We're loving that Serena Williams has had so much to say about such topical issues this year, and as always, she continues to be a fantastic feminist icon and role model for women. In an open letter, Williams poured her heart out to her mother, and spoke about body image, her strength, and how to be a good role model to her newborn daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian.
The letter reads as follow:
You are one of the strongest women I know. I was looking at my daughter (OMG, yes, I have a daughter 😳) and she has my arms and legs! My exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body. I don't know how I would react if she has to go through what I've gone through since I was a 15 year old and even to this day.
I've been called man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that that I use drugs (No, I have always had far too much integrity to behave dishonestly in order to gain an advantage). It has been said I don't belong in Women's sports -- that I belong in Men's -- because I look stronger than many other women do. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it).
But mom, I'm not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman.
I am proud we were able to show them what some women look like. We don't all look the same. We are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small, just to name a few, and all the same: we are women and proud!
You are so classy, I only wish I could take your lead. I am trying, though, and God is not done with me yet. I have a LONG way to go, but thank you.
Thank you for being the role model I needed to endure all the hardships that I now regard as a challenges--ones that I enjoy. I hope to teach my baby Alexis Olympia the same, and have the same fortitude you have had.
Promise me, Mom, that you will continue to help. I'm not sure if I am as meek and strong as you are yet. I hope to get there one day. I love you dearly.
Your youngest of five,
The wonderful dedication to her mother was posted on Reddit (which Williams' future husband co-founded) alongside a photograph on her Instagram page, comparing her daughter's arms and legs to her own. The tennis superstar wrote about the body shaming that she received from her teens due to her stronger physique that made people accuse her of dabbling with drugs and being too strong to play against other women.
Not only is the letter touching to Williams' mother, but as one Twitter user put it, it's 'beautiful for all women'. I think we can safely say that we agree.
Editor-in-chief / dog mum / part-time Disney princess