Star hits out at bikini photo backlash
Tennis star Naomi Osaka has hit back at critics after she recently posted photos on Instagram of herself in a bikini.
The two-time grand slam champion, who won the US Open in 2018 and the Australian Open last year, defended her right to wear whatever she wants in response to the backlash that accompanied her social media activity.
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Osaka wrote on Twitter this week the amount of people taking offence to her bikini snaps was "creeping me out".
"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'," Osaka said.
"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?"
Australian tennis great Rennae Stubbs showed her support for Osaka, tweeting "Exactly!!" in response to the Japanese star's comments.
In May, Forbes magazine unveiled Osaka as the world's highest-paid female athlete, banking $57.2 million in the preceding 12 months.
It saw her edge tennis rival Serena Williams for top spot on the list as Osaka also pocketed the most money by a female athlete in history, shattering the single-year earning mark of $45.5 million set by Russian Maria Sharapova in 2015.
In addition to establishing herself as a powerhouse on and off the court, Osaka - born to Japanese and Haitian parents - has been a passionate advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement, sharing updates on social media as she attended protests in the US.
"I'm vocal because I believe in the movement and want to try to use my platform to facilitate change," Osaka told Reuters last month.
"George Floyd's murder and the situation generally in America has had a big impact on me. Being silent is never the answer. Everyone should have a voice in the matter and use it."
Originally published as Star hits out at bikini photo backlash