be anonymous - but do not want to be hideous. Being as average as possible means being hideous - particularly in America where mainstream fashion seems to be aimed at garish displays of wealth.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:41 PM on May 1, 2010


I think this is illegal in Belgium.
posted by sour cream at 11:51 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


The green men annoying the hockey player in the penalty box : don't you kind of wish they could all meet after the game?
posted by Cranberry at 11:55 PM on May 1, 2010


These people have real issues... but whatever rocks your boat!
posted by Juglandaceae at 12:53 AM on May 2, 2010


This is interesting. I kinda like it, but I think it would work better in certain contexts than others.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:00 AM on May 2, 2010


Zentai suits: as not recommended by the National Association for Continence.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:01 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


What OS does it run?

GNU HURD
posted by clarknova at 1:50 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ha, in England they're known as Morph Suits, after Morph. And they're mostly used for drinking, partying etc.
posted by djgh at 2:40 AM on May 2, 2010


Huh, I saw a guy wearing this in a pub in Belfast last week. I assumed he was in fancy dress for a party, but now I wonder.
posted by knapah at 3:37 AM on May 2, 2010


there's a furry association

While I was looking through the gallery in the Daily Beast article, part of me was wondering when the ears and tails would show up, and, lo, there they were!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:15 AM on May 2, 2010


This is interesting. I kinda like it, but I think it would work better in certain contexts than others.

Halloween comes to mind.
posted by hal9k at 4:25 AM on May 2, 2010


Ha, in England they're known as Morph Suits, after Morph. And they're mostly used for drinking, partying etc.

I'm glad that there were people who watched Tony Hart, saw Morph, and decided, "Some day, that'll be me."

These people have real issues...

Meh, I bet that there are people out there who get really into trousers. The fabric, the cling, the fit, the feel... wow, trousers! But because everyone wears trousers, you just don't notice them.

they could be out there, right now! the trouser fetishists! watching you! watching your trousers! run!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:40 AM on May 2, 2010 [16 favorites]


Who am I? I'm Kick-Ass.

Yes, I know he was wearing neoprene, just go with it.

posted by bwg at 5:24 AM on May 2, 2010


I'm glad that there were people who watched Tony Hart, saw Morph, and decided, "Some day, that'll be me."

Poor Chas, eh? Always overlooked.

Also, I don't remember Morph endorsing violence or gambling when I was a child
posted by djgh at 5:24 AM on May 2, 2010


Hmmm, head to toe outfits involving suits... all look the same... oh, I got it. Sad Traders
posted by Wuggie Norple at 5:34 AM on May 2, 2010


I don't remember Morph endorsing violence or gambling when I was a child

Don't. Fuck. With. Morph.

he'll cut you
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:15 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have a friend who bought one of these a while back just for lulz reasons. The last time I was over at his apartment, I put it on. It was, well, interesting. Exceptionally strange but somehow very comfortable and really not a bad experience. Not that I would make it part of my daily life, but it wasn't bad (in fact quite funny) to put one on for an hour or so and wander around his apartment complex fucking with people.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 6:30 AM on May 2, 2010


I think this is very cool, but without registered suits with bar codes or GR code or something, if this expands it is going to be a huge problem because of the anonymity aspect. Our relatively lawful society relies on people being identifiable as individuals on sight for culpability reasons.

Because: "Yeah my purse was stolen by a purple silhouette" "TD Bank was robbed by a black zebra bodysuit" "I was gangraped at 3am by a bunch of rainbow zentai freaks" -- is going to lead to a whole shit load of problems/legislation for what is a really harmless bit of sexy/freeing fun.

And this, my friends, is why our species can't have nice things.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:30 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see a psychologist do a case study on these people. It sounds like some extreme introversion to me. They don't want their identities on display, even in face-to-face contact. It'd be good to know their Keirsey temperament scores.

Granted, I'm an extreme introvert, but look at my username. BTW, INFP, Idealist-Healer. Like Princess Di!
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:51 AM on May 2, 2010


I'm wondering about the therapeutic implications for those with severe social phobia.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:09 AM on May 2, 2010



I'm wondering about the therapeutic implications for those with severe social phobia.

