In a world where wearing what we want should be the least of our worries, one of the greatest tennis players, Serena Williams is facing the same problem.
She was seen wearing a black bodysuit, custom made for her by Nike in the 2018 French open.
"I call it my Wakanda-inspired catsuit. It's fun. Although we designed it way before the movie, still, it kind of reminds me of that. I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of... queen from Wakanda maybe. I always wanted to be a super hero.” #SerenaWilliams pic.twitter.com/EEGdWiK0Lm— BLACK CONSERVATIVE (@blackrepublican) August 24, 2018
The bodysuit is specifically made to prevent blood clots in her body. The reason she has chosen to wear this suit is that during the birth of her child, Serena almost died due to haematoma — or swelling of clotted blood in her abdomen.
"It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves. I definitely feel like it is an opportunity for me to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids."
- Serena Williams
While she's risking her health to continue playing the game, the suit has been banned by the French Open President, Bernard Giudicelli.
Introducing a new dress code to regulate uniforms, he said,
"I think that sometimes we've gone too far. It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place."
A statement like this just proves that a woman's health is not a priority but what she wears supposedly is.
Serena's fans obviously weren't happy with this development and expressed their disappointment on Twitter.
IT’S COMPRESSION MATERIAL TO PREVENT BLOOD CLOTS—LIKE WHAT ALMOST KILLED HER IN THE HOSPITAL—FABRIC LIKE YOU SEE PEOPLE WEAR ON AIRPLANES. THIS IS WRONG. https://t.co/VOAsNiJNhu— Dr. Katie Rose Pryal ♿️🎾📘 (@krgpryal) August 24, 2018
French Open is changing its dress code, and the changes will prevent Serena from wearing her super hero suit. Reason given: “One must respect the game.” I am flabbergasted. https://t.co/t2Y5P3qfbx pic.twitter.com/VYYXyUXFvm— Phillip Barnett (@regularbarnett) August 24, 2018
Hi @rolandgarros! You can know how much @serenawilliams "respects the game" by remembering that she has won 23 grand slams! You need to respect athletes and the #Tennis world by changing your sexist/sexualized remarks.And #SerenaWilliams, YOU LOOK LIKE A WARRIOR QUEEN. pic.twitter.com/3ETUebJRDF— Amir Ashour (@AmirLemina) August 24, 2018
Having had multiple pulmonary embolisms, Serena Williams is not allowed to use a specially designed black catsuit that helps prevents blood clots from developing in the legs. Because the French Open doesn’t like how it looks. That’s racist, sexist, and dangerous.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 24, 2018
Yeah, I'm pretty sure Serena Williams shows "respect" for the game by playing it better than, you know, everyone ever.— Jesse Wente (@jessewente) August 25, 2018
Serena Williams is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to women’s tennis. She should be able to play in nothing body paint and Mickey Mouse ears if she wants.— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) August 24, 2018
Anne White wore a catsuit in 1985.Serena Williams is not allowed to wear one in 2019. pic.twitter.com/maSMckXo26— Simon Hedlin (@simonhedlin) August 25, 2018
so Serena Williams, the greatest tennis player of all time, can’t wear a black bodysuit that was specially made to prevent blood clotting due to post-birth health complications during the French Open because she “needs to respect the game?”Serena Williams IS the game.— Brian Gay (@brian2596) August 24, 2018
It is outrageous to know that instead of praising Serena for being back on the court after such a hard time with her health, the French Open President is banning her from wearing what she wants to.
A player should be able to wear whatever they are most comfortable in, especially if it is for health reasons.