“I’m not a model. I’m not the girl next door. But I’m not hiding.”
Serena Williams is no stranger to magazine covers, but when she made the decision to appear on the cover of fashion magazine Vogue, she did so with something other than self-promotion in mind. The upcoming appearance on the legendary September issue marks her third cover, having also appeared in 2012 and again in 2015.
Speaking to the magazine for a feature piece, she revealed her motivation for branching out from sports. Despite her many ventures into the fashion world, she insists that her appearances weren’t born out of aspiration, but rather inspiration.
“Being black and being on the cover was really important to me. The success of one woman should be the inspiration to another, and I’m always trying to inspire and motivate the black girls out there. I’m not a model. I’m not the girl next door. But I’m not hiding. Actually, I look like a lot of women out there. The American woman is many women, and I think it’s important to speak to American women at a time when they need encouragement. I’m not political, but I think everyone is worried, to a degree.”
For the first time in her career, tennis is not at the forefront of Serena Williams’ mind. She’s now pregnant and engaged, expecting her first child in just weeks, but she made clear that having a child won’t spell the end of her career. Not yet, anyway. “I used to think I’d want to retire when I have kids, but no. I’m definitely coming back. Walking out there and hearing the crowd, it may seem like nothing. But there’s no better feeling in the world,” she said. "If anything, this pregnancy has given me a new power.”