There are many technical and artistic reasons to love Kim Yu-na’s Bond girl routine from last night. But here is mine. With figure skating, you are supposed to pretend that these mostly teenage girls are wholesome innocents and not notice that they are all tarted up, as I argued in my defense of Lindsey Vonn’s swimsuit shoot . Mao Asada, for example, was dressed like she stepped out of a pioneer bordello, in cheap red frill-or in what on Halloween would be labeled a girls' saloon outfit, size small. Kim, on the other hand, looked and dressed like a woman, in a black-and-silver Klimt-inspired outfit. As she flirted and vamped and then kissed the air gun and blew a Bond girl kiss, Kim was finally owning the campy sexuality that is the true-but curiously unacknowledged aesthetic of what they call "ladies' " figure skating. Professional ice skaters should grow up to be Bond girls, not Disney princesses.
Kim seems to come by her maturity honestly. Her brief biopic last night focused on what a huge celebrity she is in South Korea. Commercials cash in on her wholesome image (milk, household appliances). But then on the streets, she is so mobbed and stalked that she has to hire bodyguards. She finally left to train in Canada. Kim has learned the hard way the gap between image and reality, and the sophistication shows in her routine.