‘My body is my weapon’: New mum Serena Williams opens up on finally accepting her figure

We’ve already seen her on court in a striking black catsuit.

Pictured running in another skin-tight all-in-one – this time in a rainbow of colours – Serena Williams clearly isn’t shy of outfits that scream: Look at me.

But the 23-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t always been a picture of confidence.

The tennis star has revealed how she struggled growing up alongside her ‘thin, tall and beautiful’ sister Venus.

New mother Serena Williams has opened up about finally accepting her curvy and strong figure and how she is proud that her daughter will look like her

New mother Serena Williams has opened up about finally accepting her curvy and strong figure and how she is proud that her daughter will look like her

New mother Serena Williams has opened up about finally accepting her curvy and strong figure and how she is proud that her daughter will look like her

The tennis star has revealed how she struggled growing up alongside her 'thin, tall and beautiful' sister Venus. Pictured: The sisters in July 1992

The tennis star has revealed how she struggled growing up alongside her 'thin, tall and beautiful' sister Venus. Pictured: The sisters in July 1992

The tennis star has revealed how she struggled growing up alongside her ‘thin, tall and beautiful’ sister Venus. Pictured: The sisters in July 1992

It has taken the 36-year-old time to accept her body – but she now sees it as her ‘weapon’. 

She told Harper’s Bazaar magazine: ‘It was hard for me… I was different to Venus: she was thin and tall and beautiful, and I am strong and muscular – and beautiful, but, you know, it was just totally different.’

In 2004, Miss Williams said she wanted to lose weight and get down to a size 4 – a UK size 8. But she told the magazine, for whom she posed in a variety of eyecatching outfits: ‘Oh God, I’ll never be a size 4! Why would I want to do that, and be that?’

‘This is me, and this is my weapon and machine.’ 

The sportswoman, who gave birth last year to her first child, Alexis Olympia, added: ‘But I love that I said that, because I can understand. I can show Olympia that I struggled, but now I’m happy with who I am and what I am and what I look like.

‘Olympia was born and she had my arms, and instead of being sad and fearful about what people would say about her, I was just so happy’.

In 2004, Miss Williams said she wanted to lose weight and get down to a size 4 – a UK size 8. But she told the magazine, for whom she posed in a variety of eyecatching outfits: 'Oh God, I'll never be a size 4! Why would I want to do that, and be that?'

In 2004, Miss Williams said she wanted to lose weight and get down to a size 4 – a UK size 8. But she told the magazine, for whom she posed in a variety of eyecatching outfits: 'Oh God, I'll never be a size 4! Why would I want to do that, and be that?'

In 2004, Miss Williams said she wanted to lose weight and get down to a size 4 – a UK size 8. But she told the magazine, for whom she posed in a variety of eyecatching outfits: ‘Oh God, I’ll never be a size 4! Why would I want to do that, and be that?’

Miss Williams wore a black Nike catsuit at the French Open in Paris on Monday for her first match since giving birth last September

Miss Williams wore a black Nike catsuit at the French Open in Paris on Monday for her first match since giving birth last September

Miss Williams wore a black Nike catsuit at the French Open in Paris on Monday for her first match since giving birth last September

The mother of one has come face-to-face against her sister Venus, 37, several times in Grand Slam competitions and just two months ago, she was knocked out of the Indian Wells Masters in California by her sister.

She said: ‘I want [Venus] to win every time she’s playing, except when she’s playing me. And when she’s playing me, I want her to win, but I want to win – and I feel awful if I win. 

‘It’s an incredible fight inside myself…I always tell myself, in ten years, none of this is going to matter, we’ll still be sisters and she’s not going to be upset with me for beating her in this particular tournament’.

Miss Williams wore a black Nike catsuit at the French Open in Paris on Monday for her first match since giving birth last September.

The new mother, who won the match, admitted that unlike most mums, she loved being pregnant.

Pictured: Serena Williams and Venus Williams celebrate after winning their first round doubles match against Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato on Wednesday 

Pictured: Serena Williams and Venus Williams celebrate after winning their first round doubles match against Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato on Wednesday 

Pictured: Serena Williams and Venus Williams celebrate after winning their first round doubles match against Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato on Wednesday 

She said: ‘If I wasn’t playing tennis, I’d be pregnant right now – sorry, I’m one of those women. I’ve been injured so many times, my body is used to adjusting’. 

But it was not plain sailing for Miss Williams, as she struggled with postnatal depression following a difficult birth. 

She added: ‘It’s almost like the fourth trimester, it’s part of the pregnancy. I remember one day I couldn’t find Olympia’s bottle and I got so upset I started crying…because I wanted to be perfect for her.’

Of future family plans, she said: ‘Olympia needs a little sister, and then we can have a boy. I’ve only been around girls my whole life.’ 

The full interview is in the July issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, on sale May 31.  




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