People with social phobia fear drawing attention to themselves, and wearing one of those things would definitely do that. I'm thinking it might appeal more to exhibitionists.
posted by dortmunder at 7:17 AM on May 2, 2010


I think this is very cool, but without registered suits with bar codes or GR code or something, if this expands it is going to be a huge problem because of the anonymity aspect. Our relatively lawful society relies on people being identifiable as individuals on sight for culpability reasons.

Ever been to Minnesota in the wintertime? With all the clothing for the cold, you couldn't recognize your own mother at a bus stop if you were standing next to her--and this doesn't seem to be a crime-spree inducing method of clothing oneself.

They might have problems getting into government buildings and banks, though. And bathroom breaks might prove to be a bit time-consuming.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:34 AM on May 2, 2010


Imagine if these things were covered in flexible displays and could then stream graphics, text, and videos. That would be awesome, and very sci-fi. Especially if it tried reading biorhythms to have it mimic your mood (assuming those things worked as well as the salespeople claim).
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:41 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


It sounds like some extreme introversion to me.

Not to me, though, granted, every introvert is introverted in his own way.

There's what I've always thought of as Hollywood introversion. Movie introverts are people who "need to be taken out of their shell," and they're grateful when it finally happens. I HATE this myth, because it makes extroverts think that I want to be dragged out onto the dance floor, which is the exact opposite of what I want. But maybe the myth is true for some people.

As an extreme introvert, I would never go out in public dressed like that, because ... um ... it would make people look at me, which is the opposite of what I want. I want to be ignored. I want to be invisible. I don't want to "get attention, but without my imperfections." I want to avoid attention. If I was the best-looking guy in the world, I would not want people looking at me. I want to be left alone. I doubt dressing like that would lead to me being left alone.
posted by grumblebee at 7:51 AM on May 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Our relatively lawful society relies on people being identifiable as individuals on sight for culpability reasons.

What?
posted by delmoi at 7:55 AM on May 2, 2010


I think people would more or less leave you alone, just because they'd be freaked out, and/or think you were part of some dumb viral marketing/hidden camera show and not want to get involved. It's kind of like people who cover themselves in scary tattoos.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:55 AM on May 2, 2010


"There's a brief ceremony. It's a bit like giving out chips over at the Better Late Than Never meeting, for Varying Lengths. The new U.H.I.D.s stand and receive the veil and don the veil and stand there and recite that the veil they've donned is a Type and a Symbol, and that they are choosing freely to be bound to wear it always—a day at a time—both in light and darkness, both in solitude and before others' gaze, and as with strangers so with familiar friends, even Daddies. That no mortal eye will see it withdrawn. That they hereby declare openly that they wish to hide from all sight. Unquote."
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 7:56 AM on May 2, 2010


I think people would more or less leave you alone

Part of "leaving me alone" is not staring at me.
posted by grumblebee at 8:01 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is interesting but scary. I feel like if I encountered someone in a head-to-toe face-covering suit, after ruling out that the person is up to no good, then to each his own, but sometimes it's not possible to do that, and up to that point I would feel a little nervous.

Late in the last millenium I was walking along Bloor Street in Toronto around 1:30 or 2:00 am. Just east of Spadina, I saw a figure approaching me: a man in a business suit and full-head gorilla mask. He was taking no notice of the few pedestrians who stopped and stared or of the occasional honks from passing cars.

I can think of at least three or four possible rationales for why someone would be out in a suit and a gorilla mask at 2:00 AM: each of them more disturbing than the last.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:16 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Call me a fuddy-duddy but when I saw that suit all I could think was "that looks hot" (hot as in too warm, not hot as in hawt)
posted by Bonzai at 8:26 AM on May 2, 2010


I thought the same thing, Bonzai. I totally get the appeal of a full-body hug, the security of it and all. It makes me think how much I love to get into a bed and be totally under the covers. It's a wonderful idea and a wonderful initial feeling. But after five minutes, I'm uncomfortable, and I have to throw the covers off (or at least stick my feet out) or I get too hot.
posted by grumblebee at 8:46 AM on May 2, 2010


Visible panty lines, or commando? *shudder*

Also, having seen my share of people wearing bike shorts, or tights-as-pants....I hope this doesn't become the new hotness in public spaces.
posted by availablelight at 8:53 AM on May 2, 2010


It sounds like some extreme introversion to me.

