In 2007, Tatiana Golovin, a French tennis player, caused quite a stir at Wimbledon when she wore bright red shorts under her white dress. This decision led to extensive discussions about hemlines and the Club’s strict all-white dress code. Eventually, Golovin was allowed to continue wearing the red shorts. However, her time at Wimbledon that year was short-lived, and so was the conversation about underwear.
All England Club Eases White Clothing Rule
If Tatiana Golovin were to compete at Wimbledon this year, her choice of bright red shorts would be perfectly acceptable. The All England Club has decided to relax the rule on white clothing in order to address “period anxiety”. Female players can now wear colored shorts underneath their white skirts, bringing relief to many athletes. One player who has been particularly vocal about the impact of periods on female sports and performance is British player Heather Watson.
Watson expressed her happiness when Wimbledon announced the decision regarding undershorts, as it made a significant difference to her. She openly discusses her period and believes it should not be a taboo subject. In the past, Watson had to resort to taking the contraceptive pill to prevent bleeding during Wimbledon, as she did not want to face any embarrassing situations. Considering the physical demands of tennis, with players running, sweating, and doing splits on the court, Watson is grateful that she will not have to go through the same experience as last year.
Another young tennis star, 19-year-old Coco Gauff, who is the 7th seed, also shared her own experiences of competing while on her period. Gauff acknowledges the stress and worries associated with menstruation during tournaments. Although athletes have period underwear for added protection, the constant concern about potential leaks can be mentally draining. Gauff believes the relaxed dress code will alleviate a significant amount of stress for her and other female players. She appreciates that the topic of menstruation is no longer a taboo subject and is glad it is being openly discussed.
Gauff recalls an incident at another tournament where she experienced embarrassment due to her period. Fortunately, the referee noticed before anyone else, but she recognizes that the new dress code will make a world of difference. The young tennis prodigy gained fame at Wimbledon in 2019 when she defeated Venus Williams at the age of 16. Now, she looks forward to being able to compete without the constant worry and distraction caused by her period.
While female players can now wear colored undershorts, Wimbledon’s traditional all-white rule remains unchanged. It will be interesting to see how many women take the opportunity to add some color under their outfits when the tournament begins on Monday. The decision to relax the dress code not only addresses period anxiety for female players but also acknowledges the importance of open discussions surrounding menstruation in the world of sports.