Yesha Callahan

Serena Williams Covers VOGUE’s Annual Shape Issue


Serena Williams is gracing the cover of Vogue’s annual Shape Issue. In the feature, Serena and tennis friend Caroline Wozniaki open up about friendship, dating, forgiveness, fitness and more.

Check out some snippets below.

On men:
“I am really shy. I don’t talk to guys. Friends? Yes. But a potential? No. I get nervous that I will say the wrong thing, and then I just start laughing.”

On staying fit:
“Nowadays everybody goes to the gym. But when I won my first Grand Slam, I had never been.” Even then, however, she was ambivalent about her naturally muscular physique, refusing to lift weights lest her arms get bigger. “I hated my arms.” “I wanted them to look soft.” To this day, she uses TheraBands instead of weights to avoid overdeveloping her muscles.

On playing with her sister:
“I don’t look at Venus on the court. I can’t,” she said. “If I am winning, I might feel sorry for her. If I’m losing, I will want to knock her out.

On forgiveness:

“…you can see it in her recently announced decision to go back to Indian Wells, a tournament she had vowed to boycott permanently after the largely white, largely senior audience booed the then–nineteen-year-old player throughout an entire match. The crowd had believed that Venus had pulled out of a match at the last minute to make sure the two did not play each other in the semifinals. It is a testament to her grit that Serena won on that difficult day, but she spent the next several hours weeping in the locker room. “Say whatever you want about me and Venus,” Williams would later write in her autobiography, “at the end of the day we were just a couple of kids, trying to do our best.”

“Every year, officials at the tournament begged her to come back. Every year, she said no. Even a new owner, billionaire Larry Ellison, and his multimillion-dollar makeover of the tournament—there’s now a Nobu—did not sway her. Then, about a year and a half ago, Williams spent Christmas vacation reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. His account of his struggles caused her to reflect on how she was walking through her own life. “That’s when I realized I had to go back,” she says. “I always talk about forgiveness, but I needed to actually show it. It was time to move on.”


Read the full article here.

Image Credits: Annie Leibovitz/VOGUE

  1. March 23, 2015 - Reply

    Her interview certainly presents to the world how grace, talent, forgiveness, and perseverance are great aspects of human life. Serena Williams’ beauty is inward and outward. Her activism in the fight for human rights and her love for her family are inspirational too. Her Vogue Cover is very beautiful and it shows the confidence of a strong black woman. Black people exist in different hues, sizes, and shapes. There is nothing wrong with Serena’s arms, with her skin, and with her fearless talent. There is something wrong with the oppression and bigotry though. When you look at her eyes in the cover, you see what it is all about. Her eyes present the truism that we must have determination in our lives and be persistent in fulfilling our goals and our dreams. In life, not everything will be perfect. For us, life a’int been no crystal stair. Life does give us to opportunity to not only overcome challenges thoroughly. It gives us the time to help others and Serena Williams has positively changed the culture of tennis forever with her actions (and with her love for people). We will never sleep on Venus too. Venus Williams has been loyal to Serena and she has made great contributions in tennis and outside of tennis as well.

    The gifts of compassion, social activism, and the love of family are priceless.

    Bless Sister Serena Williams and her family.

  2. March 23, 2015 - Reply

    Serena is a a class act. Intelligent, strong an insightful. This woman, is a true role model to our girls.

    But I feel the cover photo has done her an injustice . . . . I’ve seen far more flattering candid photos of Serena.

    Vogue, you could have done better by this dynamic, lovely woman.

  3. March 24, 2015 - Reply

    Love her. Great cover. Awesome woman.

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