Look how cute Serena Williams appeared just days ago in her 2012 Australian Open dress:
She looks like a fashion model! Serena has been on magazine covers, done photo shoots, has her own line of accessories sold on the Home Shopping Network – she knows how to look good when it counts. And she's sponsored by Nike so I'm sure she can take advantage of all kinds of stylists and fashion advisers is she wants.
So how come in her first Aussie Open match, she looks like this:
The dress itself is actually pretty boring but that's not the problem. The problem is I don't like the scarf/sweat band thingy. I don't like the way she's pulled her hair back. I don't like all of the wrist band thingys she's wearing. I especially don't like the black tennis shoes (despite the fact that I'm a fan of black tennis shoes, just not with this outfit).
Here's the deal – I think that when you're a highly-paid spokesperson for Nike, you should wear their apparel in a way that makes other people want to wear their apparel. Sure, I see the cute version she had on pre-match. And I'm all for personalization and making the outfit your own. But the vast majority of people who see Serena in this outfit aren't seeing those cute pre-match photos. They just see the outfit when when they watch Serena's match. They see how well this tennis outfit looks when, surprise, someone is playing tennis in it. And in this case, the outfit ain't looking too great during the match.
I'm sure Nike keeps sponsoring Serena because, frankly, what other American woman are they going to sponsor? But I really don't think Serena is doing her job for Nike. Hopefully she'll stay in the Australian Open long enough to clean this up a little bit.
Image of Serena during her match by John Donegan/AP