Serena Williams Body Shaming, How the Media is To Blame

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Serena Williams Body Shaming, How the Media is To Blame – Written by:

Bryann Andrea Guyton

Bryann Andrea

So what is the standard of female beauty? And what role does popular media play in deciding what is considered to be the “ideal female body?” Recently, critics have taken to the internet with a “body shaming” campaign of sorts against one of the greatest tennis superstars of all-time, Serena Williams.  Serena doesn’t possess a thin and petite body and in the eyes of the media, regardless of who you are, thin and petite should be the only acceptable physical attribute women present publicly.

Just a month ago, the New York Times came under fire when readers didn’t take kindly to an article outwardly criticizing Serena Williams’ strong physique. (The article, titled “Tennis’s Top Women Balance Body Image with Ambition,” claims that other top female tennis players choose to avoid “bulking up” like Williams.) Now a month later, Serena Williams is making heads turn in a  New York Magazine photo shoot while flaunting her curves in the face of all her haters who body shamed her after her win at Wimbledon.

Serena Williams

Most professional women participating in athletics are usually built more muscular. “Serena Williams is what happens when a gladiator’s body and a warrior’s mind meet a surgeon’s precision and a ballerina’s poise. She possesses all of the ingredients necessary to achieve the ultimate dream of any athlete: GREATNESS.” Bailey Brautigan, Forbes

Williams only seems to be getting ridiculed because of her winning track record. I truly believe that if she wasn’t at the top of her game, and standing in the spotlight, she wouldn’t have the multitude of critics as she does now. The media is constantly hawking her every move and the coverage of Serena’s body sometimes overshadows coverage of her wins.

Standards of feminine beauty are presented in almost all forms of popular media. Conventional fashion magazines with page after page of skinny models hanging from full page advertisements are a potent source of unrealistic images of the media’s idea of beauty. Research has shown that women are almost in every way, negatively affected by the constant over exposure to models that supposedly portray the ideal beauty.  This is disturbing since many women read these magazines on a consistent basis to get information about beauty, fitness, grooming, and style. The information provided within the covers of these magazines should provide information and products that are supposed to make women look and feel better.  Women continue to pour through the pages of these magazines. With the hope that if they follow the advice given, they will be more acceptable and attractive, But all too often, this frequent magazine reading has been consistently correlated with higher levels of body dissatisfaction and disturbed eating patterns in women.

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Somehow the media has missed or overlooked what has become the latest sought after body type among women, the look of a curvier and voluptuous physique. Many women are steering away from traditional European slim fashion model appearances and focusing more on voluptuous character attributes. More and more idolized celebrities are going for the more “full” look in targeted areas. Fuller hips, thicker lips, more muscular toned arms…but wait, did I just describe Serena Williams?

Read related Articles:

ChocolateInformed: Serena Williams Wins Wimbledon, Why are We only Talking about Her Body

New York Times: Tennis Top Women Balance Body Image 

Forbes: The Greatness of Serena Williams

About the Author: Bryann Andrea attends  Shaw University full time as a student athlete on the women’s basketball team. Along with college and a career in modeling, she continues to work with several marketing agencies, networking communication departments, and nonprofit organizations.  We are very excited to have Bryan Andrea as a contributing author and Brand Ambassador for  Chocolate Informed Online Magazine where she will be covering the latest celebrity and entertainment news, plus interviewing a variety of people for our featured articles.


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