Thursday, August 20, 2009

Swedes Wear Tights. I Don’t.

I’ve been going to the gym for a few months now. While I won’t be taking advantage of the parenting benefits offered when working in Sweden, I do take advantage of the gym card I get for being a full time employee. It allows me to tone my obviously chiseled physique. Or something like that.

The gym is always an interesting place to be. I worked as a janitor at a gym back in high school. I was a Master of the Custodial Arts for three years. I know gyms. I know how nasty the showers are and how well they are cleaned. This is why I do not shower in the locker room. I go home to do that.

I also know that old men like to be naked. And Swedish old men are no exception. The difference is that since I no longer work at a gym I can leave the locker room whenever I want. As a Master of the Custodial Arts in high school though, I found myself cleaning locker rooms a lot. While old men were in various stages of undress. And when I say various stages I mean the stage where they are sitting bare ass on a bench with only a shirt on. After which they put socks on. Followed by sauntering over to the counter and mirrored area in order to throw their leg up on the counter to lotion up. No one likes scaly legs. With their moisturization needs taken care of, pants are finally put on. I think I’ve written about this before. Clearly, it has scarred me for life.

But I digress. Enough about old naked Swedish men.

I’d rather discuss inappropriately dressed Swedish people. I appreciate people working out. Making an effort. Losing weight. Getting in shape. Toning. Whatever the hell you want to call it. Well done.

However, I do not appreciate tights. We’re indoors. It’s not cold. It’s not raining. It’s not windy. You’re sure as hell not trying to shave a tenth of a second off of your 100 meter time. The bulging gut would suggest you won’t be challenging Usain Bolt anytime soon. There is no reason for the tights.

I know Nike has some of the best marketing campaigns the world has ever seen. Just do it. I know. But just because world class athletes who have spent the majority of their life training look good in tights, doesn’t mean you will. In fact, you don’t. Hell, despite my aforementioned chiseled physique, I don’t. I know this for a fact. I once dressed up as Mr. Incredible for Halloween and wore red tights. It is not an attractive look.

If anything you are making me less likely to return to the gym. Unless this is some sort of reverse psychological marketing campaign. Maybe SATS is paying you to wear tights to make me want to work out so I don’t have a gut. Whatever it is though, they aren’t paying you enough. Put on a pair of shorts. Camel toe. Moose knuckle. I don’t want to see it.

Welcome to Sweden. And tights.

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  1. Yikes! Hopefully they only wear tight at the gym...Does a real man wear tights? Um, no.

  2. Well... the girls wear tights everywhere. So far the men I have seen have kept the tights in the gym.

  3. looking at the body of a naked old man no way ! it's just disgusting as roach. don't they know that? camel toe well i guess i could bend my rule but moose knuckle holy get me out of here.

  4. I have never seen a men in tights at the gym..? It is because im living in the north of Sweden? ;)

  5. I've never seen men in tights at the gym either. Maybe it's a Stockholm thing?

    But never mind that. I'm confused. Or maybe just naturally inclined towards distrust of marketing people. Is this a ploy to market tights to the general population? Because the absolutely best time to work out at the gym is when there's few people around. You're basically telling us that all that is required to make the best time = all day long - is to get a pair of tights?

  6. Haha, yeah. Stockholm..(..).

  7. Tights are sexy. What's wrong with you? Running in baggy clothes is anathema. I'd run naked if I could get away with it, but tights will do. Of course, I don't want to see men in tights. Ever. And I wouldn't really run naked. I'd wear a sports bra.

  8. Men in tights is SO not a Stockholm thing, but perhaps a SATS thing? It's a pretentious gym, so why not?

    And I agree with E - doing anything physical in baggy clothes, Working out in tights is so much more comfortable. You should try it sometime ;)

  9. This is, typical Hairy Swede and obviously funny. I'm curious as to the extent of your tight wearing phobia/disdain. What about the new fashion craze sweeping the nation? Baggy shirts/t-shirts and tights, primarily on Swedish women. It's a uniform. This post is so timely because I was planning to write on the Swedish Woman's Uniform today: Tights of any colour, from black to fushia to tiger-striped paired with oversized shirt and accessorized with a cinch belt at the waist. Oh and strappy, Romanesque-inspired sandals. Now i really have to write about this. I was actually driving back from dagis this morning and started thinking to myself, "Where can I get a pair of tights?" I was converting. And now, I'm not so sure. Back on point: So are you anti-tight on the streets as much as in the gym? Obviously noone wants MEN IN TIGHTS, unless they're performing a ballet.

