The Women and Weight: The obsession with Serena & Hantuchova - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2006, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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The Women and Weight: The obsession with Serena & Hantuchova

http://usopen.blogs.nytimes.com/?p=69

August 31, 2006, 4:18 pm Too Thin, Too Big, Too Much

By Kathleen McElroy


Before Serena Williams battled back from 5-2 to win the opening set against 17th-seeded Daniela Hantuchova, maybe we all were thinking about it. And Lindsay Davenport was asked about it more than her opponent after her 6-0, 6-0 victory. No one ever focuses on men’s weight, yet this being a culture (and its media) that focuses on image, it was obvious during the warmup that the Williams-Hantuchova match is a contrast in body types. Both have faced scrutiny the way most female public figures have — they are dogged for weighing too much, or too little.

Hantuchova, 23, is “listed” as 5 feet 11 inches and 123 pounds (a BMI of 17.2; normal weight is 18ish) which is way skinny but presumably better than a few years ago, when the press noted her shrinking weight from her early years as a pro, 2000 and 2001.

Williams, 24, is “listed” as 5 feet 9 inches and 135 pounds. She is considered out of shape by most tennis commentators. But a female journalist for the Miami Herald notes that at least she has real curves — unlike so many other top female athletes.

Remember in 1992, when Richard Krajicek said that “80 percent of the women players are fat lazy pigs”?

Davenport, who is slimmer than her early days on the tour, was asked about Serena, Daniela and their weight issues: what’s the pressure like to find that perfect balance?

“It’s different for every player,” Davenport answered. “What is troubling to one player is the exact opposite for another player. You know, we’re out here obviously as athletes, but just like any other woman. It’s a society problem. Its not just, you know, in women’s tennis.

“Personally, I had trouble earlier in my career and was criticized. I’m like 18, you know.”

She was also asked if some players mistake being thin for being fit: “I think that’s very common — I think that’s not a player misconception. I think that’s a worldwide misconception. I think to me, a strong, athletic woman seems a lot healthier than weight … instead of what the scale says.”

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2006, 05:51 PM
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Let the results speak for themselves.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2006, 05:55 PM
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no way serena is 135 pounds so if dani was 2 inches shorter and 12 pounds heavier she would be the same size as serena bs

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2006, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x Chu x
no way serena is 135 pounds so if dani was 2 inches shorter and 12 pounds heavier she would be the same size as serena bs
The weights and heights were measured when they 1st came on to tour I think...
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2006, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Craig
The weights and heights were measured when they 1st came on to tour I think...
yeah you're probably right...masha is more like 6'3" probably

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2006, 06:02 PM
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Well said Lindsay.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2006, 06:24 PM
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Actually it's not even about weight in Serena's case so much as it is about physique. Even when she was is great shape people were still threatened by her physique. People like small women because they are less threatening therefore thought to be easier to control.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2006, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
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no way serena is 135 pounds so if dani was 2 inches shorter and 12 pounds heavier she would be the same size as serena bs
You knida missed Lindsay's point, didn't you?

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2006, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Volcana
You knida missed Lindsay's point, didn't you?
To certain extent, but people do often Serena's weight in the context that she is obviously heavier than her listed weight. With Hantuchova, she was obviously going through some serious troubles and I think it warranted mentioning. Has a former top 10 male ever fallen out of sorts and gotten extremley thin? It was a big story.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2006, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
She was also asked if some players mistake being thin for being fit: “I think that’s very common — I think that’s not a player misconception. I think that’s a worldwide misconception. I think to me, a strong, athletic woman seems a lot healthier than weight … instead of what the scale says.”
Obviously, that is the thinking on here.

Thin does NOT equal fit!

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