EXTREME FASHION – Zentai Movement

“I have led my life always worrying about what other people think of me. They say I look cute, gentle, childish or naive”.

“I always felt suffocated by that. But wearing this, I am just a person in a full body suit”.

Hokkyoku Nigo is one of the members of  a Japanese group of people with a fetish for wearing outfits called “zentai”. The term zentai is an abbreviation of “zenshintaitsu”, which means “full body suit”, the name for skin-tight garments that cover the entire body. Zentai is most commonly made using nylon/spandexblends.

Marcy Anarchy is a photographer that in late 1985 refuses to show his face, that was the moment where zentai movement started. “Since one hides its face in Zentai, we can say that wearing them is an irresponsible act. No one knows who is under it. When one shows his face, he must take on, wheras in Zentai, identity and personality are erased. Thus, a part of responsibility is gone and one is more free.” Claims the master of Zentai. Once you are in one of these suits, you can feel the person, instead of looking at them. Zentai, for people that become part of this movement, is a different way of expressing their own identity. This usually happens because many people feel lost. In modern society they have too many role models and they cannot choose which one to follow.

Wearing Zentai makes you anonymous, untouchable and questioned. People can not see what’s under the suit and this often creates empathy and curiosity to know what the people looks like under that suit. No matter where you are, you will be the focus of attention. A Zentai wearer will also be mentally protected: by putting zentai suit on, shy people feels like wearing another shell. Zentai is related with fashion a lot, many designers used it into their works. In special effects movie parts, full body suits are used by animators: the original colors offered allowed the person wearing the chroma key suit to be lifted easily from a video image.

Other applications have included music videos (Black Eyed Peas’ song “Boom Boom Pow”, including the live performance at theSuper Bowl), breast cancer awareness, fashion modeling on an episode of America’s Next Top Model, social anxiety workshops, and social experiments.


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