For its August 2019 cover, 37-year-old Serena Williams takes to writing an essay for Harper’s Bazaar where she pours out her heart. The 39 Grand Slam winner did not just pour out her heart, she did in style.
Serena Williams’ covers for Harper’s Bazaar which was shot by Alexi Lubomirski, had Vernon Francois styling her hair while makeup was done by Tyron Machhausen.
On the second cover, the mother of one was adorned in a gold sequin Stella McCartney gown with Tiffany and Co. jewellery. For the shoot, she was photographed in other outfits – a gold Tom Ford mini dress and a Michael Kors fringe mini frock. It seems Serena William is serious about letting us know that she’s living her life like it’s golden, and we have no doubt that it is!
Here are the 3 major things she revealed…
1. Her first trophy and love for the sports
“At 17, I won my first Grand Slam, and I knew I had more in me. In fact, I was so sure that when I packed up my life and left my dad’s house to move in with my sister Venus, I told him he could keep my US Open trophy. Don’t worry, I assured him. I would get another one for my house. Now that was confidence. I went on to win the US Open not one or two but six times.
I have been asked what keeps me motivated to continue playing tennis. To me, the answer is simple: I love the sport. When I’m giving speeches I always say how important it is to love what you do. If you don’t, then find something that speaks to you. Follow your passion. Of course, there are times when loving tennis is hard.”
2. Apology to Naomi Osaka
In September 2018 at the finals of the US Open, Serena Williams was issued several warnings during her game with Naomi Osaka which later cost her the game as it was taken away from her. She said this was a hard blow and had to see a therapist to be able to process things and heal. She started asking herself questions and ultimately decided to make things right.
According to her, “what could I have done better? Was I wrong to stand up? Why is it that when women get passionate, they’re labelled emotional, crazy, and irrational, but when men do they’re seen as passionate and strong? Finally, I realized that there was only one way for me to move forward. It was time for me to apologize to the person who deserved it the most.
Hey, Naomi! It’s Serena Williams. As I said on the court, I am so proud of you and I am truly sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself. But I had no idea the media would pit us against each other. I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you. I would never, ever want the light to shine away from another female, specifically another black female athlete. I can’t wait for your future, and believe me I will always be watching as a big fan! I wish you only success today and in the future. Once again, I am so proud of you. All my love and your fan, Serena.
Naomi’s response moved her to tears. “People can misunderstand anger for strength because they can’t differentiate between the two. No one has stood up for themselves the way you have and you need to continue trailblazing.”
3. Her daughter’s influence on her voice
Growing up as the youngest of five girls, Serena learned early in life that she had to fight for everything she wanted and she won’t ever stop raising her voice against injustice. “When 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.””
It took her a while to get out her racket and be truly ready for another game but she did it all the same. “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.”
Here are other stunning images from the cover shoot…
Read the full essay on Harper’s Bazaar.
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