Serena Williams Declares She'll 'Never be a Size 4': 'I'm Happy With Who I Am'
Serena Williams is proud of her body.
The 36-year-old tennis pro covers the July issue of Harper's Bazaar U.K., and is full of body confidence when talking about her fit physique. She also addresses a comment she made in 2004 about wanting to be a smaller size.
"Oh God, I'll never be a size four," she declares. "Why would I want to do that and be that? This is me, and this is my weapon and machine."
Williams adds that she hopes that her past remark can serve as a lesson for her 8-month-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
"But I love that I said that [in a 2004 interview], 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," she says. "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."
While Williams is secure in her body now, she has had to deal with body shamers in the past.
"People would say I was born a guy, all because of my arms, or because I’m strong," she recalls. "I was different to [my sister] Venus: she was thin and tall and beautiful, and I am strong and muscular – and beautiful, but, you know, it was just totally different."
The accomplished athlete is loving being a working mom but admits that if she wasn't back in the game, she'd probably be making more babies. "If I wasn’t playing tennis, I’d be pregnant right now," she quips. "Sorry, I’m one of those women."
Williams welcomed her daughter with husband Alexis Ohanian last September, and in January 2017, she won the Australian Open while pregnant.
"I knew I was having a girl, because when I was playing tennis in the tournament, I didn’t have one day of morning sickness, no symptoms. Australia is really hot, some days can be over [104 degrees fahrenheit], which is insane, but she never complained," she remembers. "I said to Alexis, 'This is a girl. Only a woman can be this strong.'"
Though Williams' pregnancy was relatively calm, her delivery was anything but that. Following an emergency C-section, blood clots in her lungs, and a second surgery, Williams also dealt with postpartum depression.
"Honestly, sometimes I still think I have to deal with it. I think people need to talk about it more because it’s almost like the fourth trimester, it’s part of the pregnancy," she says. "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."
As for the hopes she has for her baby girl, Williams is insistent that her daughter learn both Mandarin and French and take ballet lessons. Other than that, the new mom muses that she has "no dreams for her."
"I want to let her do whatever she wants to do, as long as it’s positive," she says. "Always try to be an addition to society, not a subtraction."
The tennis star is currently participating in the French Open, her first major tournament since giving birth, and has her sights on conquering Wimbledon this July.
"I’m not going to play if I don’t think [I can win]," she proclaims. "Even if my goals are outrageous, totally insane, I’d rather reach for the sky."
Here are more of Williams' thoughts on motherhood:
Serena Williams Gets Sweet Message from Alexis Ohanian After Winning Doubles Match With Sister Venus
Serena Williams' Husband Alexis Ohanian Goes Full Royalty in Hilarious Clip From the Royal Wedding Day
Serena Williams and Priyanka Chopra Show Off Their Amazing Royal Wedding Reception Looks