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Jelena Dokic’s Reminder to Choose Kindness Over Body Shaming

Jelena Dokic on the court at the APIA tennis international in Sydney on Jan 8, 2012. She wears a red, black and white top and is holding a tennis raquet ready to play.

(Photo by Tony Bowler/Shutterstock)

Can I just use this opportunity to say, on behalf of all women everywhere, we’ve had enough? Like, really.

Olympian and tennis champion Jelena Dokic has addressed online trolls and media outlets who’ve been giving her heaps about gaining weight during Melbourne lockdown – and we are right here, cheering her on.

The Former World Number Four posted a side-by-side shot of herself pre and post-covid to Instagram, after being inundated by comments about her appearance at the Australian Open, where she’s commentating.

One media outlet (that shall not be named here) has even dedicated an entire article to her weight gain.

“I have always been honest with you about my struggles and weight battles. I have talked about my weight and not a lot of people have done that publicly,” she said

“Now I am going to be honest but I also feel like I need to address the negative attention around what people think I should look like. And here is my message to you, GET OVER IT.”


“Leave me and my physical appearance alone. I really don’t know why people and the media have the need to comment on someone’s physical appearance, especially when it comes to women. You would never talk like that about a man”.

She goes on to talk about her struggles with mental health issues, which have been exacerbated by Melbourne’s lengthy Covid lockdown.

“It was very hard mentally for me in the world’s toughest lockdown for 6 months and not being able to see my loved ones for 15 months, “she says.

“I have even had some depression and anxiety creep back up and it’s been a battle,” she continues.

“To all the body shamers, online trolls and the media who have body shamed me, you should be ashamed of yourselves. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” she said.

“How about a bit of kindness? How about a message asking how I’m doing? Instead of talking about my weight, how about talking about all my accomplishments? Does my weight determine my worth? It’s so easy to judge others but why can’t people just be kind?”

She also points out that she “could be pregnant or going through something” and reminds us all that “you never know what battle someone is fighting.”

WE HEAR YOU JELENA! So here’s a little refresher about this incredibly talented human.


She’s had a career high ranking of fourth. She’s won 6 WTA and 8 ITF singles titles. She was a quarter-finalist at the Australian and French Open. A semi-finalist at Wimbeldon. She represented Australia at the Sydney Olympics, and came fourth. She was the Fed Cup and Hopman Cup player for Australia.

She’s a coach, a commentator and a writer.

Oh and she’s a bloody great ally for women all over the world.

Erin Rhone is a journo and coffee addict who has worked across radio, TV, and print for the past 17 years (despite not ageing a day during that time). She also loves lifting heavy things, arguing with strangers about politics and pointing out the importance of pockets in dresses. We love this girl and we know you will too! You can find her and her delightful wit, sassiness and humour on Instagram @ezrhone or Twitter @erhone01. 

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