Serena Williams has had a smashing career spanning two decades so far. We’re in awe of her in athletic prowess and the fact that she has had to face different challenges through her journey to the top. She’s faced a lot of racism since the beginning, but the recent incident at this year’s French Open was something else.
Serena wore a black, fitted bodysuit for its functional value. When she participated in the French Open this year, it was nine months after giving birth to her daughter, Olympia. Imagine that! “I’ve had a lot of problems with my blood clots. God, I don’t know how many I’ve had in the past 12 months,” she mentioned at the news conference in May. She even had an extremely problematic pregnancy and had to deal with a pulmonary embolism as well as a haematoma, for which she had to undergo surgery even. This bodysuit helped precisely to avoid these kinds of clots and made her feel like a self-confessed “warrior princess”. However, this was not received well by the French Tennis Federation and they eventually banned this catsuit and imposed a dress code and rules.
Singling out Williams’ bodysuit, Bernard Giudicelli, the President of the French Tennis Federation mentioned that they will now be introducing a dress code after this incident. In an interview in the 500th edition of Tennis magazine, he said, “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far,” Giudicelli said while referring to the suit. “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place” he continued. And while he said it wouldn’t be as stringent as Wimbledon, they would be imposing certain limits.
We can’t figure out the logic behind banning a body suit that has purely functional and health value, and allowing tennis skirts, for instance? Twitter users also tended to agree, speaking out against what they felt was a senseless ban.
Anne White wore a catsuit in 1985.
Serena Williams is not allowed to wear one in 2019. pic.twitter.com/maSMckXo26
— Simon Hedlin (@simonhedlin) August 25, 2018
The policing of women’s bodies must end. The “respect” that’s needed is for the exceptional talent @serenawilliams brings to the game. Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies. https://t.co/ioyP9VTCxM
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) August 25, 2018
— Nike (@Nike) August 25, 2018
Thankfully, Serena responded to this incident at the pre-US Open press conference on the weekend. According to ESPN, she said
I don’t know exactly what he seemed to say…but we already talked…we have a great relationship. We talked yesterday, so, everything’s fine guys. When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender! It’ll be a while before this even has to come up again.
That, and victory!
We love how Serena tackles an extremely harsh criticism by winning. More power to her!
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