Physical appearances are always on the forefront of discussion in that women (and men) are either applauded for their looks or completely degraded. Displays of rampant sexism were all too evident after the French tennis player, Marion Bartoli won Wimbledon on Saturday. In reports from The Guardian UK (opens in new tab), BBC commentator, John Inverdale said the following callous remarks regarding her physical attractive-ness, "I just wonder if her dad, because he has obviously been the most influential person in her life, did say to her when she was 12, 13, 14 maybe, 'Listen, you are never going to be, you know, a looker.'" Inverdale further compared Bartoli to Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova by saying, "You're never going to be 5 ft. 11, you're never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that.'"
In case Inverdale did not know, it does not matter whether you are tall or have blonde hair — none of those characteristics define a player's ability to win or lose a game. Bartoli has handled the situation rather gracefully, responding with a verbal shoulder shrug: "It doesn't matter, honestly. I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I'm sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes. And to share this moment with my dad was absolutely amazing and I am so proud of it."
Amongst all of the offensive hype, it is fantastic to see Bartoli keep her cool. As for Inverdale, he should stick to sitting behind the bleachers, but perhaps next time, he should just be quiet.
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