Not long ago, in 1997, Martina Hingis emerged as the winner of the individual tournament at Wimbledon. He succeeded after starring in a scathing brawl over the short length of the dress with which he went downhill – from the Italian firm Sergio Tacchini – and which left the thong he wore while looking at the cameras. To the Swiss, however, the debate surrounding the hypersexualization of her uniform seemed artificial and counterproductive to the women’s sport. “Who wants to see a fat girl take off her shirt and walk like a man? We should be concerned with how we look on the track. That’s why people come to visit us.” Hingis was only 16 at the time. About a quarter century after that Statement, the looks like Sportswear remains controversial and has made headlines beyond the sports press, with the skirt being almost as rooted in the discipline as a garment. Why do they keep wearing it?
Basketball, volleyball, golf, athletics or baseball were some of the sports in which, like tennis, women began to compete wearing skirts, which were an essential garment in women’s wardrobes in the early 20th century. As time went on, athletes left them behind in search of more rest. However, many voices have defended the comfort of the skirt, a questionable argument that never felt relevant enough to propose that men wear them as well. Except in minority disciplines such as lacrosse or figure skating, in which clothing is part of the practice presented by competitors and counts for points, skirts or minidresses have died out in professional sport.
It was actually a famous Spanish tennis player, a pioneer of the women’s sport in our country, who caused a scandal by being the first woman to dare to wear miniskirt-pants on the court. In 1931, Lili Alvarez, known worldwide for her talent with rackets and being a style icon, wore the so-called ‘split skirt’, created by Elsa Schiaparelli herself. She did it at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon, exposing her ankles and thus defying the rules of the London tournament, which urged women to wear skirts and long stockings to completely cover their legs. “I think the thing that bothered people was the movement that the garment was allowed. He could play in a way that was considered inappropriate,” explains fashion historian Karen Ben-Horin Refinery29. Although newspapers of the time suggested in their pages that the Spanish woman deserved to be “well defeated” because of such audacity, lvarez also popularized this retrospective garment on the streets. Shorts Present.
The social and occupational pressure that urges women to look attractive at any time of the day is one of the strongest reasons for the tradition to continue. “Most don’t wear Shorts Because looking cute on the runway (and showing off a little underwear from time to time) is a way to garner support from fans and, above all, to drive up the price of their sponsorship contracts,” he wrote. slate Journalist Eliza Truit. Roland Garros and Wimbledon winner Garbine Muguruza herself refuted a theory she had involved paper That, “the most morbid part, the legs and skirt, sell more than sports.”
Rules for various Grand Slam tournaments, which may restrict the color of clothing – such as Wimbledon’s traditional white – or veto special clothing – postpartum jumpsuit 2018 continues to raise the dust by Serena Willams – it says nothing about the obligation to wear skirts or the censorship of shorts. So why do brands insist on designing skirts when 99% of the players wear them? Shorts below them? Vanessa Friedman herself, fashion editor the new York Times, assures That if apparel was ever intended, “for the athlete to clearly display his gender in order to minimize the threat to his sporting prowess,” that effect has faded today. “Maybe, as Nike’s design director Abby Swancutt puts it, a sort of psychological device, a symbol for the athlete who separates a Grand Slam match from a training session. Maybe they are ‘thanks to fashion’ “get ready. But the truth is that they too are a shadow of old stereotypes,” he writes.
The clichés are so stale they are like the episode experienced in 1958 by American tennis player Karol Fageros, who was previously banned from Wimbledon after competing in Paris, wearing shiny gold underwear beneath her white skirt. The argument given by the referee was that it “could distract opponents”, and it had to be covered with white lace in order to be able to play on London courts. Without knowing it, lvarez or Fageros is the so called . pioneered the use of scots, that union of miniskirt and trousers that combine comfort and femininity, is ubiquitous in stores today. scots has become one of the most viral From TikTok and Emblem apparel to Generation Z, which recounts its popularity at the turn of the century with ambassadors like Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera.
But if there’s any revolutionary figure on the circuit who has dared to challenge the classic dress code, it’s Serena Williams. The 23 Grand Slam winner is considered the most influential athlete in history when it comes to fashion, dressed in asymmetrical jumpsuits, blazers, ballerina tutus, corsets, leather jackets, black boots, down the slopes. cut out Or a denim skirt. When she closed the most lucrative sponsorship deal ever signed by a woman with Nike in late 2003, the Michigan woman made it clear to the design team that she was dead rather than ordinary once. “I told them, ‘Look, I want to look great on the track. I don’t need to be very comfortable. If you want to make changes and use different fabrics that other players don’t want to wear,’ So do it. I don’t need to feel as comfortable as them,” he added ESPN. In her case, like that of other contemporary rivals such as Maria Sharapova, even the lament she emits on the track has been criticized. German champion Boris Becker also defended his ban for “being too sexual”, although he forgot to mention Rafa Nadal, one of the stars known for his efforts, in his protest.
The harmony between fashion and performance has not always been accepted by all players. At the 2016 edition of Wimbledon, several Nike-sponsored tennis players complained that the design, created by the Oregon firm for the occasion, was not only too short a flowing white dress closer to a nightgown than regular sports equipment, but that it made her look too short. The game was interrupted. The flight he took with each shot. British tennis player Katie Boulter decided to use a headband as an improvised belt to retain her style, and Czech Lucie Herdeka opted for some leggings Under the minidress. “I didn’t feel comfortable teaching that much,” claimed the German Sabine Lisicki, who refused to wear clothes on the slopes.
— Ben Rothenberg (@benrothenberg) 21 June 2016
Trying to promote the women’s game by betting on the sexualization of its players is nothing special to tennis. In 2004, the then FIFA President Joseph Blatter, he suggested That football players look more attractive on the field. “Come on, the women play in a different and more feminine uniform than the men. For example, in tight shorts, as in volleyball,” she said, labeled “shameful” and “masculine” by some of the leading football players of the time. alleged in the statements. Billie Jean King, another indelible icon of the racket, has on several occasions criticized the scrutiny of tennis players. “The harassment of women’s bodies must end,” he wrote in a tweet in response to the controversy generated by Serena Williams’ organizations. “Criticism of what she wears for work is a genuine lack of respect.”