Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 7:42AM The Blogmother
Racial and gender equality mean an equal opportunity to act a fool on the international stage. But that belies a larger question.. Do Black girls have the option of being "different." Whimsical. Creative. Are our bodies only allowed to be shoved into some sexual context anytime they are displayed? To some people what Venus Williams wore on the first day of the French Open was obscene. I was ready to hop on the bandwagon with you. Until I actually looked at other pictures of the "outfit" and quite frankly its more odd than obscene in fact when viewed inlight of the apparel for both men and women across all sports, its rather boring. She needs to try harder to stretch the limits like playing tennis in dirty coveralls.
Yes, Venus Williams looks ri-dayum- diculous playing in the hot blazing sun in a Black lace corset, but when you actually look at the photos of her playing at different angles, it doesn't look any different than figure skating when they wear body stockings. The shorts aren't actually the same color as her skin. And Venus actually has a history of wearing brown undergarments to give the illusion of skin. Much like women's ( and men's) figureskating. See, here she is rocking a "nude" undergarment at the Australian Open. Its brown that's all.
She's been rocking this corset/ tennis dress variation for a while.
I've always liked that Venus was rather quiet and went about her business. Whenever she plays Serena, I always cheer for Venus. She's my favorite of the two. Here you have a girl that literally drug her entire family from Compton on the back of her back swing. She never got to be a crazy kid and I've always gotten the impression that she was an old soul who marched to the beat of a different drum. Plus, she fancies herself a fashion designer. DO i think the outfit is tacky and inappropriate for athletic wear? Yes, but I also think grown men shouldn't wear feathers in public, EVER unless they are selling a bucket of chicken, performing some ceremonial role or are a college mascot.
So when I saw the photos of Venus all over the internet. I had to ask myself...hmm what about this is offensive? Is it that she appears to be wearing Black lace and a thong on a tennis court in the hot sun of Roland Garros? Actually the "thong" people are referring to looks like a line of perspiration. I just don't see her playing tennis in a thong. Is it that I automatically assume that she's wanting attention and the best way she figured out she could grab attention was in this manner. Or am I joining the throngs of people who are uncomfortable with a Black female form being displayed in this way . After all, we went almost an entire summer trying to spot Brittany Spears without undies. What has been enlightening has been reading the reactions to these photos online. I finally settled on Venus Williams always being rather out there. She fancies herself a fashion designer. The outfit only looks "nude" if you stare at a single frame photograph taken from a certain angle. When we equate every Black female for to those of Video "Vixens" then THAT's the problem. Every time a Black woman wears something form fitting doesn't mean she's a prop or a prostitute. For example, if you've ever been to a ballet, everybody wears form fitting clothing. Sprinters wear form fitting clothing. Figure skaters wear "nude" costumes covered by feathers.
Or worse, dressed up as indigenous people. Does anyone remember this foolishness.
So do bobsledders. Volleyball players. I can see how she would have thought this hot scratchy completely inappropriate for sport outfit was a work of art. I don't get the "sexually provocative" intent from this ridiculous getup, I get the looney artist vibe from this getup. It looks like a Black tutu. Venus is allowed to be a loon if she wants to. In any regard somewhere Wilma Rudolph and Althea Gibson are either applauding or rolling over in their graves rotisserie style. Josephine Baker is likely falling out laughing. . Here are some other angles of the photos of Venus in her infamous dress.I was going to rant until I saw these other angles. It doesn't look nude at all to me. It just looks tacky and in poor taste. Like Black leather in the middle of summer. Or a man dressed in a suit the color of one of the primary colors with gators and a fedora to match or flip flops and cut offs to Sunday service.Maybe she's doing all this for attention, but so did the two idiots who doned war paint for their paris figure skating routine.
Just because Venus is a Black woman doesn't mean she's not entitled to be tacky. The brown color doesn't bother me nearly as much as the idea of someone playing tennis in lace I hope its microfiber dri weave.