All Articles Tagged "serena williams"

Serena Williams Serves #BodyGoals On The Cover Of ‘WSJ’

June 22nd, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Photo Credit: Maciek Kobielski/WSJ

Photo Credit: Maciek Kobielski/WSJ

Serena Williams is no stranger to slaying. So when the Wall Street Journal revealed she was their latest cover story, we knew it would nothing short of fabulous. And, now that it’s here, our predictions were right.

Dubbed as “the incomparable,” Williams stands strong with her hands on her hips in a robe stitched with her initials. Not to mention, while flourishing in her melanin, 21-time Grand Slam winner serves #bodygoals once again.

Photo Credit: Maciek Kobielski/WSJ

Photo Credit: Maciek Kobielski/WSJ

Inside the magazine, the tennis superstar reveals what she would be doing if she wasn’t who she was. “Ordinary things,” she answered. “I think I would be in California. Maybe I would be married? Maybe I would have kids? I would like to believe I would.”

Photo Credit: Maciek Kobielski/WSJ

Photo Credit: Maciek Kobielski/WSJ

She also divulges that she’d probably be a veterinarian. Apparently, her love for animals run deep. Remember when she tried out her dog’s food at the hotel she was staying at during the Italian Open? Alright, maybe we don’t want to remember that, but you get the point.

And just like any woman, she loves to get her shop on. “I’d go to the mall. I never go to the mall,” she gushed. Read the full story here, and check out the rest of her photo shoot below.

Photo Credit: Maciek Kobielski/WSJ

Photo Credit: Maciek Kobielski/WSJ

Photo Credit: Maciek Kobielski/WSJ

Photo Credit: Maciek Kobielski/WSJ

Serious Question: Why Do We Give Fit Women Grief For Having “Too Many Muscles”?

June 21st, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Women just can’t win.

If you’re a heavier-set woman, you’re told that you’re too big and need to lose weight to live longer and healthier.

If you’re an average-sized woman, there’s always someone saying you could have bigger breasts or that you should squat for your life to obtain a bigger bottom.

And as I’ve noticed more and more lately, if you’re a very strong, physically fit woman, you’re deemed too “manly.”

And yet, a man can walk out here with a beer belly and a booty (and some hips) bigger than yours and no one has anything to say. I can’t deal.

But seriously, I always knew that being a muscular woman is something people seem to frown upon. For instance, when I interviewed fitness enthusiast Lita Lewis in 2014, a woman who has since become a health and fitness inspiration to me, there were quite a few comments, including “Too many muscles for my liking.” And quite a few popular fitness enthusiasts have publicly responded to people who’ve said that they are packing too much muscle. That includes Massy Arias, who told Cosmopolitan, “This is my body, my decision, my prerogative. If I want to work out and be a beast, let me work out and be a beast.”

Still, it wasn’t until I started on my own quest to actually gain more muscle that I fully realized just how harsh people can be about women who are on the brolic side. Those people include my fiancé.

One of my biggest goals right now is to be stronger. I like the way I look and feel with more muscle on my body these days. As I was walking down the street with my fiancé a week ago, I told him that I wanted to really define my ab muscles. I was quite serious about this as the excitement in my eyes and tone would make one think I was speaking on something much more thrilling. When I finished sharing my goals with him, he responded with, “I don’t know. That’s not really cute.”

Exsqueeze me?

When I inquired about the statement he was trying to make, he said what a lot of people say, which is that trying to build more muscles is a look better suited for a guy. I couldn’t receive it. I told him that I didn’t appreciate his comment, seeing as I was talking about doing something positive and feeling good about myself, and his response was to tell me that in his eye, it wasn’t attractive. “I’m not trying to look ‘cute,'” I said. “I’m trying to be strong and healthy.”  He would eventually apologize and we would go about our walk in peace and positivity, but I couldn’t help but be stuck on “That’s not cute.”

