Yet again I’m surprised. Some women athletes decide not to build muscle, because they’re girrrrrrrls.
The Times starts with Serena Williams, who has muscles. She plays tennis – muscles come in handy.
Williams, who will be vying for the Wimbledon title against Garbiñe Muguruza on Saturday, has large biceps and a mold-breaking muscular frame, which packs the power and athleticism that have dominated women’s tennis for years. Her rivals could try to emulate her physique, but most of them choose not to.
Despite Williams’s success — a victory Saturday would give her 21 Grand Slam singles titles and her fourth in a row — body-image issues among female tennis players persist, compelling many players to avoid bulking up.
So…they actually decide not to work to have the extra power that would make them better at their chosen sport?
“It’s our decision to keep her as the smallest player in the top 10,” said Tomasz Wiktorowski, the coach of Agnieszka Radwanska, who is listed at 5 feet 8 and 123 pounds. “Because, first of all she’s a woman, and she wants to be a woman.”
She would stop being a woman if she had bigger muscles?
For many, perceived ideal feminine body type can seem at odds with the best physique for tennis success. Andrea Petkovic, a German ranked 14th, said she particularly loathed seeing pictures of herself hitting two-handed backhands, when her arm muscles appear the most bulging.
“I just feel unfeminine,” she said. “I don’t know — it’s probably that I’m self-conscious about what people might say. It’s stupid, but it’s insecurities that every woman has, I think. I definitely have them and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I would love to be a confident player that is proud of her body. Women, when we grow up we’ve been judged more, our physicality is judged more, and it makes us self-conscious.”
That’s so desperately sad.
Wouldn’t it be nice if people could stop judging women that way?
The Times includes a picture of her gripping the racket with both hands, muscles bulging – I think she looks quite breathtaking.
Madison Keys, a 20-year-old American, was recently angered by a television show in which men discussed their picks for the most attractive female athletes.
“One of the guys on it was like, ‘Well, aren’t they all really masculine?’ and I kind of took it personally,” Keys said. “I was like, ‘No, I’m not, actually.’ I think it still is a little bit against kind of what society thinks that you should be doing.”
Little tiny bodies and little wispy voices – that’s what society thinks that you should be doing. It can take a running jump.