Serena Williams is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Her legendary Wimbledon performance actually made history. Her win over Angelique Kerber gave Williams the record-tying title of winning 22 Grand Slams. However, fans and onlookers alike still body shamed the winning legend. Why?
The answer is simple: because she is a woman. The field of sports can be extremely sexist at times. There is absolutely no way to go about saying that differently. The wins, the games, and the outfits that women have to play in are viewed completely differently from their male counterparts. It is simply unfair, and Serena William’s win shouldn’t be looked at as just a “female” win. Another reason people body shamed the tennis champ is that her Nike outfit was revealing in the front. Twitter users claimed that the dress itself was too tight and that it was “distracting” viewers from accurately watching the game. But, we wonder, would they say the same thing about men? No one ever claims that Roger Federer’s shorts are too distracting or that Michael Phelp’s speedo is way too tight to watch the Olympics. This sexist fixation on the way that Serena Williams is dressed isn’t just offensive to her as a woman, but also extremely offensive to her as a champion player. Her win was legendary. However, the hateful tweets and the focus on her outfit diminishes the fact that this woman just made sports history. People who focus on her body are shaming her merely because they want to take away from her win. Tennis is also one of the most strenuous sports out there, so yeah, players are gonna sweat. Her outfit became see-through because of the grueling and intense game that she was playing, not because of problems with her body. It is rude, sexist, and wrong to say that her outfit was too tight or distracting. Sweat makes clothes clingy. Get over it, guys. And it wasn’t just onlookers that expressed displeasure with Williams, even after her history-making match. British tennis player and Wimbledon champ Andy Murray refused to participate in the traditional winners dance with Williams later. He was quoted as saying “The next winners can try it again but no dance for me tonight unless I’ve had a few glasses of champagne. And then it’s possible.” The insinuation was that in order to dance with Serena Williams, he would have had to be drunk. Pig!
Serena Williams is one of the great legends of tennis, but the world seems to be against her. This win should have been widely celebrated, however, her body and her “revealing” outfit were the main topics of conversation. We, as sports fans, need to accept that a woman’s talent is not created by her outfit or her gender, but by her own strength. Congrats, Serena! You deserve it!