I stumbled across this article on Salon.com that was shaming the New York Times for, well, shaming Serena Williams for her body image.
After I read the article, I had two immediate thoughts:
- I really can’t believe how stupid people can be.
- Can someone pay for the 3 minutes of my life that I spent skimming it? (In all fairness, the Salon.com piece was good, but I couldn’t believe how many other articles they referenced, and I’m glad I didn’t spend the time reading those links as well.)
These days? Not so much.
But this weekend, when Serena won her 6th Wimbledon title, I tuned in, and I watched Twitter a little. What I saw (mostly) were tributes to possibly one of the greatest athletes of all time (oh yeah, and she’s female).
When I saw an interview with her, I saw a female, African-American athlete at the peak of her powers. Her body is her instrument. Her “femininity” has everything to do with who she is, and at the same time nothing. She has trained her instrument to perform at the highest level, and she has succeeded.
Who talks about Aaron Rodgers’ “body image”? Does anyone comment on how “masculine” (or not) Lebron James looks?
Is Cristiano Ronaldo in danger of not looking manly enough?
Now, I know this is the unfortunate reality of what it means to be a woman: to be judged according to standards of body shape and image, but (and I can’t believe this still has to be written)… those standards are ridiculous and de-humanizing.
Serena is a woman athlete; perhaps one of the greatest of all time. Her body reflects her passion, her craft, and her achievements.
Maybe it goes without saying, maybe not: Ladies, your bodies are your own. Tune them and shape them into whatever tools they need to be in order to accomplish your dreams. Go for it.
Oh yeah, I get it: please don’t send me a bill for your time.