Beatle daughter Stella McCartney (center) is a rather well-regarded clothing designer in the UK, from what I hear. So with the Olympics in London this summer, McCartney was given the task of designing the official uniforms of the British Olympians. Sounds like a dream job, right? Not exactly!
The kits were unveiled today in a lavish ceremony, and the feedback has been less than stellar for Stella. Part of her strategy was to incorporate the red, white, and blue colors of the Union Jack— the flag of Great Britain—into the uniform design, but she hardly included any red, which has many Britons fuming.
In addition, some research shows that the color red may give athletes a competitive advantage, prompting some experts to call out the glaring missed opportunity. Victor Thompson, a clinical sports psychologist in the UK, explained it to the Guardian:
"I think that the GB Olympic designers may have missed an opportunity here to include more red in the design. This may have helped give the GB wearers a boost psychologically that would be reflected in physical performance – for instance, if the red increased confidence, [positive] aggression and sense that they are dominant, then they are likely to perform closer to their peak performance potential.
"In addition, there may be negative effects on opponents, facing our athletes wearing significant amounts of red, where they assume a less confident and more submissive position in the sporting contests. While these effects are likely to be small, when it comes to the Olympics, the margins between gold and silver, medal and non-medal, are small.
"Outside the Olympics, Tiger Woods for years has worn red on the last day of his tournaments, and we all know how dominant he was. Was this something he learned from research, from observation or from his own experience?"
The British now have 126 days to get over these aesthetic annoyances.