Tuesday, December 11, 2012

LOOK: Funny or Racist? Wozniacki Mocks Serena

I haven't blogged about tennis since the seasons finished a few weeks ago. however, this developing story is too interesting not to discuss. Apparently while playing an exhibition match against Maria Sharapova in Sao Paulo in Brazil, erstwhile #1 Caroline Wozniacki put on an exhibition of her own, by plumping up parts of her anatomy in a hyper-exaggerated fashion, mocking the voluptuous frame of Serena Williams which has often been on display.

Tennis players often mimic each other's tics on the court. Novak Djokovic is infamous for his portrayal of Sharapova. However, Wozniacki's mocking of Serena is starting to garner accusations of racism from some people online.  Yahoo's Busted Racquet discusses the controversy.There have been other comments as well, such as:

Another blogger pointed out: 'It may have been done in “jest,” but I love how people can can turn a black woman’s body and sexuality into a caricature. However, we should not have the autonomy to celebrate any successes of our own. 
While on feministing.com, an article read: 'Given the history and current-day context of racialized standards of beauty, and the hypersexualization of people of color, when a white woman makes fun of a black women’s body, especially in a way that hypersexualizes her and draws on the stereotype of black women’s big butts, it’s racist.' 

What do y'all think? In my opinion, Wozniacki is  not trying to commit a racist act (she and Serena are actually pretty friendly on tour) but may have unwittingly played into racially tinged stereotypes. It will be curious to see if there are any ongoing ramifications of this incident, and whether Serena will respond at all.

Hat/tip to Kenneth (in the 212)

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