Serena Williams on Body Image & Comparisons to Sister Venus: 'I had to Come to Terms With Loving Myself'
While Serena Williams is undoubtedly one of the most sought after athletes in the world today, her success and fame did not come easy. In fact, the tennis star shares in an interview with Huffington Post that she has struggled to come into terms with her body image all throughout her adolescence and early years in the sport.
Serena reveals that part of her struggle with body image concerns stemmed from the fact that she has a very different physical appearance compared with her sister, Venus. Describing her sister as someone who looks like a "model," the French Open champion admits that she had to hurdle obstacles to reach her confidence today. "It wasn't very easy -- growing up," she says in the interview. She adds, "Venus was like a model. I was thicker."
Apart from comparing herself with her sister, Serena also saw how different she looks in contrast to the other athletes. She says, "Most women athletes are pretty thin. I didn't really know how to deal with it." While the tennis star struggled with accepting her self and her body, Serena gladly shares that she eventually got over her insecurities. She reveals, "I had to come to terms -- as every teen and young adult does -- with loving myself. I had to find different role models. But my body type is in style now, so I'm loving it!"
Serena also learned to appreciate her body and the things she could accomplish with it. Citing a particularly traumatic experience of having stepped on broken glass and getting her tendons sliced in 2010, the athlete shares that the entire situation presented a silver lining in the end as she eventually discovered that she should value her body and take care of it, according to Inquistr.
"You worry about it. You worry every second about it. It's like a heartbreak -- the first couple of months, it's really painful and then eventually it goes away," Serena says, referring to the recuperation period following her injury due to the broken glass. She adds, "But every day I got a little bit stronger, every day I worked harder and eventually I didn't even remember it anymore."
She goes on to say about the realization following the bleak period, "It gave me a new perspective on my life. I realized there are so many things that are so important. I don't know if I needed that -- but I feel like maybe I did. And because of it, I'm able to have a better career and appreciate my wins more."