Serena Williams is amazing. She’s gorgeous, talented, and dedicated. Even though Serena is a powerhouse of talent, people try to undermine her. First, a news anchor tried to shame her body. Now, she’s talking about the ridiculous pay disparity between her and Maria Sharapova. Despite having dominated the court on multiple occasions, Serena still has fewer endorsements than Sharapova.
During an interview with the New York Times, Serena Williams delivered the perfect response for one reason why Maria Sharapova had more endorsements. Serena stated what the media has been avoiding to explicitly say. Even in 2015, some companies prefer the image of blonde hair and blue eyes when marketing toward their audience.
Serena’s not worried. She’s making millions and is at the top of her career. However with Serena, we are reminded about what happens to our bodies when they are viewed as a threat. People will try to criticize, isolate, and terrorize you until you’re destroyed. What if Serena wasn’t as emotionally and mentally strong and succumbed to what the haters were saying about her body? She could’ve tried changing her body and possibly ruined her career.
As Black women, our bodies are continuously policed. We have to be aggressive, or the angry black woman, or the seductive Jezebel. If we don’t fit those categories, then the media doesn’t know what to do with our bodies or us. After so many centuries, it seems like the song about Black women is remaining the same.
However, nowadays we have control of which magazines and blogs that we want to consume. The best part about being young, black, beautiful, and talented in 2015 is that we no longer have to rely on the general media for representing Black women and other women of color. We are creating our own forms of representation.