Is Serena “Beautiful”?


suzanneI know, you will tell me that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. So let’s stipulate up front to that tired old cliche. What I want to know is whether you think the world’s greatest-ever female tennis player (top photo) is eye candy.

I know you’re not one of those anonymous trolls who infested social media while Serena was winning the French Open, the racist, sexist creeps who sneered that Serena Williams looks like a man – or even “a gorilla.”

But, tell the truth, is she too powerful looking to meet your standards of beauty?

I think Serena is a work of art.  I think the lines of her face are classical, her cheekbones exquisite. I think her movement is as graceful as a panther’s.

As for her broad shoulders and rippling thighs, I think they  would be a sculptor’s dream.

But that’s just me.

Obviously, there are others who don’t share my perspective.

The question is whether in the year 2015, in Western civilization, female beauty can include power and athleticism.

Obviously, Serena is no delicate geisha.

But is the geisha your idea of feminine charm?

A half century ago, when I worked for the Toronto Telegram,  I interviewed the great  George Balanchine, who was visiting Canada with his ballet company. And he lectured me about prevailing concepts of female beauty.

He had no use for dancers with “tiny hands and tiny feet,” he said. He preferred his ballerinas to have hands and feet large enough to make a dramatic statement on stage. Dancers like the immortal Suzanne Farrell (bottom photo).

That was half a century ago. Have our tastes evolved in all that time?

What does this generation think, I wonder.

Do women still have to be “delicate” in order to be considered “beautiful”?

Click for more on the social media trolls.

Click for more on George Balanchine.

Click for more on Suzanne Farrell.