Many women who watch tennis, and many of the women who play professionally, cringe when the media focus falls on the beauty of a player to the detriment of their athletic ability. Understood. But Anne Applebaum of Slate is still stunned by the plethora of beautiful women from the former Soviet-bloc who have stormed the global stage, gaining fame and fortune, most notably our favorite Russian fashionista Maria "Shriek"apova. But where were they all this time?
In her editorial, Applebaum claims to have the answer saying,
"To put it bluntly, in the Soviet Union there was no market for female beauty. No fashion magazines featured beautiful women, since there weren't any fashion magazines. No TV series depended upon beautiful women for high ratings, since there weren't any ratings. There weren't many men rich enough to seek out beautiful women and marry them, and foreign men couldn't get the right sort of visa. [...] This doesn't mean there weren't any beautiful women, of course, just that they didn't have the clothes or cosmetics to enhance their looks, and, far more important, they couldn't use their faces to launch international careers."She ends the piece by saying,
"Beauty is a matter of luck, but the same could be said of many other talents. And what open markets do for beautiful women they also do for other sorts of genius. So, cheer up next time you see a Siberian blonde dominating male attention at the far end of the table: The same mechanisms that brought her to your dinner party might one day bring you the Ukrainian doctor who cures your cancer or the Polish stockbroker who makes your fortune."And sometimes, especially in sports, it's a combination of the two.
(image via JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)