For Serena Williams, appearing on the cover of Vogue in 2012 and 2015 was about more than just some photoshoots with the legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz. She told Vogue in an article published online on Tuesday that it was about the message it sends to women everywhere.
“Being black and being on the cover was really important to me,” she explains. “The success of one woman should be the inspiration to another, and I’m always trying to inspire and motivate the black girls out there. I’m not a model. I’m not the girl next door. But I’m not hiding. Actually, I look like a lot of women out there. The American woman is many women, and I think it’s important to speak to American women at a time when they need encouragement. I’m not political, but I think everyone is worried, to a degree.”
Williams and her fiancee, Alexis Ohanian, are expecting their first child later this summer. Despite concerns that this may be the bookmark that starts the end of her career, she said she wasn’t ready to hang up her racquet yet – even when she’s a mom. In fact, she said, she believes that pregnancy has given her “a new power.” Even if it does, temporarily, make her ankles disappear.
“It’s hard to figure out what the end of your tennis career should look like,” she says. “I used to think I’d want to retire when I have kids, but no. I’m definitely coming back. Walking out there and hearing the crowd, it may seem like nothing. But there’s no better feeling in the world.”
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