Tag Archives: controversy

A Different Sort of Tennis Star

You’d think since being rated the top Junior player in the United States, tennis phenom Taylor Townsend would be best known for her prowess on the court.  However, aside from Townsend’s legendary on-court tennis battles, are plenty of battles of a different sort.  Two years ago, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) asked Taylor to sit out of the 2012 Open Junior Tournament due to concerns about her “conditioning”.   And by conditioning, they meant body shape.  And by body shape they meant how Townsend looked in a dress.  According to Tom Perotta of the Wall St. Journal:

Her coaches declined to pay her travel expenses to attend the Open and told her this summer that they wouldn’t finance any tournament appearances until she makes sufficient progress in one area: slimming down and getting into better shape.

“Our concern is her long-term health, number one, and her long-term development as a player,” said Patrick McEnroe, the general manager of the USTA’s player development program. “We have one goal in mind: For her to be playing in [Arthur Ashe Stadium] in the main draw and competing for major titles when it’s time. That’s how we make every decision, based on that.”

But it doesn’t just stop at funding. According to Perrotta, the USTA actually requested that Townsend skip the U.S. Open, denying both her petitions for wild cards into either the U.S. Open main draw or the qualifying tournament. In the end, Townsend’s family decided to pay out of their own pockets for Taylor to compete in the U.S. Open Junior Tournament.  She was ultimately defeated in the quarterfinals by Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.

It’s clear that Taylor knows on which side her baguette is buttered.  In 2012 Townsend said:  “I’ve gotten a lot of great opportunities, great fitness, great coaching,” she said. “I’m doing everything that they ask me to do and being professional about everything.”

Nevertheless, Townsend has to be feeling more than a little gratified over Tuesday’s French Open results.  The match had some moments that seemed straight out of a movie script.  In the first set of her first match, Taylor got behind 1-5.  She then won12 of the following 13 games to win over her U.S. opponent Vania King 7-5, 6-1. Today (Wednesday, May 28) Townsend (ranked 205th) is scheduled to battle top-ranked Frenchwoman Alize Cornet (ranked 21st) at the 10,000-seat Suzanne Lenglen Court. So surely at this point we’re focusing on her playing prowess, right?  Right?

Well, today’s New York Times article on Townsend is titled “Questioned About Body, Townsend Rises and Inspires”.  Now the article goes on to say that Taylor is playing amazing tennis, and that Wednesday’s matchup promises to be very exciting.  The article contains quotes from Taylor’s new coach (Zina Garrison) talking about how Townsend is “fine”, and how she doesn’t wish her young tennis protege to suffer over criticism or worry about her weight.  So I’ll offer some slight props to the Times for inserting some body positivity into the article.  But let’s not forget that the first three words of the headline are not “Powerful Tennis Star” or “Young Tennis Phenom”.  The first three words of this headline are “Questioned About Body”.

I guess it’s not surprising.  As I’ve reported before, even winning Wimbledon does not protect you from the need to be attractive to men.  The top title in tennis does not forgive you for being less than supermodel gorgeous.

I hope that Taylor kicks some serious butt on the court tomorrow.  I hope she plays really well and ultimately triumphs.  I have to admit that I don’t hold out a lot of hope however, that Taylor Townsend will ever win victory over a public that is most interested in how she looks in her little tennis skirt.

Le sigh.

Love,

Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)

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Here we Go Again

Kelsey

I really wish I was making this stuff up.  Once again, we’ve got a blogger (female this time) spilling “ink” in a very public forum about the shape of the body of a professional cheerleader.  It seems that CBS Houston Blogger Claire Crawford recently felt the need to criticize the body of NBA cheerleader Kelsey Williams.

Crawford reportedly said in the blog:

The Rockets looked terrible in Game 1, but some say they weren’t the only bad-looking people on the court…

This pretty blonde has been criticized by some folks in OKC for having “pudginess” around her waistline. We’re not trying to be ugly. We are just discussing what men like in women, specifically NBA cheerleaders.

Crawford apparently also said in the blog:

But if she’s comfortable wearing that tiny outfit and dancing for NBA fans, then good for her.  Besides … not every man likes women to be toothpick skinny. I’d say most men prefer a little extra meat on her bones.

(Insert facepalm here along with slow sad headshake.)  To add insult to injury, a poll was posted at the bottom allowing the public to “weigh in” on whether or not they thought Williams was “too chunky” to be a NBA cheerleader.  Reportedly the available options were:

  1. “the perfect look to be an NBA cheerleader,”
  2. “she could use some tightening up in her midsection”
  3. “she has no business wearing that outfit in front of people.”

