Monday 10 December 2018

'Why is woman in quotation marks?' - Serena Williams's GQ cover has sparked controversy

Serena Williams attends the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Tennis on The Thames evening reception at OXO2 on June 28, 2018 in London, England
Serena Williams attends the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Tennis on The Thames evening reception at OXO2 on June 28, 2018 in London, England
Serena Williams for GQ Magazine
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

You could argue it's another day, another event to draw the ire of the internet, or you could argue that that the controversy around Serena Williams's GQ cover has its merit.

The tennis superstar (37) is one of four covers released this week, three of which are Men of the Year including Michael B. Jordan, Jonah Hill and Henry Golding while Williams received an honorary title for her contributions as Woman of the Year - the problem is that she is referred to as "Woman" of the Year, specifically in quotation marks.

GQ.jpg
Serena Williams for GQ Magazine

Her cover was designed by Off White creative director Virgil Abloh, whose signature is putting quotations around absolutely everything, including the back of a downjacket, described as a "Downjacket" and the pair have teamed up for a new Nike 'Queen' collection.

The representation of her as a "woman" has drawn some criticism, particularly in the US, as the debate around race and gender intensifies, with drawing direct comparison to Gal Gadot's equivalent cover last year.

Online Editors

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