Serena Williams‘ body is sculpted by the finest craftsman in heaven and she is showing it off on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar in an unretouched photo that bares her bottom.
The dual cover portrays Serena as a golden goddess as her metallic gown blows in the wind. The champion tennis player penned an essay for the August issue, going into detail about her 2018 Grand Slam loss against Naomi Osaka. She was fined three times and ultimately, the referee had given the game to Osaka, who Serena admits played a better game.
She admitted she couldn’t find peace after the match and felt betrayed by the sport she loved so much.
“I felt defeated and disrespected by a sport that I love—one that I had dedicated my life to and that my family truly changed, not because we were welcomed, but because we wouldn’t stop winning.”
Serena was convinced it was because she was a woman standing up for herself.
“If I were a man, would I be in this situation? What makes me so different? Is it because I’m a woman? I stop myself to avoid getting worked up. I tell myself, ‘You’ve been through so much, you’ve endured so much, time will allow me to heal, and soon this will be just another memory that made me the strong woman, athlete, and mother I am today.'”
She eventually questioned she had done the wrong thing standing up for herself because Osaka’s win was overshadowed by her behavior.
“This debacle ruined something that should have been amazing and historic. Not only was a game taken from me but a defining, triumphant moment was taken from another player, something she should remember as one of the happiest memories in her long and successful career. My heart broke. I started to think again, “What could I have done better? Was I wrong to stand up? Why is it that when women get passionate, they’re labeled emotional, crazy, and irrational, but when men do they’re seen as passionate and strong?'”
She sent Osaka an apology letter.
“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,” she wrote.
But Osaka’s response gave her the clarity she had been seeking.
“People can misunderstand anger for strength because they can’t differentiate between the two,” she said. “No one has stood up for themselves the way you have and you need to continue trailblazing.”
The whole incident left Serena guarded. She didn’t pick up a racket until much later.
“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.”
Read the full essay, here.