She might be one of the most talented athletes in the world but ’ body has been the subject of much commentary throughout her career.
However, despite years of criticism the former world number one loves her body' and now she wants to teach her daughter to do the same.
Appearing on the cover of Vogue’s newest edition, alongside her newborn baby Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., William’s opened up to the style bible about motherhood, and just how difficult it can be.
However, having overcome a frightening health scare Williams is said to be feeling as “resilient as ever”.
In celebration of her power, Vogue has highlighted five important body positive lessons that the tennis champion has followed over the years and, in turn, hopes to pass on to her baby daughter, from tuning out negativity to learning that beauty isn’t one size fits all.
When I first saw this @voguemagazine cover it brought tears to my eyes. All Vogue covers are special but to share this one with my beautiful daughter @olympiaohanian also the youngest Vogue cover star makes it moment I will never forget. The article is a must read. Link in bio
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Firstly, as a woman who’s no stranger to body shamers, Williams has previously spoken about living by her own standards and accepting that it’s okay not to look like everyone else.
“My arms might not look like the girl over there or my legs might not look like someone else or my butt or my body or my anything, if they [do] have a problem with it then I look them in the eye and say, ‘If you don’t like it, I don’t want you to like it. I’m not asking you to like it,” she explained in a frank conversation about body critics.
Similarly, the tennis champion has always encouraged the importance of body positivity and self-acceptance, insisting “That you can be whatever size you are and you can be beautiful inside and out.”
At three months old, @olympiaohanian is our youngest cover star to date. "I’m so glad I had a daughter," says @serenawilliams. "I want to teach her that there are no limits." Tap the link in our bio to read the full interview. Photographed by @MarioTestino, styled by @tonnegood, Vogue, February 2018.
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Here, William’s says the key is in learning to be comfortable with yourself and knowing that, “For every negative comment, there are 300,000 positive ones.”
Despite all the times that Williams has been criticised for her appearance, she awards her mother for insuring she never lost her self-assurance.
In an open letter to her mother, Oracene Price, Williams revealed that she has "been called a man", accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs, and told that she didn’t belong in women’s sports. But, that it was being able to tune out this kind of negativity that helped her through.
Disregarding such destructive comments, the 36-year-old adds that, no matter what you look like, the most important thing is to stay dedicated to what makes you happy and to "keep your eyes on the prize".
“I’ve been like this my whole life and I embrace me,“ she said on Good Morning America.
“I don’t have time to be brought down, I’ve got too many things to do. I have grand slams to win, I have people to inspire, and that’s what I’m here for.”