In case you’d forgotten, I’m here to remind you that Serena Williams is queen.
This week, Serena found herself in the middle of not one, but two major stories surrounding her fashion choices.
Remember the black catsuit she wore to this year’s French Open? The president of the French Tennis Association does.
After Serena rocked this Black Panther-inspired look on the clay at the French Open, president Bernard Giudicelli announced that in future tournaments, catsuits would no longer be considered acceptable sportswear.
In Williams’ case, the offending catsuit was worn as a medical preventative measure. Serena has a history of developing dangerous blood clots, which created life-threatening complications during and following the birth of her daughter (who turns one on Saturday). The form-fitting Nike catsuit was chosen to reduce the risk of clotting.
However, that doesn’t matter to Giudicelli.
“One must respect the game and the place,” said the French tennis boss.
Tennis fans everywhere were immediately enraged by what many perceived to be a racist and sexist policy.
Having had multiple pulmonary embolisms, Serena Williams is not allowed to use a specially designed black catsuit that helps prevents blood clots from developing in the legs. Because the French Open doesn’t like how it looks. That’s racist, sexist, and dangerous.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 24, 2018
The idea that Serena Williams’ catsuit signals she doesn’t respect the game of tennis is ridiculous for a number reasons, but especially because her catsuit wasn’t unprecedented. Anne White wore a catsuit back in 1985 at Wimbledon. pic.twitter.com/ekAzc9k1De
— Nadra Nittle (@NadraKareem) August 24, 2018
Nike’s message to the French Open, who banned Serena Williams from wearing her medically designed catsuit to help prevent blood clots…all because the tournament chief didn’t like it. https://t.co/eHg3VliaJC
— Vanessa Rumbles (@VanessaRumbles)
Even tennis legend Billie Jean King weighed in.
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
How did Serena handle it?
First, she cracked a joke about the issue in a press conference.
— ESPN (@espn) August 25, 2018
Then, she won her first match at the U.S. Open in a one-shouldered black tutu, because Serena does what she wants.
— Loni Love (@LoniLove) August 28, 2018
The tutu was custom created by Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh, and Serena supplemented her look with a pair of white Nike sneakers and fishnet compression tights.
Media credit: Sporting News, Twitter, Harper’s Bazaar