Fashionista or Anti-Fashionista? Tennis Traditionalist or Anti-Traditionalist? For many years now, BMS has pushed and pulled and rocked and rolled the world of tennis fashion: her iconic long socks, her various hats and head gear, her endless variety of dresses: leopard skin, zebra stripe, toga, metallica . . . anything imaginable or unimaginable by the tennis status quo.
BMS here in a long flowing dress like a graceful Greek column with its subtle curves and fluting. Traditional tennis white that transcends the traditional. Her two graceful arms completely revealed and perfectly balanced, one arm reaching up towards the heavens with the perfect ball toss, the other one tattooed—a little grunge–with the black weapon in hand waiting to strike the ball with tremendous force. A pinkish swirl of energy animates her figure as if from a fairy godmother’s magic wand, creating a sense of magic, wonder, dreams, wishes . . . Is there a greater dream/wish for an athlete than hitting a perfect shot while in the process of hitting that perfect shot?
“Lotus” echoes all those famous Birth of Venus paintings where Venus floats on the sea. Here Quiroz presents BMS as a contemporary Venus, an athlete in action, in black knee socks and ballcap (both BMS trademarks.) This modern day Venus, surrounded by lotus flowers, leans into and rips a two-handed backhand. All the mud and dirt and work and time and effort and guck beneath the surface is what produces the lotus flower as a symbol of spiritual beauty. All the mud and dirt and work and time and effort and guck we never see is what goes into producing the beautiful athlete as well as each perfect shot she hits.
“Energy is eternal delight,” writes Blake, and in “Americana” we see BMS bringing it in red and black and blonde as she celebrates with fist pumps and tongues out and fingers raised to the sky. Whether playing dubs or commenting on matches, energy as joy is what BMS brings to the party.
More on Bethany Mattek-Sands: BMS has won 9 career grand slams in doubles and an Olympic gold medal. For more description and pics of her famous fashion statements on the tennis court, check out this article from Sports Illustrated: “Bethany Mattek-Sands Fashion Odyssey.”
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