Tennis great Serena Williams has been named GQ’s Woman of the Year — but the magazine’s cover has folks outraged on social media because the word “Woman” is in quotes.
The 37-year-old features in one of four covers of the December issue wearing a black long-sleeve turtleneck leotard.
GQ first made women part of its Men of the Year honorees in 2003, and the 2018 male covers boast Michael B Jordan, Henry Golding and Jonah Hill.
Serena’s cover has sparked controversy on Twitter primarily because many users seem unaware that the typography was handwritten by designer Virgil Abloh, who uses quotation marks in his work, per msn.com.
Abloh collaborated with Williams and Nike for her US Open outfit which featured “Serena” in quotations on her trainers and “Logo” on her tutu dress, the report states.
In response to a Twitter thread criticizing the cover, Mick Rouse, research manager for GQ, tweeted: “Because it was handwritten by Virgil Abloh of Off-White, who has styled everything in quotation marks as of late (see Serena’s US Open apparel that he designed).”
Last year, in an open letter on reddit, Williams shared her emotions about being called a man because of her muscular physique, writing: “I’ve been called man because I appeared outwardly strong … It has been said I don’t belong in women’s sports — that I belong in men’s — because I look stronger than many other women do. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this baddass body and proud of it.)”