Serena Williams has told how she loves representing ‘beautiful dark women’ as she discussed her thoughts on body confidence and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The tennis champion, 39, appears on the front cover of British Vogue’s November issue and told the publication how she feels she has been ‘underpaid’ and ‘undervalued’ in the past in comparison to her male and white female counterparts.
She said: ‘I’ve never been a person that has been like, “I want to be a different colour” or “I want my skin tone to be lighter. I like who I am, I like how I look, and I love representing the beautiful dark women out there. For me, it’s perfect. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”‘
Serena also discussed her feelings on body image, saying how she felt like her sister Venus had a body deemed more acceptable by society when they were growing up as she was more slender than her younger sibling.
Serena said: ‘When I was growing up, what was celebrated was different. 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.’
Serena, who is mother to daughter Olympia, two, who she shares with her husband Alexis Ohanian, explained she is ‘thankful’ for the body she has.
She said: ‘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 sooner. It just all comes full circle when I look at my daughter.’
The sports star discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and the global protests that were sparked by the death of George Floyd in May.
Serena told how she feels black people have been given a new ‘voice’ thanks to technology because ‘we see things that have been hidden for years’.
She said: ‘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. At the end of May, I had so many people who were white writing to me saying, “I’m sorry for everything you’ve had to go through.”‘
‘I think for a minute they started – not to understand, because I don’t think you can understand – but they started to see. I was like: “well, you didn’t see any of this before?” I’ve been talking about this my whole career. It’s been one thing after another.’