Why are we so quick to say that women who train their bodies extensively aren’t cute, aren’t feminine, and are trying to be like men? Why do we skirt the whole point that these individuals are attempting to build strength, endurance, tone up, be powerful, and most importantly, live a healthier lifestyle, to instead focus on whether or not all that adds up to being attractive to someone else? Granted, these women likely aren’t pressed about whether or not anyone thinks them to be the finest thing this side of the Mississippi, but I thought it important to reiterate the fact that there isn’t one way to be feminine. The femininity people say these women lack isn’t just embodied in the woman with the soft curves, or the dainty models with the long limbs and striking features. Femininity can still be found in the women who have more muscle on them than they do makeup. Just as we don’t want people to define womanliness by whether or not we’re playing certain roles in society, we shouldn’t define it by one sort of look.

Still, I do think things are changing when it comes to our outlook for the long term. Look at Serena Williams. Just a few years ago, how many men and women were saying that she came off too muscular and mannish after years of building muscle on the tennis court and in the gym? But nowadays, we watch her use that strength to balance in a split inside mainstream magazines and to dominate on the court. (Not to mention, to snag the men some of us pine over — i.e., Common and Drake.) She has become our “#goals” more now than ever thanks to her hard work and hard body, reminding us that she is “a full woman, and I’m strong and I’m powerful and I’m beautiful at the same time. And there’s nothing wrong with that.” I’m hoping that as we can embrace her beauty and strength as a sinewy woman, we will also do so for everyday women who choose to be both powerful and pretty.

Serena Williams Talks Babies, Black Girl Magic, And Playing Her Best Tennis In Her 30s In Glamour

June 8th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Serena Williams on the cover of a magazine probably isn’t big news to you, as she has been on the cover of just about everything over the last few years. But this is her first time covering Glamour‘s inaugural “Women Are Strong As Hell” issue. And not only does she look fabulous, but she also has a pretty good interview with Melissa Harris-Perry inside the new issue. Williams talks about loathing losing, the personal stake Black women have in her success, if Drake had anything to do with her U.S. Open loss as folks on Twitter tried to say, her plans for kids, and why she’s only getting better in her 30s on the tennis court. Check out the highlights from that chat:

On Being “The Original Black-Girl Magic” And Having So Many People Counting On Her To Win

That’s something. I meet people who say, “Girl, I watch every match, and I pray for you.” I feel that energy and those prayers. Sometimes when I’m down on the court, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, “They want me to win. Is there anything else I can give?” It encourages me to do better, to fight harder.

How She Deals With Loss

No one takes a loss harder than I do. In any sport. I hate losing more than I like winning…I work harder. I study to see where I went wrong. But I carry the loss. My coach has said to me, “When you win a match or a tournament, you don’t even think about it—the very next minute you’re like, ‘Now I’ve got to focus on Wimbledon.’ You should take the losses the same way.” I need to look at those losses as learning experiences.

On Twitter Blaming Her Then-Relationship With Drake For Her U.S. Open Loss

I don’t think that was fair. I’m the one who’s playing, who’s making mistakes or making winners. I’m not one to blame anyone else for anything. And I don’t think anyone else should either. I played a really good opponent that day. And I wasn’t at my best.

Where She Stands On Motherhood

I definitely want to have kids one day. That’s something I’ve always wanted since as long as I could remember. And the older I get, the more I’m like, “I’m too young!” [Laughs.]

I was just joking with Venus about this yesterday and saying, “I’m far too young!” Hopefully I’ll be able to mature one of these days, get serious, and at least have them pretty fast.

Debunking The Idea That Athletes In Their 30s Should Rap It Up

Who says that your thirties is when you’re supposed to be done? I would like to know who made that rule! I was talking to my mom one time, like, “Gosh, I’m 30.” And she’s like, “In your thirties you’re even stronger than in your twenties.” I didn’t believe her, but I have played better in my thirties. And I played pretty well in my twenties, don’t get me wrong! But my consistency is better, my momentum is better, my wins are quicker.

The Legacy She Wants To Leave Behind In Her Hometown Of Compton

I never left my roots. You can identify me as someone that didn’t become high and mighty. Humility is a defining [trait] all of us can forever learn, and I try to be as humble as anyone can be.

Check out the interview in its entirety, here, and share your thoughts.

“I Just Ran To The Toilet”: Serena Williams Decides To Try Her Dog’s Gourmet Food–Immediately Regrets It

May 16th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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If you don’t have a canine, the idea of eating dog food probably never crossed your mind. In fact, doing so probably sounds disgusting (Those Beggin’ Strips commercials are cute, but no thanks). However, when boredom (and hunger) strikes, even the rich and famous are likely to try some questionable things.

