We're with you, Marion.

Marion Bartoli:
You call her ugly? We call
your attitude ugly!

Image from WTA Tennis
“Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little: You are never going to be a looker, you’ll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight?

Note that he had the gumption to bring her down several notches: deeming her “ugly” in her father’s eyes.

Those words belong to John Inverdale. Through his absolutely intolerable words on Marion Bartoli as she waded through crowds to hug her father on his victory, Inverdale verbally reiterated the undercurrent of rampant sexism that hasn’t spared sport, either.

So here's the deal. No matter what, it’s always about ‘looks’. What she wears. The shape of her nose. How broad-shouldered she is. The colour of her skin. The texture of her hair. The colour of her outfit. The length of her outfit.

Not her game, not her skill, not her talents, not her victory. 
As Inverdale was yammering away, twitter was full of rude comments – one having gone too far as to say that she was too “ugly to rape”. Some called her a fat slob and some, ugly bitch.

This image belongs to @EverydaySexism

Welcome to the world where a woman’s appearance is everyone’s business. A world where fairness creams flourish as a business proposition, a world where acid can and is thrown on the face of a woman at a man’s whim, a world where a woman’s talents pale into nothingness while her appearance is judged at the forefront, a world where what a woman wears is a man’s business,.

A man can go for a “jog” wearing the tiniest of shorts and tightest of vests while rolls of his fat bound off in different directions while he waddles about. Oh but he’s not ugly. Or fat. Or a slob. Or anything.

It doesn’t matter what a woman achieves. She is a woman, and that’s enough license for the men of the world to dictate rules on her body, her looks and her dressing. To the many that take shameless pot-shots at a woman’s appearance, she is nothing more than a joke, a stimulus for cruel laughter and insults.
I remember chatting online with a male friend as the match was unfolding. I told him I wanted Marion Bartoli to win. He said he preferred Sabine Lisicki. I asked him why he thought she was a better player. “She is a better player?” he asked. “I have no idea. She just looks better.”

There you go. Writing’s on the wall, and he alluded to it. 

Why is anything about a woman’s body and appearance anyone else’s business? Why is it that women can and are judged on their appearance all the time? What gives anyone any right to poke fun at a woman’s appearance?

Kirthi Jayakumar
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