Today, in things that one should not do when playing a live televised tennis match: stuff your front and back to appear that you have big boobs and a big backside.
After doing this, the Danish tennis player Caroline Woziacki has been accused of racism after she did this on the court the day before yesterday, apparently mimicking her fellow women’s player tennis Serena Williams. Caroline Wozniacki was playing a game in Sao Paolo, Brazil against Anna Kournikova. She played for a minute or two dressed like that and the audience went ballistic cheering before she pulled the towels out. You can watch the video of this
Some people see this as just a goofy joke, especially since Caroline and Serena are supposedly friends – how good of friends, who knows, who cares, whatever.
“This is an era where no jokes goes unscrutinized, and no humour apparently exists without sinister subtext … An apology may be forthcoming, but it shouldn’t be.”
Others are saying it was a racist imitation because it was highlighting the extreme sexualization of women of colour’s bodies.
Now, unfortunately, we live in a world where something can be racist regardless of the person’s intent – this chick may be friends with Selena Williams and may not have intended to do something racist. But that doesn’t mean what she did was not racist. On the other hand, my inital reaction to Caroline Wozniacki’s behaviour was that it was first and foremost unprofessional. She’s in the middle of playing a tennis match, for !#@% sakes. Then, when I read she was imitating Serena Williams, my next thought that mocking the size of her boobs and backside was a bit cruel on live television…
I am all for good natured rivalry among friends, making fun of someone’s sexualized body parts during a televised match is a bit much.
Once I read upon the controversy, I never thought the act was “racist”, however, the “sinister subtext” that Jay Busbee referred to – was not obvious to me at first glance. I would also imagine that people defending Caroline’s actions are saying its not a big deal.
Ultimately, however, I feel it’s not my final call as a white women to decide whether or not this is racist. Stupid – yes. Racist – up for debate. It’s a time to listen what people who are directly affected are saying : if people of colour are saying this mimicry was racist and problematic then we should listen.
…do you have any thoughts on this?