Stop telling women what to wear and how to look!

I remember being in high school and having to wear a skirt. You could wear colottes or a pinafore, but not trousers. No matter how smart. It was infuriating.

Fast forward twenty years and still, society wants to enforce fashion ideals on women. Women in the media, in sport and in general. Stop it, really chuck it up!

The biggest story on the issue right now has to be that of Serena Williams, one of the most successful female tennis players of all time. A woman who has reinvented the women’s game and is an icon of awesomeness. The French Tennis Federation banned this tennis superstar, hall of famer from wearing a specifically designed biotech garment because they deemed it “disrespectful”.

This is the garment: 

Nike specially designed the medical catsuit 

Just so we are clear tennis fans, Anna Kournikova picking her knickers oot her bum, is ok and worthy of world wide promotion (see iconic poster below) but full body coverage on Serena Williams, not ok? 

This image used to be above entrances to sports shops and gyms

To make matter worse, Alizé Cornet was penalised at the US Open for reversing her inside out top. She was wearing a well supporting sports bra which is more like a crop top than a sexy under garment. The organisers have since apologised but lets consider the male players who frequently sit topless basking in their multi-abbed glory and regularly change tops during their breaks. 

It was an apparent violation for taking her shirt off on the court, even though she walked to well behind the baseline, practically in front of the ballboy. Who by the way reacted more maturely than the commentators on that clip.

Novak Abs
Murray Moobs


Here are some male tennis players also apparently violating some dress code I presume?

To be fair to Andy Murray, he has come out against this sort of shit, wow, when Andy Murray is more of a feminist icon that you could ever thought to imagine, we know the world needs a changing.



But is it just the archaic rules of an old fashioned, traditional sport? Well no not really. Take a winner of a singing competition who now hosts different telly programs. A young woman who was body shamed by a celebrity gossip magazine. Called “boring” and “desperate”. Ah but to be expected from gossip rags you may say, they too have since apologised. That doesn’t take away the hurt and anger that must have had an impact.

What about a less publicised sort of event. A chess meet in Iran? In June, Indian chess star Soumya Swaminathan refused to wear a head scarf and withdrew from the competition. This wasn’t the first time she had refused to be told what to wear. 

An 18 year old Malaysian football freestyler defends wearing her headscarf saying “the headscarf is not an obstacle.” She also refuses to be told what to do and what to wear.

When women are being encouraged to stay active and keep fit, why should it matter what we wear. If you can wear an ass cheek revealing short dress but not a medically tight full length cat suit is that right? When you can be penalised for displaying your midriff on court but men not penalised for baring full moobage and abbbbs, should we care? When we compete, whether in a chess competition, a sports ball event or a singing competition, why does it matter what females wear or how we look? When women are going about their daily business what difference does it make to anybody what we wear? 

Why is any of this important? Why does any of this matter? Why do you think?



by Debra Torrance

You can read more Ungagged Writing here or hear from more left voices on our podcast 

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