Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why can’t Serena have off days?

The internet has been all aflutter with pictures of Serena looking kinda hefty in a trikini on the beach. It’s actually a very pretty swimsuit and she looks toned and happy, but from some angles she does look kind of chunky. Many websites report this in a tone of scandalized horror. You’d swear it ranked up there with Jesse James’ alleged racism and wandering dick.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to live under such relentless scrutiny. Can you imagine not ever being able to have an off-day? Can you imagine what it must feel like to have your every move documented and commented on, not to mention periodically laughed at as if just being yourself is some kind of crime?

I fail to comprehend why some “celebrities” seem to out of their way to attract paparazzi attention. It seems like such a toxic experience. And a huge part of the negativity comes from the fact that these “celebrities” are not allowed to have the normal vagaries of life and living that unknown folks like you and me take entirely for granted. Like being able to just take a day off and enjoy life.

From time to time I give myself the gift of “fat days”. These are the days on which I allow myself to eat some kind of junk food, like a Wendy’s premium fish combo with fries and a diet coke. I am normally an obsessively healthy eater, but from time to time I give myself a break from all the carb-counting. And I indulge and enjoy.

Professional tennis players are obviously held to a higher standard. And if I were a pro, I would of course expect to be held to a high standard of fitness. But Serena has not played tennis since Australia. And indeed, she played the first slam of the year swaddled in bandages. Three months later I think it’s perfectly natural that she would have gained a bit of weight. You’d think her critics would cut her some slack.

Clearly Serena is not troubled by self-criticism. She put on her lovely bathing suit and went to the beach. The weather was decent for a change. She must have felt entitled to enjoy it. In all the photos she is laughing and happy.

And lately she has had a lot to enjoy. She was recently awarded the 2009 WTA Tour Player of the Year. This is a huge deal, especially coming after the debacle in New York that threatened to negate the otherwise brilliance of her performances throughout 2009. This is the third time that the WTA has named Serena player of the year. She received this award in 2002 and 2008. I’m sure that a lot of discussion went into whether she should be given this award in 2009. But whom else could they honor? Who else has accomplished as much as Serena has in 2009? Melanie Oudin? Maria Sharapova? Please, don’t make me laugh.

In addition, Serena and Venus were also awarded Doubles Team of the year 2009. And let’s face it, their partnership has been unbeatable. And having won the Australian Open doubles this year, the partnership seems bent on achieving even more. Serena has worked very hard for all of her accomplishments. Surely she’s entitled to a few days off?

When Serena did not show up in Indian Wells, I did not assume injury, knowing that she has kept her promise to never return to this tournament. But then she announced her withdrawal from Miami because of a bum knee. Serena has won Miami five times. It must gall her not to be able to go for six. But at this time, she needs to focus on rehabbing the knee so that she could return to being a 100%.

This includes allowing herself to enjoy a day at the beach. She was photographed jet-skiing with friends. She seemed happy and carefree, like she decided to just cut loose and just enjoy life. Surely she is perfectly entitled to this?


Cookie said...

It must be tough to be scrutinized so closely - especially for someone's Serena build. She has gotten so much negative attention due to her weight/shape that it is a miracle that she still has any self-esteem. Actually, it looks to me that she has lost some weight since Australia. *Shrug* - for some people she will never be thin enough or pretty enough.

Karen said...

And when she is not fat she is being accused of being on steroids. She just cannot win - LOL. I loved seeing her in those pictures and I loved seeing her going to her sister's matches and cheering her on. I also love following her on Twitter and you can tell that she and Sveta are really good friends because in one exchange on twitter, Sveta seemed to have been feeling really down and Serena asked her where she was and after that Sveta tweeted that Serena rocks. I like seeing her having fun and doing just everyday things. I am trying to figure out whether all the stuff that I am hearing about Jesse James is true, especially the Nazi part,and if so, did his wife know?

tennischick said...

Thanks for your comments. I agree with you both.

To Karen: This is the ONLY question I have been asking myself about the Sandra Bullock situation. Men cheat all the time. Wealthy men think they have the means to get away with it. Not a pleasant experience for the wife by any means.

But how could a wife of five years not know that she was married to a white supremacist? And why would she stay with him if she did? What does that say about her? I'm not trying to blame the victim here, but as my grandmother would say, show me your friends and I'll show who you are. Sandy's got some explaining to do.

Karen said...

TC, one of the things that I have noticed is how the media is downplaying the whole Nazi stuff. When it was Tiger Woods they were happy to trot out all the floozies, give them air time and and all that other stuff. Now that it is happening to America's So-Called Sweetheart, everyone is being mum and you do not hear the exposes like you did with Tiger. If you are going to air people's dirty laundry and call it news then no one should be exempt. Anyway, moving on, I hope Serena does take the time to fully heal her knee as I would really like her to make a run at the FO this year and ensure that Henin does not get Wimbledon. I want both Sisters to be healthy for Wimbledon because that is where the showdown will occur this year.