Serena Williams' catsuit

Serena Williams wore a statement piece during her game against Kristyna Pliskova. But why are so many people against it?

Rebecca Johnson
9th November 2018

It's incredibly frustrating to see women's choices of clothing being commented on, and it isn't just limited to the "office" world but has also crept into the sporting world.

Serena Williams found herself in bother at the French Open during the summer due to her choice of outfit. The tennis star donned a black catsuit with a red waistband for her game against Kristyna Pliskova, which she subsequently went on to win. However, there was little attention paid to Williams' victory, instead there was a focus on her outfit.

The French Tennis Federation President, Bernard Giudicelli made a statement after the match saying the tournament next year would see the introduction of a new dress code. Thus meaning that Williams' catsuit will not be seen at the French Open for the foreseeable future

There's absolutely no denying that what Williams was wearing was a statement piece, anyone rocking up to any event wearing that catsuit is bound to turn their head, but it wasn't a completely outlandish outfit.  Let's be real, who really gives a toss about what she's wearing? At the end of the day as a spectator of the sport, you're more bothered about watching the match then about the opponent's choice of clothing.

Furthermore, the reason Williams wore the catsuit was due to health reasons. Williams gave birth to her first child in September 2017 but there were complications with the birth, of which she has been left with issues concerning blood clots. The catsuit was specially designed to help with her blood circulation whilst playing to avoid blood clots.  

The controversy surrounding Serena Williams is just one example of an obsession surrounding what women wear and how they pull it off. Take our Prime Minister for instance, love her or hate her Theresa May has been on the receiving end of some criticism surrounding her outfit choices.

A quick Google search supports this point, type in "Theresa May clothes" and you're met with a range of headlines slating her outfit choices. Some popular newspapers ran articles about Mrs May's wardrobe and what she's worn. Most surprisingly for me, Mumsnet didn't hold back on their comments with one user saying Mrs May looked "ridiculous" in the red dress she wore to meet President Trump.

Additionally, the Prime Minister faced backlash over the £995 pair of leather trousers she wore for a newspaper interview last year. Fellow Tory Nicky Morgan openly criticised Mrs May's choice of trousers concerning cost.  

These examples just indicate the sexism that women in positions of authority face. Nobody would make a comment about the expense of a suit worn by a male politician. In fact, former Chancellor Ken Loach described it as "tedious" for newspapers to feature stories about female politicians clothing choices- and that's just it. Go back to the question posed earlier in the article- who really gives a toss? I'm far more concerned about Mrs May's Brexit strategy (if there even is one) rather than what she's got on.  

For there to be actual newspaper articles published with opinions on what a female politician or sport star is wearing is absurd to me. In the examples stated above, neither Serena Williams or Theresa May wore something completely outlandish and inappropriate, yet a lot of media attention was dedicated to their outfits. Although it sounds sexist, the same wouldn't happen to men at all. Have you seen any articles about the suits David Cameron wore during his time as Prime Minister? I bet you didn't. Get off the lass's backs and let them wear whatever they want.

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