As the story goes, according to Serena Williams’s Snapchat, while staying in a fancy hotel in Europe recently, Williams ordered food for her dog, Chip, after leaving his snacks and food at home. But we’re not talking about any ol’ Kibbles ‘n Bits.

“I promise you, it looked so good. ” Williams said in several Snapchat clips. “It was like, fresh greens and boiled chicken and beef, and it was seared tenderly and it was just perfection. I was like, ‘That looks better than my food!'”

But Williams contained herself, letting Chip have his pricey 15 euro meal. But after ordering her pooch some salmon and rice the next evening, Williams couldn’t resist. She tried just a spoonful of the large container of dog food sent (after pouring some into Chip’s bowl, of course), just to see if the food tasted as good as it looked. As you would probably guess–it didn’t. And not only that, the tennis star’s famed body couldn’t handle whatever was in that meal–leaving her running to the toilet for hours.

“I just ran to the toilet like I was going to pass out,” she said. “It did taste weird…it tasted a little bit like a housecleaner kind of thing. I don’t know what they put in this dog food.”

Williams was left “on the struggle bus,” sick after her small spoonful, regretting that she ever tried it as she taped herself, face covered in sweat looking quite uncomfortable. Still, she managed to find humor in the situation saying, “I really do need to get my life.”

The funny thing is, though, when I relayed this story to a colleague who has a small dog, while she said she would never eat the meals, she did admit that her dog’s food “has bacon and does smell really good sometimes…”

But just because it smells good, or in the case of Chip’s gourmet dishes, look good, there is a reason it has its own menu and section in the grocery store. And why it’s called “dog” food. Don’t try it, human.


Serena Williams Talks Twerking It Out In Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ Visual Album

May 8th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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@beyonce 🍋🍋🍋🍋

A photo posted by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

One of the many surprise celebrity cameos in Beyonce’s new visual album Lemonade, was surely tennis pro Serena Williams who did the d*mn thing and then some!

While we all know Williams is no stranger to shaking her thing to the sweet tune of Beyonce’s voice (see her rendition of Bey’s “7/11” video that went viral), we certainly didn’t expect the two to collab so soon, but we’re glad that moment of sisterhood happened! In a recent interview with Bleacher Report, Williams dished on the experience, expressing how fun it was working with the entertainer and how dancing is a hobby of hers.

“Well, um, it was fun. It was a great experience,” she said. “I love to dance (little known fact) but, I actually really love dancing. It’s just makes me really relaxed and it’s also a good way to work out without like, being on the treadmill. But yeah, it was great. I love her and she’s a great person. Her visual album was an amazing thing and I just felt really honored just to be a part of it.”

Now, if Serena could get Beyonce to serve up some fierceness on the tennis court, that would be yet another surprising sight to see.

Green Ombre Hair — Would You Rock It?

March 25th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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For Genie and Chrissie. U asked for it. Lol

A photo posted by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

When the sun comes out so do the bright beauty trends and Serena Williams is starting us off early with this green ombre hair look in the first days of spring.

The tennis champ posted the pic above “for Genie and Chrissie,” two women we’ll assume told Serena she’d look amazing switching her hair up like this before the athlete finally gave in and proved them right.

Though few of us have jobs where we can get away with green ombre hair — heck half of us are still struggling with afros and braids — there’s nothing stopping you from rocking a wig in this print on the weekends for a fun night out, or even on vacation. Note: We do not recommend you dyeing your natural hair to get this effect; the damage from the bleach won’t be worth the 5 minutes you actually get to enjoy the fresh color. But we most definitely are here for green lace fronts and weaves if you so dare. Do you?

Imaginary BFFs: Celebrity Friends…In Our Heads

March 11th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Image: C.Smith/

Image: C.Smith/

What is it about certain celebrities that draw us in?  It’s not just their work on the big and small screens though that plays a significant role.  Is it their likability factor?  The way they conduct themselves on the red carpet, during interviews or on social media?  For me, I think it’s their demeanor and candor outside of the work we associate them with that makes us feel like certain celebrities are our friends – at least, like Wendy Williams always says, in our heads.  Who would you add to this short list of celebrity friends in our heads?

