Serena Williams is the best at a lot of things–she’s certainly the best tennis player in all the world, she’s the best at appearing alongside Beyoncé in a music video and she’s the best at keeping it real about loving every inch of herself…muscles and all.
In her in-depth sit down interview with her Academy Award winning former beau Common for The Undefeated, the tennis champ talked her body confidence and what it’s like finally feeling free in the skin she’s in.
There was a time, Williams admits, that spectators would criticize her for her muscular frame and she reveals that she too wasn’t confident about it, but the 22-time Grand Slam winner learned over time that she had to be her own biggest fan in order to tune out the negative noise.
“I guess they couldn’t relate to me because I’m Black, I’m strong, I’m powerful and I’m confident,” she began. “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 don’t 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.” I like it and I love me and there’s other people that do look like me and they have to love them and I’m not going to sit around and harp on those people that feel so negatively.”
The tennis champ goes on to add that while she believes everyone can feel however they feel, she’s the only one who will ever know what it means to be comforable being herself at the end of the day.
“Like I said, they’re entitled to their opinion, entitled to like what they want to like, who they want to like and how they want to like them, that’s their opinion but I can’t let that influence me or bring me down in any way. Yeah, there was a time when I didn’t feel incredibly comfortable about my body because I felt like I was too strong then I had to take a second and think, ‘well, who says I’m too strong?’ This body has enabled me to be the best player that I can be and I’m not going to scrutinize that. This is great! This is amazing. And now my body’s in style. ‘I’m finally in style!’ It took a while to get there.”
Yes, Serena, you better twirl on those haters!