Serena Williams should be able to wear whatever she wants
If ever there was a woman who had the right to wear a superwoman catsuit while she is at work, it would be Serena Williams. She is the closest Real Life Version we have of the women who reside in the land of Wakanda.
And the French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, should act like he knows it. In fact, he should be grateful to Serena for making tennis so important to so many more people that he can now rest easy in the security of his very privileged job.
His polite phrasing of the age-old, one-two philosophical punch of racism and sexism was delivered under the disguise of new dress codes. These rehashed rules from the past are only the dying gasps of a fading era. These changes that Giudicelli summarizes as having "gone too far" are what actual inclusion looks like. Including other cultures means including other ideas about identity and culture.
Even if we aren't focusing on the history of exclusion that defines this very white-uniformed (racial pun intended) sport, or acknowledging that Serena might have been wearing the aforementioned catsuit because of health reasons, his comments would be tone-deaf. With the more multicultural, racially diverse makeup of tennis players in 2018, it's even more important that the old gatekeepers understand that the old ways of doing things need to change, too.
Cultures crafted under the sun draw color from the natural colors found in sunny environs. Simply put, people of color value colorful fashion. And Serena's defiant breaking of the white tradition affirms our need to see the colors of our cultural roots reflected in her triumphs.
On many levels, it is insulting that Giudicelli had the gall to single out Serena, a player who is both black and a woman.
Serena Williams is nothing short of a phenomenon. Her very existence is the stuff of which superheroes are made. A black girl born in a small town in Michigan and raised in Compton, California, isn't the most likely kid to become a player with 39 Grand Slam titles combined in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
For those of us who never had access to the privileged world of tennis, Serena drew us in. She made it impossible for us not to watch. Single-handedly, she increased the sheer number of people who took time out of their crazy modern lives to watch tennis.
Her superwoman abilities combined with her obvious humanness gathered together all sorts of women who had been told they could not be one thing or the other. Little black girls who had never considered tennis as a sport for them watched her win title after title and began to believe they could, too.
Women with big booties and biceps watched her drape her body for her matches and saw themselves in her defiant curves displayed for all to admire.
And you really have no other choice but to admire Serena when she's playing; the strength of her service, the agility of her movement, the impossibility of her speed, the way she can come all the way back from the point of "She's never gonna win this one," to "Oh my God, she actually won!"
Serena and her black catsuit with the red sash, her neon green skirt suits, her studded bralettes and denim wear, is proof that change is already here.
The old guards need to just get with it, or else, get ready to get served.
Staceyann Chin is the author of the memoir, "The Other Side of Paradise," and is currently touring "MotherStruck," her critically acclaimed solo theater piece, directed by Cynthia Nixon, and produced by Rosie O'Donnell, chronicling her incredible experiences about motherhood, which opened in New York, in December, of 2015. Follow @staceyannchin on Twitter and Instagram.