As I watched the women’s US Open tennis final last night (Serena Williams beat Victoria Azarenka in a nail-biting 3-setter), I was absolutely disgusted by the comments made by my boyfriend, family and Twitter friends about how “manly” and “unattractive” Serena Williams is. I was so angry at one point I had to leave the room. Here are some of the atrocities uttered:
“No woman should be that manly, it’s just not right.”
“Hey thunder thighs.”
“Serena looks awful on a widescreen, I wouldn’t play if I were her because I’d hate watching myself back afterwards.”
“She has bigger guns than me! That’s disgusting!”
“She should be made to enter the men’s draw.”
“It’s like watching a playground bully of a man pick on a sweet little schoolgirl.”
And so on and so forth. Firstly, I won’t even get into the fact that so many of these came from my mother that it’s little fucking wonder I’ve struggled with so many body confidences issues. And secondly, WHO GIVES A FUCK IF SHE’S MUSCULAR! She’s incredibly talented and powerful and is one of the greatest female tennis player in history.
Should be not be celebrating the fact she’s not just another tall blonde Russian stick insect? The fact that she’s an unbelievable sports woman, absolutely stunning, fit as a fiddle, top of her game at 31, passionate and gracious in defeat? Instead of shunning her, should we not be pinning her up as the kind of role model young women should aspire to be like, instead of a certain British cocaine-snorting supermodel who fueled so many eating disorders with the phrase “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”? Seriously, what kind of fucking life motto is that anyway?!
And from a feminist point of view, do you ever hear men judged on their appearance while playing sport? The same sport, in fact? “Roger Federer’s legs are a bit skinny” said no-one, ever. So why the hell is that? And how do we go about changing the attitude of a whole population that is intent on picking fault with every female sporting icon there is? Sharapova grunts too much, Paula Radcliffe is too skinny and miserable, women shouldn’t have six-packs like Jessica Ennis. You get the picture.
The worst part is that it’s us that’s doing it! The women of the world. Is it driven by jealously? Or an attempt to justify yourselves for being too lazy to work out? Or because you feel threatened by successful women? Or genuinely believe there’s nothing more to life than how you look? Either way, it has to stop. I beg you, reader, start a revolution and stop body-shaming such fucking incredible women and start celebrating them for the heroes they are.
Stop wasting your energy on insults and hatred and start encouraging the same kind of self-love and body positivity that you’d want for your own daughter.
I couldn’t agree more. A-fucking-MEN