Release the taboo of menstruation and put an end to white clothes

Menstrual cramps do not mix with sports, especially when the stress associated with clothing is added. In some sports (tennis leading the Wimbledon tournament), sportswomen are forced to wear white, a color that causes anxiety when menstruation comes. Athletes today are calling for breaking silence and taking into account the damage to the performance of tennis women, soccer players and judoka.

Let’s talk about the rules for changing them. This was recently done by British tennis player Alicia Barnett, who threw stones into the pond by evoking the tradition of white costumes at the Wimbledon tournament, as far as sports and hers are concerned.

“During the qualifying period, I had my period and the first day was very heavy,” she told The Associated Press on July 4, as Sky News reported. “I’m a little stressed. I think it’s difficult to get your period on the tour, but wearing white doesn’t help.”

Already in May last year, Chinese player Quinn Wen Chen explained his defeat in the 16th round of the French Open due to menstrual cramps and began to lift the taboo on sports rules. [son] tennis”.

But beyond these unquestioned pains, we risk seeing the rules exposed to everyone’s eyes. For white skirts, shorts and kimono.

“Mental stress”

To limit the impact of this monthly phenomenon on performance, sportswomen want to be able to realize the tradition of wearing white.

The “white dress code”, a symbol of the British bourgeoisie, has been a delegation at Wimbledon since the convention was founded in 1877. Rooted in Victorian etiquette, the rule was formalized in 1963.

According to the official Wimbledon website, the dress code states that all players are required to wear “almost completely white proper tennis attire.” A rule that applies from the moment the player enters the field. The dress must be strictly white, except for “off-white or cream”.

If the acceptable threshold allows the use of “pastel” shades, the tournament organizer will leave the back, shorts, skirts, socks, shoes and caps white. Therefore, in 2002, while she was wearing black shorts, Russian tennis player Anna Kournikova was asked to return to her locker room to find her white outfit.

In response to a tweet about menstruation and how it affects the performance of certain athletes during sports, Olympic champion Monica Puig said at the end of May, “Wearing white at Wimbledon and menstruating. It evoked the psychological stress of praying for the absence of her. Her period of the last two weeks. “


“I think some traditions may change,” said Alicia Burnett. He also said he “loves” the “white” tradition. A position shared by British soccer player Beth Mead. “It’s nice to have a pure white ensemble, but it can be impractical at the time of the month. [les règles]”She explained in an interview with Telegraph that the England women’s football team had conveyed this statement to Nike. The three Lioness, who are currently competing in the euro, are actually talking to equipment suppliers to change colors. I started shorts (currently white).

“Because I had my period yesterday”

In addition to tennis and soccer, there is another sport that involves white uniforms-and this time in any sport-judo. At Tatami, five-time world champion Claris Agbegnenow will take part in the menstrual panties of the French brand Les Jeannes, against the taboo of sports rules.

“I used to play judo in a white kimono, it’s complicated,” an evolving judoka in the less than 63 kg category explained to France Information. Many times between training I had to go to the bathroom to change everything (…) Every woman needs it and in sports you have a lot of difficulties. “

Beyond regulatory attire and color, the simple awakening of the rule remains taboo. However, after being defeated in Rio’s Olympic pool after the fall of Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui in 2016, “Rules bother all sportswomen at least once in their lives.”

This is also one of the things that tennis player Alicia Barnett mentioned. “Your body becomes loose, your tendons relax, and sometimes you feel tired and difficult to adjust. Motivation to play.”

After justifying the failure in the women’s 4x100m, Fu Yuanhui became widely talked about, “because I had my period yesterday.” Simple and effective. In China, where even the method of specifying menstruation is taboo, the declaration caused a turmoil. In the world of sports, it is one of the major outlets participating in gradually breaking the law of silence of menstruation. “first day [de règles]After failing at the French Open, her fellow tennis player Quinnwen Chen said it was always difficult. “I can’t go against my true nature. I want to be a man in court at times like this.”

In January 2015, British tennis player Heather Watson also associated her poor performance at the Australian Open with “that girl.” On the BBC radio’s microphone, former British number one Annabel Croft followed, asking the “always taboo” sportswoman to lift the rules of blood during her menstruation.

Talking about rules and improper dress codes for women is a problem that more and more sportswomen are trying to raise awareness. According to an Adidas survey in August 2021, one in four girls quit sports as a teenager, primarily for fear of bleeding and dirt on their clothes.

Recently, a global Puma survey has revealed that this is associated with one in two teenage girls.

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