Tennis star Naomi Osaka is not here for other people’s opinions on her fashion choices. This past weekend, the 22-year-old was left defending herself against critics who urged her to maintain her “innocent look” after she posted several not-so-uncommon summer-friendly snaps on her Instagram account.
The photos shared by the athlete were not out of the ordinary for women her age and included posts of her day-to-day life and poolside snaps of her chilling. In one photo, Osaka was posed in profile in a yellow bikini. That shot led to critics questioning whether the star was pregnant or had gained weight due to being quarantined. One person asked, “Sooo, not pregnant?” while another replied, “She is getting bolder as days passing.”
The two-time Grand Slam winner later shared another photo of herself posed in a yellow top with a blue bikini bottom and Nike sneakers. One critic wrote, “If you don’t show, you don’t sell.” They added, “Definitely not the shy timid girl anymore.” While another seemingly assumed that because the athlete was sharing photos online that meant she isn’t focused on tennis anymore. “If you were my friend, I would have advised you to stay focused on the upcoming competitions.” They added, “At least you can be sure to win.”
Osaka ultimately addressed the drama on her Twitter account, saying, “I just wanna say it’s creeping me out how many people commenting @ me to maintain my ‘innocent image’ and ‘don’t try to be someone you’re not.'” The athlete added, “You don’t know me, I’m 22, I wear swimsuits to the pool. Why do you feel like you can comment on what I can’t wear?” The tweet gained over 22,000 likes from supporters.
While many trolls continued piling on with more admonishments, one fan backed up Osaka’s comments, saying, “It’s your body. If you’re comfortable, that’s all that matters. This idea of ‘keeping innocent’ is societal pressure that men and some women don’t want you to become a WOMAN, and you are a woman.” The commenter added, “Wear what feels good. Be the woman you are. You don’t owe anyone a justification.”
The supportive fan followed the tweet with a second post saying, “And who are these people that have the AUDACITY to dictate to you what you wear on YOUR body… just let them know you weren’t soliciting opinions.”