While Billie Eilish’s concert last Friday (August 18) has taken local news agencies by storm, with some ticket holders lamenting poor planning on the organisers’ part, one minute detail that has seemed to go unnoticed amidst the buzz is the cactus-like black tape worn across the pop sensation’s shins.
Perhaps some sporty Malaysians already knew its purpose, but for those like me who assumed the tape was simply another one of Billie’s unique fashion statements, this one’s for you.
It’s actually Kinesiology tape
Kinesiology tape, or K-tape as it’s commonly known, earned its name seeing as it serves to help with muscle activity. It’s a slender, flexible tape created to alleviate pain, minimise inflammation and swelling as well as support the muscles and joints. K-tape was primarily designed to boost athletic performance.
Typically made from a proprietary blend of cotton and nylon, it’s manufactured to imitate the skin’s natural elasticity so you can move freely. The medical-grade sealant on the tape is thus water-resistant and sturdy enough to remain on for three to five days, even while you exercise or shower.
K-Tape can also be employed to treat a variety of common muscle and joint injuries, such as sprains, muscle strains, subluxations, and tendonitis.
So what does this have to do with Billie?
If you witnessed the concert, whether in person or via the numerous viral TikTok clips, then you’re probably familiar with Ms. Eilish’s tendency to jump around and stomp onstage while she performs her hit songs.
@atfsporttaping Since billie banyk melompat ketika concert dan ada old injury, kinesio tape mmg membantu die utk perform! ☺️ #kinesiotape #atfsporttaping #rigidtape #sukanmalaysia #sukan #billieeilish ♬ bad guy – Billie Eilish
Watch here if the video doesn’t load.
As explained in the clip above, the tape is not only used as a form of post-injurious therapy, but possesses preventive properties as well. Apart from providing additional compression and improving the blood flow of the wearer, it also helps stabilise the muscles in the shin, ultimately averting over-exertion.
It’s not only for your shins
Since K-tape is essentially just a muscle aid, it can be worn pretty much anywhere, but is most commonly used across the abs, shoulders, forearms, wrists, and neck. So if you’re one of those people who enjoy full-body workouts but your muscles won’t co-operate, this could potentially be a game-changer.
Can you wear it, too?
Healthline suggests that individuals back on the playing field after an injury are most in need of the extra support, but if you’re just gearing up for a strenuous activity, or just want to ‘twin’ with Billie in hopes of looking as cool as she does, you can go ahead and get your K-tape on.
Nevertheless, just like every other muscle aid out there, the tape is not without its risks. Always consult a medical professional beforehand.
Read here for more info on the do’s and don’t’s of K-tape.