Serena Williams Pens Touching Letter to Her Mom: 'Thank You for Being the Role Model I Needed'
By Alex Ungerman
It's not hard to see how Serena Williams became such a role model.
In an emotional open letter to her mother, Oracene Price, to Reddit -- the site her husband, Alexis Ohanian, co-founded -- on Tuesday, the 35-year-old Grand Slam champion praises her mom for the strength and perseverance she has shown with regard to the body shaming both women have faced when it comes to their more muscular builds.
"I'm not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman," Williams writes. "Thank you for being the role model I needed to endure all the hardships that I now regard as challenges--ones that I enjoy. I hope to teach my baby Alexis Olympia the same, and have the same fortitude you have had."
"I was looking at my daughter (OMG, yes, I have a daughter ?) and she has my arms and legs! My exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body," Williams shares, adding that she hopes her two-week old daughter does not have to face the same hatred. "I don't know how I would react if she has to go through what I've gone through since I was a 15 year old and even to this day."
"I've been called man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that that I use drugs (No, I have always had far too much integrity to behave dishonestly in order to gain an advantage). It has been said I don't belong in Women's sports -- that I belong in Men's -- because I look stronger than many other women do," Williams elaborates on her own struggles with shaming. "(No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it)."