Serena Williams Catsuit

August 29, 2018

Serena Williams Catsuit Controversy

Have you guys been following the Serena Williams Catsuit drama? In the latest French Open held in May, Serena wore this all black Nike compression catsuit. I loved this look and even used the image on my Instagram because 1. it was fierce 2. it showed off her athletic and curvy body in a way that made me feel inspired to own my own shape. I especially feel inspired by how her postpartum athleticism is being celebrated by her.

The French Tennis Federation president, however, took exception to Serena Williams Catsuit look and they have decided to introduce a dress code to regulate the uniforms of players. Bernard Giudicelli, the French Tennis Federation president singled out Serena Williams catsuit as an example of how ‘it’s gone too far’.

 “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”

Bernard Giudicelli

Serena Williams has explained that her catsuits actually have a practical purpose for her in that they prevent blood clots after experiencing a pulmonary embolism after the birth of her daughter. As someone who has had a mild blood clot in my own leg (and both my parents have had blood clots in their legs with airplane travel) I have three sets of prescription grade compression stockings which I use when I travel. I have my prescription strength ones, and I have multiple sports ones. I even have two pairs of very old Lululemon compression socks. I’ve had surgery to remove a vein in my leg which had a faulty valve that contributed to varicose veins. My main concern with removing the faulty vein was preventing clots from forming, and that was secondary to my concern about how my varicose veins looked. So I immediately ‘got it’ when Serena explained the reason for her choice. I had wondered why she wore something so warm and restrictive. 

Did you know that women can be prone to blood clots and embolisms as a result of estrogen, and hormonal contraceptives? If you have other factors at play such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation or smoking, your already increased risk increases even more substantially.

What do you think of the French Tennis Federation singling out Serena Williams outfit as an example as to why they are introducing a dress code? 

Serena Williams Catsuit

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Pep talking myself into today’s workout. @serenawilliams is like 🎾 ‘go, girl’🎾#serenawilliams 🏋🏻‍♀️

A post shared by The Sweat Edit By Cristina (@the_sweat_edit) on

In the first round of the US Open, Serena rocked this Tutu by Louise Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh with fishnet compression tights. 

View this post on Instagram

Thank you to the incredible @virgilabloh

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

I see what you did there Nike! 

And always masterful marketing strategy, just look at how Nike is leveraging this story (and their sponsorship of Serena) beautifully with the new images on their Compression Line. I love these models and love the muscle tone. 

US Open Double Standard?

Serena Williams Catsuit

At the US Open, France’s Alizé Cornet was just issued a court violation for the infraction of quickly changing her shirt which she had accidentally put on backward despite the fact that she was wearing a sports bra underneath.

Later in the day, Novak Djokovic sat shirtless for a prolonged period, without penalty.

The US Open announced they are changing the policy and will allow players to change their shirts when sitting in the player chair.

“We regret that a code violation was assessed to Ms. Cornet yesterday, We have clarified the policy to ensure this will not happen moving forward.”

“Female players, if they choose, may also change their shirts in a more private location close to the court, when available. They will not be assessed a bathroom break in this circumstance.”

The US Open

What do you guys think about how women are treated in professional sports? Is there a double standard? Is it sexism? Is it especially brutal towards women of color? 

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15 comments so far.

15 responses to “Serena Williams Catsuit”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Love, love, love Serena Williams! ❤️ I think she intimidates the hell out of the small minded with her combination of talent, size, power, muscle, and sheer confidence.
    I loved her catsuit. She totally rocked it and looked amazing. And the tutu with the compression fish nets was equally amazing. She has always owned her style whether it is clothing or hair. And yes, I think race as well as gender plays a factor in the criticism.
    Nike is so smart to recognize Serena’s appeal to athletic women. Gotta love a strong woman who refuses to be deterred by those with misogynistic and racist mindsets.

  2. Looloo says:

    I think her suit is more respectful than volleyball outfits… Very revealing bottoms lol. My boss died 3 months ago after a 2week trip to europe. It was result of clot from flying. So sad and ironic as he loved airplanes and had his flying licence. I never knew blood clots form from sitting to long in flight. Mind you i sit for 10 hrs nonstop in my office job… Gee i am going to move around next time i fly. So scary. Thx for posting this!

