Tennis Planet

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Does beauty trump talent for women?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 18, 2007

LeBron James is not the most handsome dude on the planet, but he is amazing on the basketball court. That is enough for him to get millions of dollars of endorsements and get pasted on the front cover of the most prestigious magazines.

Dwayne Wade is sailing in the same boat, but he was voted the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ for 2006 by Sports Illustrated. He is a virtual magnet for endorsements.

Even Nadal is not known for his looks, but has a huge following and is hot property for advertisers. Other tennis players that come to mind are Guillermo Canas, who is a hero in his country. Gonzales is more popular in Chile than most top ranking politicians. You can go on and on.

When the Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova won the US Open in 2004, there was not even a whimper.

Justine Henin has been World’s No. 1 for more weeks than Sharapova and has won five Grand Slams. With only 5’5″ and just 126 lbs, that’s a huge achievement against giants like Serena, Venus, Sharapova, Davenport etc. She leads Sharapova 5-2 in head to head clashes. She also lead another 6 footer, Davenport 7-5.

But does she get the coverage like Sharapova or Vaidisova or Ivanovic? Forget about advertisers or endorsements, the tennis media itself won’t recognize her. Pound for pound, she is undoubtedly the most talented woman on the tour. What a pity, beauty gets more recognition than pure talent and performance on the court.

The ultimate tennis player in this respect has to be Anna Kournikova. She had two titles in her entire career, (TWO!!!) but she is one of the most sought after womens’ tennis player. Any questions!!! She has not even picked up a tennis racket for the last 2000 years, but she can still outpace the best there is on the tour, in popularity and endorsements. Talent? Performance? What’s that???

Have you heard of Laila Ali? Sure you have. She is the daughter of the ‘greatest’ Mohammad Ali. She sure must be thankful that she is beautiful, for there is no dearth of talent there. You are thinking: well, she is getting all that attention because of her father. Maybe. But have you heard of Joe Frazier’s daughter Jackie Frazier, who Laila fought and defeated. No, you haven’t. Point is, it’s all about the beauty, talent is just a nice supplement.

You think Jankovic, the Serbian, is getting anywhere with the advertisers or the media, anytime soon, irrespective of how many titles she wins? She has already won more titles than anyone on the tour this year and is tied with Serena and Henin. You wouldn’t know with the huge media uproar over it!!!

It’s time for the world to discard the double standard and recognize the beauty of actions over the physical beauty. Why short change people, who have the audacity to force life pay, what they want, no matter what their appearance is – whether male or female.

You go, Henin, Swetlana, Jankovic!!!

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7 Responses to “Does beauty trump talent for women?”

  1. Anonymous said

    Federer is not that good looking too, haha. I’m his fan, mind you, just stating a fact.

  2. rjlight said

    That’s sad but so true.

  3. Shane said

    Not so true.

    Jankovic is an advertiser’s dream girl. She’s got the right attitude too.

    The problem is not that Henin and Svetlana are plain looking, but that they are not based in the U.S. of A. and also that they don’t project an outgoing, confident, cheerful image off-court. Their plain looks add to their dowdy image.

    Henin has an opportunity to remake her image. She’s risen from the ashes of her marriage and is projecting an upbeat image after her disastrous retirement in last year’s Aussie Open.

  4. Perspective said

    Um, Nadal is smoking hot! Get a clue.

  5. El Santo said

    This is going to be a very late response, but … the reason we don’t hear much about Jackie Frasier is that she’s not really much of a professional boxer. In fact, I think that she’s a lawyer. She trained a bit, sure, but much of it was to lead up to that Ali vs. Frasier match more than anything.

    Otherwise, you’re spot on.

  6. cleoella said

    I’m in agreement with everything you’ve said except the bit about rafa not known for his looks. but I totally agree about justine. she’s definitely the most talented player on the tour right now, and yet, sharapova hogs everything just cos she’s supposedly “hot”. that is SO unfair.

  7. Federation said

    See, I think you should post more thoughtful, interesting, analytical, and relevant posts like this. I’m just not a fan when you call someone ‘retarted’ for wearing sunglasses. It’s too bad because you do pull a nice group of pics/video, etc. together, but looking at some of your older posts shows me that you’re capable of better.

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