6 Wimbledon championships and 21 grand-slam titles. Yet, why is it that the Williams’ name always comes with a connotation of body-shaming? As one of the fittest females in the world (and hell, has she proved it!) Serena Williams most recent Wimbledon win has sparked up questions of steroid use and ‘what is too masculine’ when it comes to female athletes.
The sad fact of the matter is that women of colour, especially in the sports field, are still being ostracized and denied opportunity because of a perception that they do not fit in with the dominant beauty ideal.
This hot topic is being tackled head on in Advantageous, a science-fiction film currently on Netflix. The movie focuses on age, the constant pursuit of women to look younger and what it means to be beautiful. Teen girls of all races are under the most pressure of this forced ideal, as explored in book The Body Project, where Joan Jacobs Brumberg shows how adolescent girls’ bodies have become ‘projects’.
That is why Williams’ recent New York Times magazine cover is so important. They portray Serena as a multi-faceted human being, a female who unapologetically conquers multiple fields from sport to fashion to business.