Tennis champion Serena Williams is continuing to inspire young women around the world with her fearless spirit and she recently opened up about embracing her body image, women in sports and her infamous twerking moment with Beyoncé in a new interview.
Bringing all of her Black Girl Magic to the cover of SELF magazine’s latest issue, Serena says she’s proud of the strong woman she has become. “I am who I am. I love who I am,” she told the publication. “Just that whole attitude of being strong and powerful—that’s something I can get behind.” In addition to the stellar example she sets for young women as a professional athlete, Serena’s toned physique has quickly become another representation of her strength. Whether she’s doing what she does best on a tennis court, heating up a red carpet or dancing in a Beyoncé music video, the 34-year-old Compton native takes pride in embracing her shape. “I love my body, and I would never change anything about it,” she says. “I’m not asking you to like my body. I’m just asking you to let me be me. Because I’m going to influence a girl who does look like me, and I want her to feel good about herself.”
Even when she’s not making history or breaking records on the court, Serena remains a constant and vocal advocate for equality for women professional sports. In response to a sexist comment made by major tournament CEO Raymond Moore, who suggested that female tennis players “ride the coat tails” of their male peers, Serena had much to say. “Last year, the women’s final at the U.S. Open sold out well before the men’s. Did Roger play in that final, or Rafa, or any man? I think not.”
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This past April, fans got to see another side of Serena when she made a surprise appearance in Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual. If you were as impressed by her twerking skills as Beyoncé and the rest of us were, she’s got you covered with a step by step tutorial on how to get in proper twerking formation. Watch Serena break it all the way down in the video below.