Not Your Average Tennis Skirt: Venus Williams Criticized For Revealing French Open Outfit

Tennis superstar catches slack for inappropriate attire

By: Taren Vaughan

The Williams’ Sisters have always had their own style that set them apart from other professional tennis players. It is normally their hairstyles that draw the most attention from spectators. But one of the sisters has recently caused a huge stir with her “outlandish” outfit. At the 2010 French Open, Venus Williams shocked the world with her revealing outfit. The black and red lace dress was not a huge hit as many chastised the tennis star for not leaving much to the imagination.

So was it the lace material of the outfit that has everyone so upset? Because if you take away the lace and replace it with cotton or spandex, it would be quite similar to what she would normally wear on the court. Or was it the nude colored underwear that she was rocking underneath? Either way, a boat load of attention was directed to Ms. Williams’ clothing rather than how she performed in the actual tennis match itself. I thought we cared more about an athlete’s performance versus what they have on? I guess I was terribly wrong.

Now if I recall, female athletes are supposed to be sexy and feminine during play? Aren’t they required to show a little skin? According to the laws of the male chauvinists, women are supposed to keep their feminine appeal no matter what sport they are playing. It’s funny how Venus Williams caught so much slack for her outfit when female beach volleyball players have bikinis as their standard attire. With all the jumping around that they do, a wardrobe malfunction is bound to happen at some point.

As female athletes, it’s not enough for them to just play the sports that they love. They have to look a certain way while they are performing them. They have to look appealing to their viewers, especially the ones who have the most clout, which are usually men. If they look too manly, they face criticism. If they are too sexy and are revealing excessive amounts of skin, somebody has something to say about it. I mean what do they want from them? It’s just a no win situation for female athletes. No matter what they look like or how they dress, there will be someone who doesn’t agree with it.

Venus Williams’ outfit selection may not have been deemed tasteful by many people. But the fact is that she has the right to wear what she wants to. The only way she should be confined to a particular style of dress is if it would directly affect her endorsement deals or if it is in violation of the rules and dress code of the WTA. Some of you may not agree with what I am saying but freedom of speech and expression applies to all of us whether you are an athlete or not.

1 comment

  1. I agree with you Taren, female athletes walk a fine line when it comes to how they dress. What you must also remember is the Williams sisters face additional scrutiny because of their race. I found the outfit unappealing on a fashion level not so much because it revealed too much. It just was not cute. Keep up with the great work. This magazine is wonderful. Love Mom!!!!

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