"I had a stomach, but I thought, This is kind of cool. I have a stomach because the baby was there.”
Tennis sensation Serena Williams has become an icon to women all over the world - and not just because she's won scooped up countless awards for her sporting achievements. The star has set a new standard of beauty and strength for women, and her latest interview with Allure is a reminder to mums to love their post-pregnancy bodies.
Speaking about how she became to be such a fearless woman, Williams said: "I think my mom instilled in us to be confident women, to really believe in ourselves, be proud of our heritage, our hair, and our bodies. That was something that was really important for her to teach us. I’m definitely teaching it to my daughter.”
Her pregnancy was relatively easy, but Williams nearly died during her emergency C-section with her daughter Alexis Olympia - something which she spoke after whilst raising awareness around the fact that black women in America are over three times more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes.
But this scary experience didn't stop her from having a positive view on her pregnancy: “I loved being pregnant. I loved everything about it. I was one of those weird people that loved being pregnant. Those annoying people.”
Speaking about how her body changed during and after pregnancy, she said: "After I came out , I had a stomach, but I thought, This is kind of cool. I have a stomach because the baby was there.”
Training after giving birth was something that Williams worked hard at, and was patient with: "I’m feeling pretty good about my body. I worked hard at it in the past eight months to get back from the baby. It hasn’t been easy. I’m not 21 anymore. But I did it slow and steady."
This appreciative way of thinking about her body is something which Williams plans to instil in her daughter, too. “When I tell her she’s beautiful, I want to teach her that she’s beautiful from the inside. Giving is beauty. Being kind and humble is the ultimate beauty.
"Being seen as a pillar of strength is also something that Williams is known for, but she stands by the fact that it's not easy: "Being strong is never easy. Not in this world we are living in.
"Standing up for yourself is not going to be easy, but it’s always eventually respected. Those are the people who’ve made a difference in this world, people that stand up for what’s right. If you look at history, those are the people that you really remember. And at the time, oh, my God, it seemed impossible." Total mum goals, if you ask us.
This article originally appeared on Grazia.
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