Zentai (from the Japanese ゼンタイ) is a term for skin-tight garments that cover the entire body. The word is a portmanteau of zenshin taitsu (全身タイツ) ("full-body tights"). Zentai is most commonly made using nylon/spandex blends, but other materials such as cotton and wool are used as well.
There are several variations based on the Zentai suit including mummy bag (similar to a sleepsack) and hybrid suits consisting of either a single leg and arms, or separate legs and no arms.
Mainstream use 
Some companies have tried to create mainstream brands of the suits, by dropping the traditional name; in particular, examples include RootSuit or Superfan Suit in the United States and Bodysocks or Second Skins by Smiffy's and Morphsuits in the United Kingdom and Jyhmiskin in Finland. The latter brand, in particular, has achieved relative commercial success internationally. Between January and late-October 2010, the company shipped 10,000 alone to Canada. Morphsuits brand has actively tried to disassociate themselves from the existing zentai community, occasionally being listed as the product's co-inventor. Superfan Suits acknowledges that the outfits have existed previously in interviews. Their term has become somewhat generic in the process; one New Zealand-based newspaper refers to competing brand, Jaskins, as a "one of the main online morphsuit brands." Jaskins company founder Josh Gaskin says their origins are unclear, pegging the first usage with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
This mainstream push has made them relatively common apparel at major sporting events, and created internationally recognized personalities out of The Green Men, two fans of the Vancouver Canucks NHL team. Some sports leagues, such as Major League Baseball, ban the use of the costume hoods. Various professional street dance/hip hop dance groups use the outfits, such as The Body Poets in the United States, and Remix Monkeys in the United Kingdom.
Other applications of the bodysuits have included music videos (Black Eyed Peas' song "Boom Boom Pow", including the live performance at the Super Bowl), breast cancer awareness, fashion modeling on an episode of America's Next Top Model, social anxiety workshops, a participant in public art project "One & Other", and social experiments. A British theme park offered free admission for those in zentai in the colours of their park logo.
See also 
- Crawford, Ashley (2 August 2008). "Private worlds". The Australian. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
- "Weblio". Weblio. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- Misstear, Rachael (2012-04-20). "Teenager's colourful bodysock business booms just one year after he left school - Wales News - News". WalesOnline. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "GB Olympic Rowing Team Get a Morale Boost from Smiffy's Fancy Dress Company Second Skin Union Jack Costumes". PRWEB UK. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- Bascaramurty, Dakshana (28 October 2010). "Zentai suits – not just fetish wear any more". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- D'Alfonso, Daniel (23 January 2011). "Flagging some patriotic fashion". Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne City MC AU). Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- Dluzen, Robin (25 July 2011). "SuperFanSuits.com: The Lucrative Business of Full Body Spandex". TINC Magazine (Chicago IL). Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- "Second skin, secret life". Taranaki Daily News (New Plymouth NZ). 21 September 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- Jory, Derek (11 January 2010). "Force & Sully". Vancouver Canucks and the National Hockey League. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- Rayner, Ben (20 May 2011). "Blue Jays see red over green men". The Toronto Star (Toronto ON). Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- Kristen Perez, editor (10 October 2010). The Body Poets- Demo Reel 2010 (streaming video). Event occurs at 2:15. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- "Remix Monkeys". Remix Monkeys. United Kingdom: Facebook. 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- "1 in 8 Pink Ladies on WCNC". YouTube. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "Pink Ladies Take to Charlotte Streets with Breast Cancer Detection Message". Prweb.com. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "Green people". The Fun Revolution. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- Rawlinson, Kevin (14 October 2009). "The good, the bad and the naked of London's Plinth". The Independent (London UK). Retrieved 28 September 2011. "From the man in the skin-tight yellow Morph suit to the existential humanitarian who did absolutely nothing, 2,400 people have now climbed the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square to take part in Antony Gormley's artwork."
- "Ani's Adventures". Aniadventure.livejournal.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "NGM Blog Central - A Halloween Zebra Migrates to Washington, D.C. - National Geographic Magazine - NGM.com". Blogs.ngm.com. 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Morphsuit madness at Drayton Manor". Sunday Mercury (Birmingham UK). 7 May 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
Further reading 
- "Vice Versus – Zentai" video; wearer explains the lifestyle
- Will Doig, "Men Who Love Lycra", The Daily Beast, 3 March 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Zentai|
- The Zentai Project Site dedicated to people wearing zentai in public