Ash Barty bravely opens up about 'massive insecurities' around body image
Tennis ace Ash Barty has bravely opened up about the body insecurities she faced as a young player in aim to comfort those going through similar battles.
The former world number one retired earlier this year after dominating on the court and finishing with an Australian Open success.
However, in her yet-to-be-released memoir My Dream Time, she reveals that she struggled with her own mental battles off the court.
She speaks of her ‘massive insecurities’ surrounding the body image she had when she was a teen and ‘hated’ the impact training had on it.
Barty opens up about the comfort eating she would indulge in when homesick while on tour.
She bravely admits that she would at times compare herself to other players on the tour who she viewed as ‘aesthetically beautiful goddesses’, opting to get changed in private.
She added that she couldn’t ‘celebrate being unique’ as she was too concerned of being seen as different.
During the memoir, she reveals: “I didn’t tell anyone what I felt like sharing a locker room with women who had trained their entire lives to be lean and long and strong – athletically gifted and aesthetically beautiful goddesses from South America and Eastern Europe.
“I didn’t tell anyone about how they would walk around without a towel on and I wouldn’t know where to look, only that I didn’t want anyone seeing me so exposed. I got changed in a shower cubicle each day.”
Ash Barty shocked the world when she retired at the relatively young age of 25.
While she struggled when she was younger, toward the final part of her career she says she began to see her body as a weapon that could be used to gain an advantage over her opponents.
In an interview with News Corp, she reveals a massive motivation for releasing the memoir was to inspire people to be comfortable within themselves.
She said: “I went through that like a lot of people do and a big part of my passion now is to encourage girls and boys to be comfortable in themselves.
“It helped me realise that imperfections are part of all of us and they are ok. By sharing some of my insecurities hopefully it can help them realise a lot of people go through it.”
My Dream Time is set to be released next week and covers her career, sudden retirement, and even players she doesn’t like on tour.
She reveals that she lost the drive to continue winning after her accomplishment at Wimbledon the previous year.
Barty says she knew that was a ‘red flag’ and helped her make her decision to retire.
Featured Image Credit: Sipa US / Alamy. Speed Media / Alamy.