To escape social pressure in Japan, people don full body lycra suits called “Zentai.”
Living in New York City, I know a thing or two about social pressure, so when I heard about Zentai, or Japanese full body lycra suits, my interest was piqued. As a way to de-stress and escape daily tensions, people in Japan are joining the Zentai community, covering themselves from head to toe in lycra, and meeting up in public to interact as strange versions of themselves.
The idea is that it helps people loosen up, because especially in Japan (a country that values conformity), people are under a lot of pressure and stress, and don’t always feel like they can be themselves. The anonymity makes people feel more comfortable, and gets them out of their comfort zone. There is also heated open debate over the level of acceptability of this public activity, because officials and more conservative community members fear it may lead to acts of public sexuality.
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Say what you will about these real-life Power Rangers, but I think there is definitely something to this trend. That something may be gymnastics, but that’s not the point. There are over 3,000 Zentai people in Tokyo alone, so its probably only a matter of time before we see them popping up on the streets of NYC.
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