Tennis record-breaker and businesswoman Serena Williams has been named British Vogue’s November 2020 cover star.
In the new issue, the inimitable force discusses taking a break for the first time in her life, body confidence, reflecting on a career plagued by racism, how Kim Kardashian’s meme-heavy text messages kept her going through lockdown and so much more.
The sportswoman also opened up about her desire to empower other women and inspire them to chase their dreams. “In this society, women are not taught or expected to be that future leader or future CEO. The narrative has to change,” she said. “I love sticking up for people and supporting women. Being the voice that millions of people don’t have.”
Williams got candid about the struggle of returning to tennis just six months after a life-threatening birth, admitting her daughter, Olympia, has been instrumental in her own evolution in self-confidence. “How amazing that my body has been able to give me the career that I’ve had, and I’m really thankful for it. I only wish I had been thankful for it sooner,” she said.
She also says that she often felt like her older sister, Venus Williams fit more easily into society’s beauty ideals. “When I was growing up, what was celebrated was different,” Serena Williams told the magazine.
“Venus looked more like what is really acceptable: she has incredibly long legs, she’s really, really thin. I didn’t see people on TV that looked like me, who were thick. There wasn’t positive body image. It was a different age.”
It took Williams many years to embrace and celebrate her body, and now she appreciates all that it has done for her throughout her successful run in the tennis industry.
She further talks about how tennis has given her a global platform to speak out about injustices while noting that the Black Lives Matter movement is bringing awareness to issues that have always existed.
“Now, we as Black people have a voice – and technology has been a huge part of that,” she says. “We see things that have been hidden for years; the things that we as people have to go through. This has been happening for years. People just couldn’t pull out their phones and video it before.”
Read the full feature here.
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