As usual, a woman can’t just be celebrated for her achievements, but needs to be scrutinized by the media and the public for her appearance. Today’s example comes from the always-hypocritical world of sports. Women athletes are often over-sexualized and praised for their attractiveness, while male athletes are mostly in the spotlight for their achievements relevant to what they do.
It seems that no matter the accomplishment, women can not escape criticism for their appearance, something that Marion Bartoli, the most recent female winner of Wimbledon is experiencing. After her win, BBC Radio commentator John Inverdale asked, “Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little 'You’re never going to be a looker. You’ll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight’?” Was that supposed to be a joke, Inverdale? Because that comment is so depressing that I can’t even laugh at how stupid it is. Bartoli has the biggest win of her career, and one of the first responses is asking if she worked hard because she knew she was ugly? What a fucking world we live in.
After facing negative backlash due to his stupid comments, Inverdale apologized to the audience during the men’s final (which he was allowed to comment on-probably because BBC knew he wouldn't make insensitive comments about the men’s attractiveness!). Inverdale stated: "The point I was trying to make, in a rather ham-fisted kind of way, was that in a world where the public perception of tennis players is that they're all six-feet-tall Amazonian athletes, Marion - who is the Wimbledon champion - bucks that trend….she is an incredible role model for people who aren't born with all the attributes of natural athletes."
Oh right, because attractiveness is the attribute of a natural athlete. That’s your apology?
The misogyny doesn’t stop here, folks! As usual, every sexist person with a twitter account felt obligated to voice their opinion on Bartoli’s appearance, and it got ugly.
"Bartoli is a sweaty pig bitch"
"Bartoli didn't deserve to win because she is ugly"
"I want Lisicki to win because she is really fit. Bartoli wouldn't even get raped."
Ugh, who cares how she looks? She could kick all of their asses in tennis any day. Seriously, SHE JUST WON WIMBLEDON. Come on people, get over yourselves.
On a brighter note, at a press conference Marion Bartoli was asked about Inverdale’s comment and the reactions to her appearance. She told them, “I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I'm sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes. And to share this moment with my dad was absolutely amazing and I am so proud of it.”
Wow, what a strong, proud woman. To me, her wise words are the real mark of beauty. Even better? Her dad’s reaction to the comment. He stated: “The relationship between Marion and me has always been unbelievable so I don’t know what this reporter is talking about. When she was five years old she was playing like every kid and having fun on the tennis court. She’s my beautiful daughter.”