Serena Williams. Picture: AP

For the first time a strong, black female is shown displaying her vulnerability, and that, Marchelle Abrahams finds very refreshing.

Pregnant Serena Williams has gone and done what just about any female celeb has - shown off her baby bump in an exclusive shoot for Vanity Fair.

The images, to be published in the magazine's August edition, were taken by celeb photographer Annie Leibovitz, who captured Williams with no props, bells or whistles (and no flowers).

The series of photos encapsulates another side to the tennis star, one the public seldom sees: with her one hand cupped over her breast while the other rests on her hip.

And then Washington Post columnist Robin Givhan goes and does this...

Six hundred words of babbling on and on about naked celebrity pregnancy shoots and how the intentions behind them are driven by brand power and marketing machines.

Must read article. Link in bio

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Of course, they are - for their brand to survive, they need to stay relevant.

She compares Williams’s shoot with the likes of Beyoncé and Demi Moore: “Come on, take the picture! Williams is wearing a waist chain, a thong and a single twinkling stud in her ear. That’s it.”

For the first time a strong, black female is shown displaying her vulnerability. It’s refreshing to see Williams unphotoshopped, unfiltered, showing off her scars, her expanding backside, in all her Nubian beauty- an African warrior princess returning from battle.

There’s no comparing Williams with Beyoncé, so let’s not. And here’s where her critics got it wrong, because Williams is winning at showing off her pregnancy curves in all their natural, uncensored, unadulterated (and no skin lightening tricks) glory.

She’s black and she’s embraced it. That’s a victory for women of colour around the world.

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