Serena Williams perfectly shuts down a reporter who asks why she’s not smiling
Reporters of the world, be advised: Serena Williams does not have time for your nonsense.
Tuesday night during a press conference, after defeating her sister Venus in a quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, Serena was asked the silliest of questions: why aren’t you smiling?
According to Mashable, the reporter says, “You just won a match. Normally you smile when you win.” He goes on to ask, “Is it because you beat Venus or because you’re thinking about what is going on next? What’s wrong?”
Now, sure, Serena might not celebrate as much after beating her older sister as she would after defeating a different, non-blood-related opponent. In fact, she took to Instagram Wednesday to share a beautiful message about her love for her sister.
It’s also likely that Serena is under some pressure: she’s got the potential to become the fifth player in the history of tennis to win a Grand Slam within a calendar year. In fact, she’s a mere two wins away from that achievement.
However, the question itself is, without a doubt, inconsiderate at best. GQ brings up the sexism of the phrase, noting that men frequently ask women to smile, or why they’re not smiling, and—this one is awful—tell women that they would look prettier if they smiled. They go on to say, “…it reflects a manipulative, falsely courteous impulse that’s very nearly as chauvinistic [as catcalling].”
While we can’t know if the reporter asking the question did so knowing or understanding that it was veiled in sexism, it doesn’t matter: after Serena’s response, he’ll think twice before asking anything like it again.
She says, “It’s 11:30. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t want to be here. I just want to be in bed right now and I have to wake up early to practice and I don’t want to answer any of these questions. And you keep asking me the same questions. It’s really… you’re not making it super enjoyable.”
Several reporters in the room laugh as Serena smiles and states simply, “Just being honest.” Not that Serena wasn’t already our hero for being and incredible athlete, but she just became even more heroic in our eyes.
The reporter does attempt to ask another question, but Serena cuts him off, saying, “Is it about Venus again?”
After all, with repetitive questions, her early morning, and—according to CNN—“standing on the brink of history,” Serena doesn’t have time for more ridiculous questions.
(Image via Shutterstock)