    • Cristina says:

      That’s so sad! My husband has his pilots license as well and flies often so I will get on him to be mindful of clots as well. Yes, my mom had a blood clot in her leg very recently after a flight to Mexico and it was extremely painful. I made her go to the hospital and luckily it was not at risk of embolism and traveling to her lungs or heart, but it was very big and painful for several weeks until it broke down. I then had a very tiny clot form after my trip to New York where I stupidly didn’t wear my compression socks because they were too hot.
      If you sit for 10 hours, I highly recommend getting compression stockings prescribed. They are around $100, but when you wear them they are so comfortable. Your legs feel like they are being massaged all day long and it gets rid of any puffiness or swelling.

      • Mrs. P says:

        Many extended health benefit plans will cover compression stockings with a prescription. I had 3 pairs during my last pregnancy and I bought new ones when I returned to work because I love the feeling, as well as the improved circulation after a day at my desk.

  3. Anon says:

    love Serena but that catsuit………

  4. L says:

    I’m so glad you posted this and shared your story. Tennis is my number one activity and Serena is an inspiration. And, yes, I’m sorry to say the tennis community is riddled with misogyny and racism. How well she handles the undo criticism she receives is perhaps her greatest gift.

    • Erin says:

      L is right. This story is a classic example of the racism, sexism, *and* classism rampant in tennis. Serena has earned the right to wear whatever she damn well pleases.

  5. Gaby says:

    Thank you for posting this. I believe that her suit was amazing and besides the fact that she looks amazing it serves a practical purpose. I also love that Nike is supporting her. I have looked at Nike’s website recently and am quite pleased with the variety of women they showcase. Lululemon needs to start implenting this.

    Serena is such a powerful athlete. She speaks volumes for many women around the world. She handled the situation well and Admire her even more for that

  6. Ecop says:

    What’s wrong with women wearing what they want to wear? And especially if it’s necessary for her health? How is that “disrespectful to the sport”? Just who exactly is “the sport”? I can understand the need for uniforms or costumes in other contexts but tennis…?

    Ditto regarding the volleyball “clothes”. All about increasing the number of viewers no doubt.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree – the catsuit was awesome, and it was an entirely appropriate athletic outfit with a practical purpose. I cannot understand why there was such a fuss about it. I wouldn’t have thought anything of it had there not been such a fuss.

  8. LS says:

    Country club sports need to adapt to 2018 or own their bougie racism and misogyny. Reminds me of the alleged ban on flat shoes for women at Cannes. This kind of stuff will just put you on the fast track to irrelevancy, regardless of the language you couch it in. It’s not like people are clambering en masse to watch tennis to begin with. Why not aim for inclusivity, and if the gear isn’t giving someone a competitive advantage…frankly, who cares? She should be allowed to play in one of those inflatable T-rex costumes for all I care. The faux elitism is way more embarrassing or inappropriate than any individual’s choice in performance attire.

  9. Anonymous says:

    How is she not “respecting the game” by wearing something comfortable that she can move well in? She looks freakin’ amazing and tennis should be ashamed of itself. Didn’t the (white) women wear little tiny skirts that showed everything if you bent over? WTF?

  10. Anonymous says:

    *used to wear–I don’t think they still do, but then again, I don’t watch tennis.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The entire reason I got “into” lulu was because of the tight stuff tights. I struggle with vericose veins and blood clots due to a genetic issue (even with stents placed) and I am really glad that Serena has brought this issue to light. Athletes don’t always wear the ‘uniform’ because sometimes…we can’t!
    I do find it really sexist that men get away with wearing basically anything they want (or removing anything they want) but women are shamed for such minor things. As others have mentioned, sports like golf and tennis are quickly becoming irrelevant because they don’t appeal to millenials for this reason- the dress codes are not only old fashioned, they’re purely sexist and inequality just doesn’t have a place with our generation.

  12. Dawn says:

    I thought she looked fabulous! I can’t believe, in this day and age, women playing tennis are banned from wearing that kind of outfit. Especially given her tendency towards blood clots. Also, the tennis player who turned her shirt around and got fined, even though she was wearing a sports bra, but the male can sit around with no shirt on? Seriously!?? Not cool!! Such a double standard, and it totally pisses me off! Good for her for showing up in a tutu, she rocked that look too. She is a queen! I follow her on instagram and I just love how down to earth she is in all of her posts. She’s like a superwoman, yet, just keeping it real with the rest of us. Love her!!

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