GQ Magazine is facing backlash for putting the word Woman in quotes, on their cover that introduces Serena Williams as Woman of the Year. Veuer’s Sam Berman has the full story.
Fans of Serena Williams were justifiably upset when they saw their queen on one of GQ’s Man of the Year covers, released Monday.
One of the covers showed Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champ, posing in a black bodysuit with a Chanel belt and the words “2018 Woman of the Year” in headline type with the word “Men” crossed out. Some fans took exception to the word “Woman” being offset by quotation marks.
Williams has faced judgment in her career from those who have criticized her for being too muscular and strong, so what appeared to be a slight against her on the GQ cover drew some scrutiny.
In a letter on Reddit last year, Williams wrote, “I’ve been called man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that that I use drugs (No, I have always had far too much integrity to behave dishonestly in order to gain an advantage). It has been said I don’t belong in Women’s sports — that I belong in Men’s — because I look stronger than many other women do. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it).”
It turns out the headline was handwritten by Off-White designer Virgil Abloh, according to a tweet from GQ research manager Mick Rouse. Abloh uses quote marks as part of his style as shown in the “Queen” collection that Abloh collaborated with Williams on for Nike. Tennis fans will recall Serena’s US Open dress this year had a swoosh with “LOGO” printed on her left shoulder and “SERENA” on her left sleeve.