Multitudes of fans of tennis and general badassery rushed to Serena Williams defense when French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli spoke out against her now famous French Open “catsuit” that she wore earlier this year. According to the Telegraph, Bernard preemptively put the kibosh on any further fashion shenanigans and used Serena’s outfit as an example of what’s not going to be unacceptable moving forward. Thing is, unlike her defenders, Serena’s ok with the criticism. Bernard’s her boi, and it sounds like she’s willing to play along.
Here’s what Bernard had to say about Serena’s outfit, while presumably mentally reciting the spoken intro of Baby’s Got Back:
In a magazine interview that came out last week, the French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, had said that he wanted to exercise more control over what players wore during the showpiece event.
“Serena’s outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted,” he explained. “You have to respect the game and the place.”
I guess one of the benefits of that catsuit is that it makes it impossible for Serena to get her panties in a bunch, unlike thousands of fans who claimed the statement was sexist, racist, and a bunch of other ists.
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
— Nina Garcia (@ninagarcia) August 25, 2018
Had a few thoughts on Serena Williams and the French Open’s decision to ban her catsuit. It’s racist. VIDEO CLIP: https://t.co/jlFCsXaT7j
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 26, 2018
When somebody actually got around to asking the GOAT about it, she responded “Everything is fine, guys”, which I take to mean, “I got this, don’t fuck with my money”. Her full response was:
“The president of the French Federation, he’s been really amazing. He’s been so easy to talk to. My whole team is basically French, so we have a wonderful relationship. I’m sure we would come to an understanding and everything will be OK. Yeah, so it wouldn’t be a big deal. He’s a really great guy.”
Serena says she’s found compression tights that do the job of the catsuit in terms of reducing her risk for blood clots. She added “When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender. It will be a while before this even has to come up again”, which I take to mean “No black catsuits, fine. How do you feel about white pleather, latex and sequins?“. The Telegraph notes that Serena may be treading carefully here because her coach is French and it’s in both their interests to play nice and not alienate the pearl clutching gatekeepers.
— Nike (@Nike) August 25, 2018
Ultimately, Serena’s an athlete, not a politician, or a literal superhero. Her job isn’t fighting crime and oppression, it’s playing tennis. And you guys, she’s really, really, really, good at her job. She’s got this.