It was never about the catsuit

By Trinity Velazquez.

In a 1985 Wimbledon tournament, tennis star Anne White defied tradition by wearing an all-white bodysuit instead of a tennis skirt. She was told that she couldn’t wear her all white body suit because it went against the rules. Sound familiar?

The black catsuit that was banned in the 2018 French Open only helped Serena Williams with blood flow. The suit didn’t make her stronger or faster or a better player. The idea that Williams disrespected the sport of tennis by wearing the bodysuit outraged fans because the tennis star explained that she wore the ensemble both with her health in mind and to inspire new mothers.

I believe that no one has endured as much sexism and racism in the tennis realm as Serena has. She’s been called unattractive for being muscular, made fun of for wearing beads in their hair and has been called disrespectful names on and off the court—all while breaking records, stereotypes and limits that have been thrown her way.

With everything she’s been through, she continues to dominate the court even in a tutu. She proves that if something is taken away from a woman, she will find a way around and be better than before. Whatever life throws at us, we catch it and throw it back twice as hard.

It’s not about the catsuit; it’s about how people thought Serena wouldn’t be able to play well anymore. It’s about how everyone doubted her, just like women are doubted everywhere.

We can all learn from Williams’ solution. She wore the tutu to say that no one respects the game more than her. She refuses to let this ridiculous ban cause her to back down or to live in fear.

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