Credit: Nicky Nelson/

Credit: Nicky Nelson/

Taraji P. Henson

We’ve known and loved Taraji P. Henson for years, but the success of Empire catapulted her into superstar celebrity status. And yet, she still seems unaffected and exactly the same: cool, grateful, honest and down to earth.  Henson seems like she’d be the ultimate ride-or-die friend who will always have your back through thick and thin.  Who didn’t want to be friends with her (as well as Kerry Washington and Mary J. Blige) after seeing that Ava DuVernay-directed Apple Music commercial?

Working While Black: My Boss Told Me Not To Get Too Muscular Like Serena

February 18th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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working while black


As told to Veronica Wells

As a child I was always confused about the way different cultures interpreted physical features, especially on women. It’s not like it is now, with women of various ethnic backgrounds running out to plastic surgeons to get what many Black women are born with naturally. I remember watching “The Nanny” and there were disparaging jokes about a woman’s behind being too big.


In my community, the Black community, the bigger the booty, the better. As I got older, I would come to learn our beauty standards don’t always apply to the mainstream.

Fast forward 20 years. Now that I’m in my early thirties, I work for a small interior design firm. When I say small I mean, I’m one of 5 employees and three of them are part time. Needless to say, my boss and I spend a lot of time together. And as a result, we just happen to share bits and pieces of our lives with one another.

My boss is about 30 years older than me but we’re both women so there are some things that stay the same regardless of age. She told me she was thinking about dying her hair. And I told her I was working on losing a few pounds.

When I said a few I meant it. I’m a thick girl. Plenty of skin over my bones but I’m not fat. I’m just, as a few men have told me, solid. But there were a few areas I wanted to tighten and tone. I hit the gym, to work on strengthening my arms. And I practically walked around in squat position, determined to lift my booty.

As the weeks and months passed, I guess my boss got the impression that she was a part of my fitness journey. Simply because we had that initial conversation and she would see me change into my workout clothes at the end of the day. I didn’t mind. At first, I thought she would be a supporter. And at first, she was.

But as the changes in my body became more and more apparent, she became less and less able to hold her tongue.

One day, as I was on my way to the gym, having just changed into my work clothes, I got the sense that she was looking at me, staring really.

Thinking, she was going to compliment my progress, I turned to her and smiled.

I could see her thinking for a second before she opened her mouth.

“You know, Marcia, maybe you want to only focus on cardio now. You don’t want to put on too much muscle and end up looking like that tennis player…what’s her name?”

I thought to myself, “B*tch, you know her name.”  I couldn’t say that though. I need the job but I’m also not one to let stuff slide either.

So once I’d composed myself, I said, “You mean Serena? I actually happen to think her body is beautiful. Actually, she’s been my fitspiration. You know, all body types aren’t the same and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

I punctuated my sentence by looking her up and down, deciding to keep my thoughts on her shape to myself. Judging by her pathetic attempt to rationalize her comments, I think she got the message.

As she was stumbling over her words, I held up my hand and shook my head, to signify that there was no need. Then I smiled politely and wished her a pleasant goodnight.

Midday Motivation: Serena Williams Turns Loss Into A Lesson Learned

January 31st, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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“Every time I walk in this room I’m expected to win. I’m not a robot,” Serena Williams said after losing the Australian Open final to Angelique Kerber on Saturday (Jan. 30). “I do the best that I can. I try to win every point but realistically I can’t. Maybe someone else can.”

While the world sees the 34-year-old tennis pro as an athlete that cannot be defeated, Williams sentiments are actually far from what others project. Simply, she’s tired of everyone assuming she’s perfect just because she’s ranked No. 1 player in the world.

“Think I did the best I could today. Would I give my performance an A? No. But this is all I could produce today,” the 21-time Grand Slam champion said during the press conference.

Williams — like all of us — is human and has faced defeat in life at some point or have felt the pressure to live up to the expectations of others. However, it’s quite refreshing to see that she was confident enough to speak her truth and set the record straight, even speaking highly of Kerber and congratulating her on her win.

“She played so well today. She had an attitude that I think a lot of people can learn from: just to always stay positive and to never give up,” Serena said.

“I was missing a lot off the ground, and coming to the net. She kept hitting some great shots actually, every time I came in,” she detailed. “And I think I kept picking the wrong shots coming into it, but honestly, it’s something to learn from and just try to get better.”

