Serena Williams, the quintessential symbol of Black woman power, graces the cover of the quintessential fashion magazine, Vogue, which is significant because is still a rare sight to see a dark-skinned beauty on the cover of the iconic publication.
On the cover, Serena’s skin is radiant. She rocks an elegant teal dress. She is not overdone with makeup. Her hair flows back and out, as if wind-aided. She’s not wearing earrings; only a pristine bracelet on her left wrist. She looks more like her sister Venus than ever before.
This is Serena Williams in all her splendor, not photo-shopped to look like a starving model. For all she has done for sport and how she has comported herself, she deserves a place on the cover of this legendary magazine, like First Lady Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Oprah, Beverly Johnson, Rihanna and other Black women who have had solo cover placement.
The breathtaking shots of the tennis legend were taken by a legendary photographer, Annie Leibovitz.
In the magazine, Williams talks about her obsession with her arms, and making sure they do not look too muscular. She refuses to lift weights for fear of them growing or looking too strong.
“Nowadays, everyone goes to the gym,” she said to Vogue. “But when I won my first Grand Slam, I had never been. I hated my arms. I wanted them to look soft.”
On the cover, her arms are exposed and they look sleek and firm.
She touched on a number of topics in the magazine piece, including the challenge of being the best in her game.
“It’s hard and lonely at the top,” she said. “That’s why it’s fun to have (fellow tennis player and close friend) Caroline Wozniacki and my sister (Venus). You’re a target when you’re No. 1. Everyone wants to beat you. Everyone is talking behind your back, and you get a lot more criticism. God forbid you lose. It’s like, ‘Why?’ Well, I’m human.”