Tennis star Naomi Osaka has called out critics who shamed her over recent pictures she shared of herself in a bikini.
Throughout this month, the 26-year-old has shared multiple photos on Instagram of herself by the pool.
But, according to the two-time Grand Slam champion, who addressed the issue on Twitter this week, the photos have led to unsolicited criticism from some of her more than 1.1m followers.
“I just wanna say it’s creeping me out how many people are commenting @ me to maintain my ‘innocent image’ and ‘don’t try to be someone you’re not,’’ Osaka wrote. “You don’t know me, I’m 22, I wear swimsuits to the pool.
“Why do you feel like you can comment on what I can wear?”
Osaka’s tweet prompted hundreds of fans to come to her defense, with many applauding the tennis pro for speaking out.
“They have nothing better to do than comment on the life of someone they THINK they know. You just keep doing you,” one person tweeted.
Another said: “Love to you Naomi, wear what you want and be who you want.”
I just wanna say it’s creeping me out how many people are commenting @ me to maintain my “innocent image” and “don’t try to be someone your not”. You don’t know me, I’m 22, I wear swimsuits to the pool. Why do you feel like you can comment on what I can wear?
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) July 26, 2020
This is not the first time Osaka, the world’s highest-paid female professional athlete, has used her platform to speak out against social stigmas. In June, she called out the “random people” who say athletes should stick to “entertaining” and avoid talking about politics.
I hate when random people say athletes shouldn’t get involved with politics and just entertain. Firstly, this is a human rights issue. Secondly, what gives you more right to speak than me? By that logic if you work at IKEA you are only allowed to talk about the “GRÖNLID” ????????♀️?
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) June 4, 2020
Later in the month, while speaking with TIME100 Talks, the professional athlete, who has been outspoken in her support for anti-racism protests, elaborated on the issue, explaining: “Everyone has a vote and a say, I think it’s really weird that athletes get told to just stick to sports.
“You would never go up to a barber and say just stick to cutting hair. It’s a weird stigma that gets attached and I don’t even know where it comes from.”