Serena Williams (and You!) Answer Our ‘Body Issue’ Questions
Lorenzo Agius

As part of our July 2013 issue, ESSENCE asked the tennis champ and our readers on social media the same questions about fitness routines, sexy body parts… and guilty pleasures.

What part of your workout do you enjoy and dread the most?


“I love when it’s over. I do not like working out. When I’m done, I can’t believe I did it.”


“I have a love–hate relationship with my squats. Love the result but hate the wobbly legs after.”

—Zakiya Lee, via Facebook

“I love to sweat and leave it on the floor; insanity is awesome!! The part I dread is sweating out a great relaxer. LOL.”

— Dee Green, via Facebook

“I enjoy cardio — I love the fact my legs are doing one thing and my mind is on a million other things. I dread the burn of working on my arms n back…”

— Trulaina Price, via Facebook

“It’s the getting started I dread the most, but once I’m started & have my iPod I’m good!”

— Angel Hughes, via Facebook

What’s your favorite body part? Your least favorite?


“My smile. People I’ve hit with for years thought I had veneers. But no, [my teeth are] natural. I don’t love my arms. I know in ten years I’ll be like, what a loser I was, and I’ll really like them. I call them my long-distance arms.”


“Fave: My full lips. As a kid I was picked on a lot, but now I get compliments. Least fave: My moles.”

— Cessily Eslinger-White, via Facebook

“My eyes — they are beautifully colored, shaped and intense. They hold my thoughts and secrets. They have a story inside them yet to be told! Most controversial is my nose. I hate the shape, period… kills my profile!!!”

— Adrienne Gantt-itsme Keesee, via Facebook

“I love my smile and am always told it’s beautiful. I hate my toes and wish I could have them surgically removed, although my podiatrist says there’s nothing wrong. Yeah right, she’s not in my shoes!”

— Lavettra Willis, via Facebook

“I love my after-3-pregnancies breasts… I HATE my Dunlap stomach. It had Dunlap over the top of my undies. Smh!”

— Shenetha Releford, via Facebook

What are your secrets for caring for your skin and hair?


“Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize and clean, clean, clean. And I never leave the house without sunscreen. Ever.”


“Coconut oil. I use it on my hair, face and body. I also steam my face weekly and apply a face mask.”

—Kelli Monique, via Facebook

“Lots of water and whole foods. Wash with a mild cleanser and moisterize. And a great hair stylist. Her salon is my second home.”

Michelle Zachary McKinney, via Facebook

“I use a lemon for a facial cleanser, biotin for hair and nails, vitamin E oil as a moisturizer on hair and skin. Drink lots of water.”

— Tati Robinson, via Facebook

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“Vaseline all the way for skin! I use it on my daughter too.”

Ann-Marie Smith, via Facebook

What’s your workout jam?


“ ‘Conga’ by Miami Sound Machine.”


“Ricky Dillard and New G’s ‘Search Me Lord’ and ‘He Turned It.’ Yep, gospel while getting fit.”

— @sherrelledenise, via Twitter

“ ‘Brick House’ by the Commodores; definitely makes me want to strut my stuff and work.”

—@DaenelT, via Twitter

“Any old school Janet Jackson. Her body was sick also!”

— @_Stoni, via Twitter

When do you feel most sexy?


“At a photo shoot. I have my hair did, nails did, everything did.”


“After a thorough workout: when I’m dripping with sweat, I feel BAD ASS! ;-)”

—@MissAfroAngel, via Twitter

“In sexy pajamas just because …no special occasion.”

— @Just_Dewana, via Twitter

“When I am conducting business and have on an awesome pair of stilettos. Heels just do something to an outfit!”

— @EnrapturedEvent, via Twitter

“When I’m barefaced and my man tells me how beautiful I am.”

— @ugogrll25, via Twitter

Guilty pleasure time—what’s your go-to junk food?


“I’m ashamed to say this. [Whispers] Fried chicken. I am really ashamed to say that. I was thinking about it today. Whenever I win the big tournaments, the first thing I have is fried chicken, because I can’t eat it any other time.”


“Dill pickles! And I’m not pregnant!!”

— Wanda Fowler, via Facebook

“Oatmeal cookies. My mother said she ate them often with vanilla ice cream when she was pregnant with me and I have a brown birthmark on one side and a light one on my other side!”

— Machelle Nix, via Facebook

“Okay, please don’t judge me, but in my night stand behind ALL of my ‘junk paper’ (that’s what the kids and hubby see), I have a bag of chips, 3 (different) candy bars, a juice box, a pack of powdered donuts, and some trail mix. Once again, please don’t judge me.”

— Theia Tucker, via Facebook

“I save all my snack calories for wine!” — Frances Olivia Liddell, via Facebook

For more conversation with Serena Williams, pick up the July 2013 issue of ESSENCE magazine, on stands July 7.