This weekend while playing a match in Sao Paolo against Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki added a little extra padding to her shirt and bottom to impersonate Serena Williams’ figure.
While tennis players often do impersonations of their peers for entertainment, bloggers and the public are crying out that this was an act of racism.
The Daily Mail compiled responses evoked from the prank:
On Tumblr, one blogger wrote: ‘This isn’t “harmless fun” as one article described it. its racist. out and outright racism. mocking and making fun of the bodies of black women for a laugh? real funny, stupid white girl. real real funny.’
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.’
While the volume of response for this “act of racism” has been great, Wozniacki claims that the impersonation of Williams, who is her friend, was innocent:
Wozniacki mentioned during a press conference after the game that she was performing an impression of her friend and fellow tennis player Serena Williams.
She said: ‘I really love the crowd here, they’re open and they have a lot of fun.’
Williams is no stranger to “butt” talk. She herself has pointed out that her caboose is more than enough, tweeting the hashtag “BigButtProblems” jokingly.
Is this a case of racism or a friendly joke? Maybe Wozniacki can fall back on the “I’m only allowed to talk to my friends,” adage, but we’re sure critics aren’t going to let her go that easy.