In what way is Serena Williams' "catsuit" disprespectful of the game?

French Open officials initiate dress code (unspecified in article) that would ban Serena Williams’ catsuit.

Well lah-di-dah. In what way is this outfit disrespectful? Would it be acceptable if it were white? How is covering one’s calves and forearms a detriment to the game or disrespectful of the place?

Williams is still one of the top players, and is a draw for audiences. The article is very skimpy on details, but this smacks of old-world elitism. If I were her, I would be very tempted to tell them to go impregnate themselves and participate in a less prestigious competing tournament, if there is one at the same time, instead of this one. Let those French officials understand how the world has changed.

I don’t see it as disrespectful. I wouldn’t call it a catsuit either. It looks like compression wear. Isn’t that stuff big with a lot of athletes? They are nit-picking, IMO.

She’s having a lot of blood clot issues so the suit is to help with that. Plus, there is nothing wrong with the suit.

I don’t understand what the problem is.

A sport that has thrived of the sexual objectification of many of it’s stars is now complaining about a bodysuit?

Dear me, where’s the fainting couch? I feel my vapors rising!

She should just get in line and wear one of those tiny skirts that barely covers the butt. Or maybe compromise and stop grunting.

That’s bad, but this is perfectly fine. Sure, Giudy.

Ya know, if they’d instituted some rules, maybe about color, after a couple of Stan Wawrinka’s matches, I could have seen it. But Serena’s outfit? Seemed fine to me. I mean, it’s not something I would wear to play tennis in because let’s face it, I need pockets because I don’t have ball people tossing me balls when my first serve doesn’t go in.

It burns me that he called out Serena (and god knows, she’s worn worse outfits herself) and then failed to specify what exactly the new rules are going to be.

They are nitpicking, and they are calling out a three-time champion of their event who is widely respected as one of the greatest players of all time.

I am not that much of a wholehearted Serena fan even, but I’m with her on this one. There was nothing wrong and nothing disrespectful about her outfit. Even more so because she has a medical reason for wearing it.

Ladies used to play the game in ankle-length dresses, and men used to play in long pants, and everybody wore white. Things change.

I like it, she looks fantastic in it. I don’t get why that modest outfit gets singled out. All the “pretty young things” get around in mini skirts and midriff tops, don’t they?
Why pick on her? I can be quite judgmental of “fashion” (I’m sure a young woman I saw up the shops was wearing a nightie) but that looks like a sports outfit to me. It’s similar-looking to what speed-skaters wear.

That’s the thing. He likes looking at the pretty young things in skimpy outfits and thinks players whose large boobs get in the way shouldn’t get reductions, pregnant women should go into hiding once the bump becomes noticeable, breastfeeding is a four-letter word and should never be done where any other human being can see it…

IOW, watching Williams play in that suit doesn’t give him a hard-on so it is disrespectful. Because a man has his needs.

Yeah this is strange. Not only does she have medical reasons for wearing it, but the powers that be are complaining about a woman wearing a suit that covers a lot rather than one that covers only a little.

A sport that’s thrived on the sexual objectification of little white girls. Like Nava said, she doesn’t give him a boner, so she is to be punished.

I read it as them wanted to bring the French Open more in line with Wimbledon which has had strict rules about colour and design since it’s inception. The French view their open (they call it Roland Garros) as just as historic and classy as any other but visually it’s become littered with ugly sponsorship and ridiculous outfits. Some of the manufacturers have produced some really desperate designs which the players they sponsor have been forced (or encouraged) to wear. Wimbledon doesn’t have all this nonsense and I think helps it to feel much classier and more important than other tournaments.

Having said all that, using Serena as the example was stupid and badly thought through. Especially as there are medical reasons for our choice of outfit.

If it is just about Serena’s suit and the rest of the nonsense designs are still going to be allowed then I take everything back. It would be a disgrace.

"He specifically mentioned Williams’ outfit and declared: “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”

Whatever reason he gives is bullshit. (Unless he admits that he doesn’t find it attractive. Then he’s a shithead, an honest shithead.) Respect? Bullshit. No one in tennis has a problem with the short little skirts that can be peeked up when the breeze is right. Or when the player is leaning forward. Or serving. I could go on.
(I love you, Martina Hingis. xoxo)

She looks badass in that outfit. What an idiot.

I’m offended on her behalf. Seriously, WTF was that guy thinking when he said that? It aggravates me more every time I see it in print.

I just looked at the Wimbledon dress code —

It’s pretty much all about color. You must wear white. And also not have large logos on footwear. It allows deviations from the color rule for medical necessity. It doesn’t restrict women from wearing pants or leggings, or force them to wear short skirts or dresses.

If the French dress code followed the Wimbledon model, I wouldn’t see a problem with it.

except for the vague term “suitable tennis attire”. What is that supposed to mean? I think Serena’s outfit was suitable for tennis, but that french bloke has different ideas.

Remember Gussie Moran?

Of course you don’t. She had a relatively short career in tennis. But she shocked, SHOCKED! the world in 1949 when she wore frilly panties under a somewhat-shorter-than-traditional skirt during the first round of Wimbledon.

And Anne White already took care of the catsuit thing way back in 1985.

Somehow tennis managed to survive.

This is sort of what I was wondering about, whether it’s a racial thing. Allowing for confirmation bias, this still triggers my suspicion. It reminds me of that black woman ice skater, who no matter how well she performed couldn’t get top scores, because she didn’t fit the right image. Surya Bonaly was her name. Tennis doesn’t depend on the subjective judgment of judges for the scores, so it’s as if they had to find something else to penalize her with.

This is just me riffing, I have no proof of what is going on in their heads except for the results, i.e. what they do and what they say.

Thread relocated from IMHO to the Game Room.

And speaking as a poster, I’ll just add to the chorus that I find the decision baffling, and the delivery of the message infuriating.

I’m not sure that I buy that it’s a racial thing. Serena Williams has been playing tennis for years now-- has it taken them this long to figure out a way to lash out at her?

That said, this decision and the purported rationale behind it still don’t pass the smell test. I’m more inclined to think that it’s sexist: The French official doesn’t think the outfit is attractive enough, as if that’s somehow relevant.

I can’t imagine any reasonable rationale for what the bloke said. They did show some more photos on the telly this morning and I got a view of Serena’s bottom. She does have a big bottom, maybe that’s what “offended” him, you’re meant to have a petite little white girl’s derriere peeking out from your minidress, not a big muscular sportsperson’s butt that everyone can see? Could be racism (black girl’s bum) and sexism (you need to be a pretty young thing not a powerful tennis-ball-hitting dynamo).

Has any journalist asked that guy in what way that outfit was supposed to disrespect tennis? That’s the part that annoys me, it suggests that she thought “oh, who cares, I’ll just wear any old thing, I don’t care”. Surely somebody’s asked him why he singled her out, and what is “wrong” with the sportsuit. If I were a journalist, I’d be on the blower straight off, asking questions. If I were her, I’d be very hurt at the accusation that she disrespected the game, or intended to. It’s one thing to not like the outfit, it’s another to say that by wearing it she disrepected the game. I’m sure she didn’t. She lives and breathes tennis.