For some, perhaps, but not for all, as implied by a passage from this blog entry:
"Excuse me, what do you think of that girl over there" One guy asked as he pointed to this (I presume) girl with a wig made of long wispy white hair, a terribly loud purple dress and an under garment that looked like it was made of fish net covering her arms and hands.

"Well what she's wearing is a hell of a lot more normal than what we're wearing" I responded without even thinking. There was a general giggle from the other guy, Spot and Andy.

"Do you think she looks lonely?" the same guy asks.

"Nah, she's an attention seeker" I say. Spot and Andy agree.

"Really? What makes you say that" he asks.

We go into this mini convo about what would define loneliness as opposed to someone screaming out for help. Basically if someone is lonely, they wouldn't advertise this through their clothing, nor would they be marching around like their life depended on it.
I thought it was interesting to see the speculation in the main link as to why it's mostly men who're into Zentai: that women are "allowed" to wear tights, stockings, and leggings, even catsuits, so those who might be interested can get their fill from clothing society broadly approves of, whereas men who don't crossdress don't really have access to that, so it builds up and builds up until one day they explode and go buy a full-body stocking and puppy ears.

Especially if it tried reading biorhythms to have it mimic your mood

That would be ace, if rather getting into Culture drone territory.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:40 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've got a few zentai, some that cover the whole body, some that have removable hood and gloves, and some that are basically catsuits. I'm an aerialist and in a burlesque group that does a lot of sci-fi stuff, so they're great for performance. I actually wore one yesterday for a photo shoot on aerial apparatus.

They're really comfortable. And there's some fun to the anonymity.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 9:49 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is interesting but scary. I feel like if I encountered someone in a head-to-toe face-covering suit, after ruling out that the person is up to no good, then to each his own, but sometimes it's not possible to do that, and up to that point I would feel a little nervous.

This is pretty much my reaction. For me, it's the fact that the wearer can see my face and I can't see theirs. There's a power discrepancy there - they have it, I don't - and my natural instinct is to be pretty uncomfortable.
posted by Salieri at 10:10 AM on May 2, 2010


YKINMK, but YKIOK. =D

I thought these people's stories were cute.
posted by aliceinreality at 10:19 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where are all the fat older women wearing these? Yeah, didn't think so.
posted by The otter lady at 10:39 AM on May 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I convinced my girlfriend to let me buy one

What?
posted by zippy at 1:01 PM on May 2, 2010


Tights-as-pants has already become commonplace. The leap to tights-as-shirt and tights-as-hat is not a huge one.
posted by hermitosis at 1:56 PM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


*Looks from behind "Stars Who Smoke Weed" gallery*
"Mm. Well, there goes that band idea."
*Looks Back to gallery*
"Mary Jane likes Mary Jane...ironic, or perfect? "
"Morgan Freeman? Wow..."

posted by Minus215Cee at 2:39 PM on May 2, 2010


I'm wondering about the therapeutic implications for those with severe social phobia.

People with social phobia fear drawing attention to themselves, and wearing one of those things would definitely do that. I'm thinking it might appeal more to exhibitionists.