Now while our lives aren’t focused on a game of tennis, life’s trials and tribulations are enough of a whirlwind to take Williams’ advice and understand that the silver lining in a loss is ultimately the lesson learned.

As always, we love to hear from you. Share in the comments below one time you endured a loss and the lesson you learned in return.

Pop Mom: Is Serena Williams Doing Too Much?

December 28th, 2015 - By Erickka Sy Savane
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New York Magazine

New York Magazine

Let me start out by saying that I LOVE Serena Williams. It was Venus and Serena that brought me to the sport of tennis and it’s Serena who has kept me there. When she wins my day is better, and when she loses I’m as crushed as if I’d been on the court myself. She reminds me time and time again that winning takes heart. She’s an icon.

But lately, I’ve been confused by some of her choices. Starting with the provocative Sports Illustrated cover, to the negligee she wore to pick up her Sportsperson of the Year Award, to this photo on instagram that almost broke the internet.

I half expect to see her in a Drake video for “Hotline Bling 2.” And don’t get me wrong, Serena has always been fashionable, but why is she selling sex now?

Have a good day

A photo posted by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

I can’t help wondering if it has something to do with Drake. Is she trying to prove that her ass is better than any woman he can put in his music video? Come on, Serena. Or perhaps she’s addressing the idiots who say that she’s not feminine enough. Nothing says ‘I am woman’ like walking around in your lingerie. Is she trying to keep up with pal Kim Kardashian? How far is she willing to go? It’s like watching Michelle Obama join one of those Real Housewives shows — somebody do something!

Maybe I can write her an open letter, to just ask her to calm down. I reach out to my editor and though she tells me to go ahead and write it, she kinda sounds like she’s defending her, “Sometimes people just feel the need to flaunt it,” she says. I’m kinda taken aback.

I get started on the letter right away, reaching out to a few people to get a second and third opinion, asking each one how they feel about the new, more exposed Serena. “Her body is a sculpture to display. She should display it proudly and in taste,” says the first person I reach out to. Okay… but he’s a guy so maybe that’s expected. What I didn’t expect was the reaction of the women. “She should be able to flaunt it. Black women, generally, are built differently and we shouldn’t be ashamed because we don’t fall into European ideology,” and “I see a confident, sexy woman who is still young and strong!” My best friend found her Instagram photo elegant and couldn’t say enough about the structure of her legs.

I step away from the computer because I’m having one of those moments where I realize that I’m in the middle of the ocean all by myself. Where did everybody go? I still feel strongly about my view, but what might I be missing?

I keep digging.

Okay, I have to acknowledge that I may not be the best person to speak about ass culture. In a world where women are being idolized for their voluptuous backsides, I’m the woman with the flat booty, on the outside looking in. It may be one of the reasons I’ve rejected the culture, but still, it does objectify women, so I’m not crazy.

When it comes to Serena, one of the reasons I admire her so is because she became one of the best tennis players in the world, in history, and it was always about the talent, the fitness, the sport. Even when she wore the infamous cat suit to the US Open, and we saw every magnificent curve, it was just her body, I never felt like she was selling sex. And she could have easily gone the Anna Kournakova route. I guess I feel let down.  

The more I think about it, I’ve been here before. It reminds me of when I got mad at Prince when he stopped writing explicit lyrics and refused to sing his old songs, and when the Beastie Boys shifted from hip hop to rock after Licensed To Ill, and I’m still upset that Heidi Klum and Seal didn’t make it. I guess I don’t deal well with change. But I can’t hold Serena hostage. A sister has to live.

Do I really know what’s best for her anyway? What if she’s doing this because stirring up controversy leads to more endorsements? Even if this is her answer to the body shamers, who am I do judge how she chooses to fight? Or maybe she’s just feeling good about herself. At the end of the day, it’s her life, her body, her choice. I may not understand or agree with all of her choices, but she’s still a helluva role model for me and my two girls. That said, I’m going to continue rooting for her on, and off, the court.

Check out Erickka Sy Savané’s column, Pop Mom, right here on Madamenoire. Before Erickka became a writer/editor, she was a model, actress, and MTV VJ. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Jersey City. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.