Serena Williams has been 'bodyshamed' throughout her tennis career
Serena Williams admits she has been "bodyshamed" due to her curvy figure and has been "paid unequally" because she is a woman.
The 37-year-old athlete claims she's received unfair criticism because of her "body shape" and believes she's ran into trouble just because she's female.
In a first-hand essay for Harper's Bazaar magazine - for which she has posed in unretouched photos - she wrote: "I've been shamed because of my body shape. I've been paid unequally because of my sex. I've been penalised a game in the final of a major because I expressed my opinion or grunted too loudly."
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“I’ve been called every name in the book. I’ve been shamed because of my body shape. I’ve been paid unequally because of my sex. I’ve been penalized a game in the final of a Major because I expressed my opinion or grunted too loudly...And these are only the things that are seen by the public. In short, it’s never been easy. But then I think of the next girl who is going to come along who looks like me, and I hope, ‘Maybe, just maybe, my voice will help her.’” @SerenaWilliams goes unretouched on our August 2019 issue and gets candid in a personal essay on BAZAAR.com. Link in bio Photography by @alexilubomirski Styling by @menamorado Hair by @vernonfrancois Makeup by @tyronmachhausen #SerenaWilliams wears @ralphlauren, @bulgariofficial and @louboutinworld
A post shared by Harper's BAZAAR(@harpersbazaarus) on Jul 9, 2019 at 6:52am PDT
Serena admitted her journey has "never been easy" but she hopes speaking up will help others who "look like" her in the future.
She added: "I've been blatantly cheated against to the point where the Hawk-Eye rules were introduced so that something like that would not happen again. And these are only the things that are seen by the public.
"In short, it's never been easy. But then I think of the next girl who is going to come along who looks like me, and I hope, 'Maybe, just maybe, my voice will help her.'
The tennis ace - who has 21-month-old Olympia with husband Alexis Ohanian - admitted that her biggest drive these days is her young daughter.
She added: "Ultimately, my daughter is the reason I use my voice, the reason I picked up a racket again. Love breathes life and newfound perspective into people.
"It's not about quitting when someone presents a challenge; it's about getting up when you are down, dusting yourself off and asking, 'Is that the best you got?' Because I have God with me, and I can take whatever comes my way."