  10. Hey, completely unrelated.. here's something I thought you might want to read:

  11. Hahahahahahahahaha. Love it.

    Look around you in the subway though. They may not be lycra (just yet), but men's pants are TIGHT! It is no wonder that they work out in tights. It's the closest to their everyday clothing they can get while still being able to move.

    Besides, sweatpants (mjukabyxor) would never fly on any self respecting, stylish(?) tight pants wearing Swedish male.

  12. I live in Stockholm. I wonder which gym Hairy visits to see men in tights...

  13. Ok, now I'm just picturing a bunch of World's Strongest Man competitors dancing around singing "We're men, we're men in tight [tight] tights. We roam around the forest looking for fights." (From Robin Hood: Men in Tights)

    Sorry if that image is in your head now ;-)

  14. Swedish guys and their tights. I discussed this with a bunch of 15 year olds. (Before you ask I was visiting a high school near Kristianstad with a friend who taught) All pretty and nice girls. None seemed to notice about all the guys wearing tight pants and dressing like H&M models. It always irked me. It's as if Swedish guys put it out there as an easier way to approach a woman and lead to sex. Kanske

  15. Oh by the way hairySwede, I'm the guy from your blog about the mean woman on the train. I'm Kevin Johnson and I guess I will have to reply more cause your stories are so vivid and amazing and we must share a brain cause most of what you wrote I honestly thought about. Sadly I couldnt attend Stockholm Pride this year but last year I went with my gf and best friend Jimmy and we had a hoot. Taking a ton of pics and it was really cool. I wish Louisiana had that kinda open support.

    But anyway I must go. Dude if you're ever on Facebook, look me up. I'm

  16. I've heard that wearing tight trousers will reduce the amount of little-Hairies in sperm. Thus maybe Swedes don't actually need a condom? Instead, giant-Hairies will go and get them, living in hope, LOL!

  17. Hej! I'm in Sweden now! Loving it... and I might join a gym. Maybe. Although I may not with all the walking I have been doing!

  18. @Michael – agreed.

    @Lina – it might very well be. They dominate at the gym I go to.

    @Jacob – I hope so. Kind of at least. Either way, I don’t like it.

    As a general rule it is important to never trust marketing people. I think clearly though the conspiracy is that by putting fat people in tights at the gym during the busy times will inspire all of those around them to work harder so that they are not fat themselves.

    @anonymous – its not easy…

    @E – trust me… you would not think what I have been seeing sexy.

    @terander – the closest I get to tights are sliding shorts to keep my junk in place. Otherwise I just don’t need to be showing off the glory that is my body in tights.

    @SwedishJenn – Im anti tights on all men. Unless there is some sort of athletic event that they are standard issue. Track. Football. The average man should not have tights. In terms of women… I am less anti than I was when I first moved here. But I still think that it can look pretty ridiculous. Especially the uniform, because it is just that. A uniform.

    @rinalyn – Ive been keeping track of that a little bit. Its just too ridiculous really.

    @Shawna – yeah, my bright orange sweatpants seem to turn some heads when I go out in public in them. Silly Swedes, don’t they realize that sweats are just so much more comfortable than tights.

    @anonymous – SATS. You have been warned.

    @Shawna – I was trying to figure out how to work that into my post but I just couldn’t do it without forcing it. I’m so very glad that someone else was picturing the same thing.

    @Kevin – It really has become such an everyday occurrence that I don’t think anyway notices the tightness anymore. Unfortunately I do.

    @Smek – my old man thought this was so hilarious that he actually read it to me before I saw it. Well done Smek. Well done.

    @Jessy – glad you made it! The walking and bike riding while I was an exchange student did good work. No need for a gym especially since I was a bit out from all of the nations.

  19. LMAO, this was a wickedly funny post. What a visual! - naked old Swedish men with bare asses on gym benches. You've put a smile on my face :)

  20. Im glad you can smile. I think Ive seen too many, now I just grimace at the thought.

  21. Hairy, I can understand if you think tights don't look good (especially on some men), even though I don't agree with you that it doesn't look good on anyone, but the reason we Swedes love the tights is because they are so darn comfortable. They're soft, stretchy (in a good way), and not too warm. Having said that, I slightly prefer mjukisbyxor, but only because of the fact that less people look fat in loose fitting pants, than in tights (including me :P). Still comfy as hell though.

  22. I also love mjukisbyxor. So much. Especially my bright orange ones.