Being an athlete is tough, but being a female athlete can be extremely challenging. Although men and women are equal in the sense of athleticism there tends to be a double standard in the media in the way female athletes are treated. Instead of focusing on their athletic abilities, magazines are often more focused on what the athlete is wearing than the game itself.

This became clear at the French Open this May when athlete, Serena Williams’ outfit was banned from being worn again. Danielle Roy, a student athlete at Harborfields High School, said “it is controversies like this that discourage me from becoming a professional athlete.” The media’s attention on body image is tarnishing the sports world and the women who are a part of it.

Serena’s black panther-inspired jumpsuit was not just a statement piece, but was helping her medically. According to Vox, since giving birth last September Williams has suffered from a blood clotting issue. Although this is an issue she’s been dealing with for years, during her pregnancy she had a pulmonary embolism. This condition nearly cost Williams her life.  

The cat suit was supposed to represent powerful women and that a tough pregnancy would not stop her from doing what she loves. The black nylon Nike wear was compressed against her body and helped to prevent blood clots. This allowed her to continue performing at such a high level of intensity, Which is justifiable enough to allow Serena to compete, but not everyone thought so.

Following the match in which Williams wore her skin tight suit, a statement was given by the French Tennis Federation’s President, Bernard Giudicelli, regarding they French Open’s new dress code. He declared Serena’s attire unacceptable. Serena did no take this lightly. At her next match serena showed up in a skirt, as requested, but not just any skirt. William’s arrived in a large black tutu. The Tennis Federation wanted the women in skirts and that's exactly what she wore. She competed, and won her match that day and has not allowed the people in her way affect her game. Since The French Open, Williams has gone on to the US Open where she is currently a finalist representing the United States.

Sarah DeVito