Introbitionists.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 3:24 PM on May 2, 2010


I like this idea and hope it becomes more mainstream. Yeah, it's attention-attracting now, but if there were enough of it, we might become more accepting of it and public anonymity as a whole. If I'm out in public and I want to buy a widget, here's some cash. I don't need to form a long-standing relationship with you where you just have to have all of my information. Purchase something at Best Buy sometime; even aside from the warranties, they want phone numbers and ZIP codes, and will opt for retinal tracking, Minority Report-style, just as soon as it becomes feasible. Bring on the burqas, baby!
posted by adipocere at 4:12 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are certain transactions you do come to be ashamed of. Like buying ice cream and a submarine sandwich at 2 AM 3 nights in a row at the all night c-store. Ah, college.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:40 PM on May 2, 2010


When I first saw this, I knew something bad would come of it.
posted by tommasz at 5:51 PM on May 2, 2010


grumblebee: As an extreme introvert, I would never go out in public dressed like that, because ... um ... it would make people look at me, which is the opposite of what I want. I want to be ignored. I want to be invisible. I don't want to "get attention, but without my imperfections." I want to avoid attention. If I was the best-looking guy in the world, I would not want people looking at me. I want to be left alone. I doubt dressing like that would lead to me being left alone.

This. I'm not terribly shy and I'll (reasonably) happily do public speaking at my job but I very deliberately dress to not draw attention to myself - anonymity does not equal introversion. Jesus, just look at Anonymous and any number of trolls.
posted by geek anachronism at 6:34 PM on May 2, 2010


watching your trousers! run!

Ahaa!

*removes trousers*
posted by pompomtom at 7:10 PM on May 2, 2010


This made me think of the Human Being, the mascot of the community college on NBC's (fairly funny) show, Community.
posted by JMOZ at 8:15 AM on May 3, 2010


I'm a girl, but I don't dress or cut my hair like one. It took me a while to realise that this was preventing people on the street from recognising me as female - I don't think the penny really dropped about how extensive this was until I went to America, where every shop assistant calls you 'Sir' or 'Ma'am' and thereby gives you a means of constantly tracking your apparent gender. People who interact with me at all don't tend to have a problem with perceiving my gender, partly because my voice is pretty feminine and partly because there's a duck-and-rabbit quality to these things, but when people look at me without concentrating, they quite often see a male person.

One thing I've realised is that I don't have that much of a problem with this, and in fact I quite like the feeling I get of being 'in disguise', holding something of myself back. I think partly it's connected to a social gracelessness I've always had which made me feel as if I were always producing something unseen to me, a meaning I couldn't read myself. One can welcome illegibility as a refuge from that, a way to separate those effusions of meaning from oneself, to say: I am not this. I can certainly imagine wanting that badly enough to wear a Zentai suit. If one gets 'attention' under those circumstances it's easy enough to separate it from oneself, to feel that it isn't you they're staring at, it's this thing which is exterior to you.

Sometimes I think that what will increasingly seem strange is the norm of physical exposure, which wasn't exactly developed with urban living in mind. Having our faces and hands uncovered isn't even hygienic, let alone sane in an environment you're sharing with millions upon millions of others.
posted by Acheman at 9:13 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where are all the fat older women wearing these? Yeah, didn't think so.

Pretty much only idealized body types are represented and promoted in most fetishism. It's kind of sad that there are only a few exceptions.
And zentai is certainly the last place I'd expect to find diversity of body types.
posted by Theta States at 9:41 AM on May 3, 2010


There was definitely at least one picture in there of a fat person in one of these suits, and lots of pretty average-looking shapes.
posted by hermitosis at 2:20 PM on May 3, 2010


Some of them are actually a bunch of raccoons and chipmunks standing on top of each other inside the suits.
posted by Artw at 2:29 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some of them are actually a bunch of raccoons and chipmunks standing on top of each other inside the suits.

Now you've done it. I suggest we get out of here quickly before they blow the whole place to smithereens ...
posted by krinklyfig at 2:57 PM on May 3, 2010


A few months ago a club in Amsterdam called Trouw organised a party named Ontrouw. The theme was "alien, strange, extreme disconnect" and both the initial secretive announcement and their promo video featured some Zentai as examples.
posted by LanTao at 8:05 PM on May 3, 2010


Reminds me a bit of Clarke and Baxter's “the light of other days”.
posted by Tobu at 1:44 PM on May 9, 2010


Thanks to this thread and ennui.bz for introducing me to Tales of Roy Orbison Wrapped in Cling-film. Apparently I have been missing a web legend!
posted by Faust Gray at 12:42 PM on May 25, 2010


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