Serena Williams made headlines this summer when she chose to wear a catsuit to the French Open. Obviously, because we live in a world where women have to justify every damn thing, she was forced to explain her outfit choice when she was criticised for stepping away from the classic top and skirt combo.
At the time, she said, ‘It represents all the mums out there who had a tough pregnancy and had to come back and try to be fierce in the middle of everything […] I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, [a] queen from Wakanda. I’m always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero. I feel like a superhero when I wear it.’
She also wore it for health reasons, explaining that since the traumatic birth of her daughter, she gets blood clots a lot. She said in an interview with NPR, ‘I’ve had a lot of problems with my blood clots, God I don’t know how many I’ve had in the past 12 months. I’ve been wearing pants in general a lot when I play so I can keep the blood circulation going.’
Sadly, female empowerment or health don’t seem to be good enough reasons to wear a catsuit, as Bernard Giudicelli, the president of the French Tennis Federation has decided to ban them altogether.
He called out Serena in Tennis magazine, ‘I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far. It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.’ He said the rules wouldn’t be as strict as Wimbledon, but that catsuits would be banned nonetheless.
So kind of him.