Gapers sport neon body suits, 80’s attire, jeans, boot-tucked pants, ski blades, and of course, gaper gaps between their helmets and goggles. We love them for their humorous accident-prone behavior, and hate them for awkwardly cutting us off. However, most of us do not realize their seductive qualities.
- Allure of Color- Color psychology has captivated people for centuries. Ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, have practiced chromotherapy, using colors for healing. Different colors were said to treat different ales. Each color had a unique healing property; red stimulated the body and mind, while indigo alleviated skin problems. Though color therapy is still used today, most psychologists view it with skepticism. However, this does not discount the notion that colors dramatically affect mood. Artists and interior designers employ different color schemes to evoke different feelings. Gapers adorn themselves in all colors of the color spectrum, frequently expressed in a single outfit. This multi-color display is sure to captivate our attention, exciting our emotions and bewitching our senses.
- Confidence- James Dean confidently struts past the ladies. His leather jacket, smug smirk, and cool disposition leave them all swooning. Confidence is sexy. Most new skiers lack confidence. They wear neutral colors in a careful attempt at blending in. Gapers do not. They demand attention in their loud attire and boisterous behavior. Social psychologists have suggested standing in the center of a room or bar to stand out and express your self-assuredness. Gapers are frequently found in the center of the slopes, partially because they do not know where to be, and partially because this tendency is a natural gaper quality. What they lack in skill they make up for in bold audacity.
- Relative Ability- Humans have a natural tendency to compare our abilities to one another. Since gapers are not as experienced, they make decent skiers feel really good about themselves. Compliments are powerful. We love to be complimented, and we love those who compliment us. Gapers compliment us by failing to mount chairlifts and by running into poles. Gaper fails fill us with self- satisfaction. We happily applaud from chairlifts as we watch gapers tumbling below. We would give standing ovations if not for our resulting deaths.
So next time you see gapers, restrain from judging. You might not know it, but subconsciously, you want them.
Photo credit to Mitch Bechtold and Mika Nakamura for featured image and Nic Saben for skier in neon green.