Which begs the question of what other options might have been made available.  Some suggestions include:

  1. Are  you f$%*ing kidding me?
  2. Just how desperate are you to up your “hit count”?
  3. Is it possible to be a total misogynist and a woman?
  4. This blogger has no business writing for a major news outlet or anywhere else for that matter.

In other news that came some distance towards restoring my hope in humanity, it seems that many, many people agreed with point number 4 and caused an uproar around the blog post and the blogger.  Some suggested that both Crawford and her overseeing editor be fired.

You gotta wonder how the conversation between Crawford and her overseeing editor might have sounded:

Yay!  We stirred up nasty, offensive controversy on our blog.  Wow people are really worked up, will ya look at that hit count?  Oh, oh.  Now they are calling for our heads and asking for us to be fired.  Better fix it.  Blog post?  WHAT blog post?  I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Yup.  Shortly after the proverbial poop hit the propeller the blog post was taken down.  Not only that, but all other posts by Crawford were removed from the site as well.  According to the Daily Mail, Crawford has since deleted her Twitter, Linkedin, and Myspace accounts. At first I thought, “serves her right.  Maybe we won’t have to hear any more nonsense from her for a while.” Except, well, not really.  Lost Ogle suggests that Claire Crawford is really just a pen name for CBS Digital Content Manager Anna-Megan Raley.  So it’s quite possible that “Claire” and her “managing editor” were having a conversation in Anna-Megan Raley’s head (since they are possibly the very same person).

Well, isn’t that convenient?  What a great technique!  First create disposable online “characters”.  Next have them say offensive things likely to stir up lots of noise.  Finally, when things get too hot, just “fire” the pretend person and remove all evidence of them from your site.

Honestly, I debated about even writing this blog post.  You know the number one rule on the internet is, “don’t feed the trolls”.  But at least this post is not in any way linked to anything likely to give more traffic to CBS.  But I ask you my dear readers, do you think it’s a sign of progress that so many of us have a fit when we read a post like the one by the alleged Ms. Crawford? And by being upset, are we just playing into the hands of the media outlets who publish this bile, or using a public forum to fight body shaming.  I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Joan Rivers Gets Schooled re. Why She Should SHUT UP about Adele.

ALERT ALERT ALERT: NSFW, Plus likely loss of sanity points ahead

The following video contains Joan Rivers acting like a complete idiot and saying mean fat hating things about Adele followed by a response from Adam Hills that is brilliant but full of a LOT of profanity.

Okay, what have we learned boys and girls.

1.  Joan Rivers is a mean spirited, nasty person who uses what she terms as “comedy” to spread hatred.

2.  She does this on purpose in order to stir the controversy pot and get attention.

3.  Some people (like Adam Hills) are starting to get more than a little sick of these tactics.

4.  These people are starting to speak out.

5.  People who live in surgically altered glass houses, probably shouldn’t toss rocks.

I’m not really sure what the take away message should be here.  Obviously this kind of “comedy” is not new to Joan Rivers.  She’s made a long, long, long career out of being mean spirited and nasty in this particular way.  And she’s used to getting a lot of attention for it.  But maybe she’s getting a slightly different kind of attention now than she’s used to.

Should we take heart from the fact that her appearance on Letterman was punctuated by  audible boos?  I mean this is not an audience known for loving kindness, but clearly even some in this jaded audience felt Rivers had gone too far.  Should we take heart from Adam’s gleefully unrestrained and curse-word-laden tirade?  Or should we wonder if he’s not being kind of mean spirited too?  Is he justified?  Is it ever justified?

Should I use my blog to shine a light on haters, even if the light shows them getting a seemingly deserved smackdown?  Because the fact remains that this blog is not only adding a few more hits to the pile for Adam Hills, but also doing so for Joan Rivers.

Controversy breeds attention. There’s an old adage that says, “All publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right.” (Although my version of this saying goes, “All publicity is probably good publicity as long as it links back to your facebook page and YouTube channel.”)  Clearly there’s some truth to this saying  This video referenced above has already racked up over 1 million hits.

So I am sincerely asking you, should we give this kind of behavior any attention at all?  Even if the attention is to shake a finger and say, “Shame on You!”?  Or should I just post more cute videos of yawning baby hedgehogs? I would LOVE to hear your feedback.  So fill up the comments or drop me a line letting me know what you think.

Because, even though I’m QUITE sure that there is no such thing as too many cute videos of yawning baby hedgehogs, I’m a little less sure of the alternatives.

Love,

The Fat Chick