According to Real People, Marion Bartoli Wasn’t Hot Enough to Win Wimbledon
4:25 pm, July 9th | by Grace Rasmus
Over the weekend, 28-year-old Marion Bartoli became the Wimbledon singles champion — and people are outraged. Not because she didn’t deserve the title but because she isn’t a blonde, statuesque woman like her opponent Sabine Lisicki.
If you want to feel sick to your stomach about how idiotic and sexist the Twitter-verse can be, check out this round up of Marion Bartoli tweets by the awesome/Hulk-rage-inducing Tumblr “Public Shaming“. Again, fair warning: only click the link if you’re in the mood to feel really angry and disgusted and just totally done with people in general. If you’re not, just take a look at the hashtags, which are tame in comparison to the accompanying tweets: #ShesADude, #NotAWimbledonBabe, #Whore, #Man, #Whale, #Fatty, #Slut.
Unfortunately we’re accustomed to casual sexism from any anonymous troll with an Internet connection, but sexism can be especially damaging/shocking when it comes out of the mouths of people who are paid to have thousands of people listen to their words. I give you John Inverdale, BBC Radio host:
I just wonder if her dad, because he has obviously been the most influential person in her life … did say to her when she was 12, 13, 14 maybe, ‘listen, you are never going to be, you know, a looker. You are never going to be somebody like [Maria] Sharapova, you’re never going to be 5-foot-11, you’re never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that.’
There are NO WORDS to describe the idiocy and the fact that female athletes are constantly scrutinized for their looks is infuriating. Incredibly, Bartoli manages to have a great attitude about all the sexist nonsense: ”Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No, sorry,” she said in an interview with Le Parisien. “But have I dreamt about winning Wimbledon? Yes, absolutely.” Go, girl.
The BBC issued an apology for the remarks but then Inverdale tried to explain what he meant, issuing his own apology and inevitably making things worse. “The point I was trying to make in a rather ham-fisted kind of way is that the public perception of tennis players is that they’re all 6 feet-tall Amazonian athletes,” he explained. “Marion [ ... ] bucks that trend and she is a fantastic example to all young people that it’s attitude, and will and determination together obviously with talent that in the end gets you to the top.” Sure, let’s all ignore the fact that there are countless other players (Sara Errani, Li Na, Serena Williams) who have climbed to the top without looking “Amazonian,” as New York Magazine points out.
“I invite [Inverdale] to come to see me in my dress and high heels tonight at the tournament ball,” Bartoli said after hearing his comments. “It could change his mind.” So I guess I’ll just leave this here. Not that it should matter even a little bit.
And, finally, let’s end this nonsense with the wise words of Brittney Griner, another female athlete who has had to endure unwanted attention for her appearance: “I never thought that to be beautiful, you had to look any certain way at all. In my opinion, you’re beautiful because you are you.”