Very, very slow tennis

August 30th, 2010  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  11 Comments

A beautiful slideshow of slo-mo women’s tennis. A compelling and powerful portrait of athleticism and the aesthetics of strength. I’d love to see someone reproduce this for weightlifting.


  1. simma says:

    August 30th, 2010at 6:33 pm(#)

    I enjoyed this as well. Alas, tennis appears to be a sport that is considered acceptably “feminine” for women. It will probably be a while before women who lift will be celebrated in the same way.

    YouTube user crackyflipside has some great slow-mo clips of both men and women competing at the last world’s. For instance:

    But I’m not holding my breath for the day weightlifting women get the kind of artistic treatment we see in the NY Times tennis slideshow.

  2. Jasmin says:

    August 30th, 2010at 8:32 pm(#)

    Krista, I love the video

    This is off topic, but as a beginner to exercising, Why is it so hard to shred the last 10-15 pounds of fat? What has been an effective approach?


  3. Mistress Krista says:

    August 31st, 2010at 5:21 am(#)

    Jasmin: Eat less, move more.

  4. Anastasia says:

    August 31st, 2010at 6:29 am(#)

    This is indeed very cool, thanks for the link.

    I find it disappointing, though, that the women are dressed up in make-up, pretty dresses and sparkles. The form, the movement, the sport – these are beautiful enough. These women don’t *need* to be gussied-up to be considered beautiful or feminine. *No* woman should need to be gussied-up to feel beautiful.

  5. jenny says:

    August 31st, 2010at 8:05 am(#)

    I love the ball gowns and the glitter. It’d be great to see female weight lifters in ball gowns.

  6. Lauren says:

    August 31st, 2010at 5:12 pm(#)

    I heart Serena William’s arms.

  7. Sarah says:

    September 2nd, 2010at 9:27 am(#)

    I like the glitter :-) I think there are probably a lot more women who genuinely enjoy glitter and sparkles and glitz than don’t – and why can’t we combine them with strength and athleticism? I don’t wear makeup because I have a 4-year-old and better ways to spend my time in the morning, but occasionally I certainly do enjoy putting it on. I don’t think we ever grow out of playing dress-up – the trick is to enjoy it for the pretty artifice it is, and not let it define us. In this instance I think it was done well, as an accent rather than as a defining feature. The muscles were the defining feature! And lovely muscles they were. They are certainly providing incentive for me to go to the gym today.

    I think combining strength and muscle definition with “pretty” helps to redefine strength as feminine. I don’t think that the one takes away from the other in any way – they are very complementary.

  8. KAW says:

    September 3rd, 2010at 5:19 pm(#)

    I had the same response as Anastasia: women’s tennis is beautiful when they have their hair pulled back and are wearing clothes that don’t run the risk of a Jacksonian costume failure. No need to stick them in sequins, bandeaux, and curls.

    Of course, I believe in working out in baggy shorts and one of the ten bazillion free Netrition tank tops I still have from my Designer Whey days.

  9. Ms .45 says:

    September 9th, 2010at 4:16 am(#)

    “Jasmin: Eat less, move more.”

    That’s a bit glib. You don’t know what Jasmin looks like – for all you know she’s 5’8″ and weighs 110lb and the reason she can’t shed the last 10-15 is that no-one with those dimensions should be losing any weight. Personally, I can’t shred the last 10-15lb because I’m 5’1″ and 141 lb and personally, I’m not able to give up booze and ice cream. Sorry, I know you wanted me to be all ripped and stuff.

  10. Mistress Krista says:

    September 9th, 2010at 5:02 am(#)

    @Ms.45 — I’ve worked with hundreds of clients now, and I’ll tell you that 99.9% of the time, it IS that simple. BUT, to quote Dan John, “I said it was simple. Not easy.” Easy is a whole different ball of wax. It’s not easy to change habits, structures, and mindset, as you obviously know. THAT is the real problem and challenge, not some mystical physiological riddle.

    And I don’t really care who is ripped. Ripped is pointless for most folks. We are all on our own journeys. My point is that there is nothing biologically special about the “last” 10-15 lbs. It’s all the same project.

  11. simma says:

    September 9th, 2010at 6:18 am(#)

    @Sarah–I don’t think we need to redefine strength as feminine. There have always been strong women, such as those who had to work in the fields, perform manual labor, etc. to survive. The problem was that our construction of femininity did not encompass their strength because those women were usually of social strata or races considered second class, and it was the femininity of those women, more than their strength, that was cast into doubt. I think we need to redefine femininity, not strength.

    @Ms. 45–Why should Krista work from the assumption that she has to validate and approve of everyone’s motivations as though they were children or somehow impaired in judgment?

    I personally have no use for worrying about my weight or leanness unless it gives me a performance advantage in the activities that make me happy (in fact, I have deliberately gained weight for this reason, as well as deliberately lost), but who am I to question a stranger’s need or desire to lose what she defines as “the last 10-15 pounds” or her ability to judge for herself whether it is advisable or desirable to do so?

    Also, the fact that Krista is able to advise someone on how to take off an additional 10-15 pounds doesn’t mean she believes everyone should do so.

    We should each be careful to remember that other women do not have to conform to our own standards, their goals and reasons do not have to be our own goals and reasons, and their battles do not have to be our own battles. And I say this as someone who continues to resist putting aesthetics above both performance and enjoyment of life. I am always reminding myself that other women have other priorities, and judging them for it is not productive for anyone.

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