All Articles Tagged "serena williams"
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?
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?
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?
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.
“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.
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?
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.
Serena Willilams’s haters may not understand that strong is beautiful, but Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year keeps proving it. From the red carpet to the court, check out how Serena Williams redefined tired beauty standards in 2015.
“I’m Happy To Be A Part Of This New Movement” Serena Williams, Sportsperson Of The Year, Talks Black Activism
It’s not everyday that you see athletes, at the top of their game, speak out about issues of racism and injustice in this country. With endorsement deals, the court of public opinion and the threat of being disliked or even banned from certain circles of influence, it can be a risk. But Serena Williams is not your average athlete. Not only is she a champion on the tennis courts, she exercises that same spirit in the personal decisions she makes that just might impact her career.
But Serena Williams has proved a very important point. That speaking up for what you know is right and just, doesn’t have to be detrimental to your career. Not only was Williams a force to be reckoned with on the court, she received $74 million in prize money and another $13 million in endorsements. And today, Sports Illustrated named her Sportsperson of the Year, a very well-deserved title.
The comment section over at Sports Illustrated is already erupting with debate about whether or not the honor should have been bestowed upon Williams but as SI puts it,
“Williams, 34, won three major titles, went 53–3 and provided at least one new measure of her tyrannical three-year reign at No. 1. For six weeks this summer—and for the first time in the 40-year history of the WTA rankings—Williams amassed twice as many ranking points as the world No. 2; at one point that gap grew larger than the one between No. 2 and No. 1,000. Williams’s 21 career Grand Slam singles titles are just one short of Steffi Graf’s Open-era record. Such numbers are reason enough for Sports Illustrated to name Serena Williams its 2015 Sportsperson of the Year.”
But as a Black woman concerned with the lives and plight of Black people in this country and aboard, her accomplishments become even more impressive when you consider Williams’ activism. And yes, speaking out in such a position of power and influence is indeed activism. You may also remember both Williams sisters boycotted the Hilton Head tournament in South Carolina back in 2000, because the state refused to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol building.
Even in the arena of elite athletes, Williams has experienced racism.
At the Indian Wells tour stop, in 2001 when Serena was just 19-years-old, Williams received vicious boos. Her father Richard Williams and sister Venus, claimed they heard racial slurs. SI reports:
“Boos changed to cheers whenever she double-faulted or made an error, but they returned when she beat Clijsters and grew thunderous when she left the court to hug her sister and dad. She would write in her 2009 autobiography, On the Line, that she, too, “heard the word, nigger, a couple times.”
No outside source confirmed hearing such language. Nor did anyone from the tournament make any mollifying announcement. “No one said anything,” Oracene says. “They were just letting it go on, almost like, She deserved this.”
“As a family we were all hurt,” says Isha. “It stayed with us a long time. Our parents have always been very clear about who we are in terms of the country, but to have evidence of that? It was a disillusionment, the end of any innocence that we had about the world we lived in.”
Williams rode the two hours home in tears and she begged her parents not to make her play the Indian Wells tournament again.
But after 13 years and seeing a Nelson Mandela film, Williams was beginning to change her mind. She almost played in 2014 but consulted her family first about a return in 2015. She wrote three drafts of a Time essay. She took one to her father and choked up trying to read it aloud. She just handed it over for him to read.
Though Richard and Venus were not ready to return to Indian Wells, her father told her it would be a mistake not to return.
Her mother, Oracene said, “I wouldn’t have gone back. Not because I didn’t forgive them-because of my own integrity. If they didn’t think I deserve to be there? Then I don’t need to be there.”
As for Serena herself, the decision was spiritual.
“I was brought up to forgive people and I felt that I wasn’t doing what I was taught.”
Her mother, who says she’s seen growth in her daughter, said this was a big step for her.
“To learn to forgive: She has a problem with that. It’s a big step for her. Because she’s the kind of person who would get revenge on you– and it was never going to end.”
There was also another factor.
On August 9, 2014 Michael Brown was shot six times and killed by officer Darren Wilson. Then his body lay in the street for four hours. Then in November of that year, the grand jury voted not to indict Wilson.
Williams tweeted: “Shameful. What will it take???”
Brown’s age meant something to her.
“I had been a teenager at Indian Wells, and that was hard for me to go through—especially when I was thinking, It’s 2001, I [shouldn’t] have to deal with that stuff as much anymore,” she says. “Now fast-forward to 2015, and we still have young black men being killed. Someone needed to do something. And I thought then that there was something greater than me and tennis. I needed to go back there and speak out against racism.”
In her early 20’s she described an incident where a gas station clerk refused to touch her.
“He didn’t want to touch my hand. He told me to put the money down. I found it fascinating that it’s 2000-something and this guy had that attitude toward a black person. I wanted to do things, like, touch this or that, just to see what his reaction would be. I’m almost glad I had that experience, so I can understand more what people have to go through.”
Then in 2006, when she traveled to Ghana and toured the country’s slave castles, inequality and racism became even harder to ignore. Since then, she’s visited the continent often. She financed two high schools in rural Kenya, in an area where many girls drop out by 14-years-old to marry. Williams insisted that the enrollment be at least 40 percent. Of the 442 students, 54 percent are girls.
After viewing a TED Talk by Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative- a Alabama legal organization that provides representation for prisoners, mostly Black and poor, who have been wrongfully convicted– Williams decided to coincide her return to Indian Wells with her partnership with EJI. No prominent athlete had ever endorsed them before. Offering up a hitting session, a souvenir racket and court side tickets to her first match, Williams raised $100,000 for the organization. The publicity generated another $100,000 in contributions.
Stevenson naturally praised Williams for her involvement.
“It’s been huge. It’s so rare when athletes at the top of their game are willing to embrace a set of issues that, for a lot of people, are edgier. This is not aid to orphans. These are questions of racial bias and discrimination, mass incarceration, excessive punishment, abuse of the mentally ill. You don’t change the world by doing what’s comfortable or convenient. You have to be willing to do uncomfortable things. In a small way, Serena’s return to Indian Wells represented that. But associating herself with an organization like ours was more significant: She was standing when a lot of her contemporaries remain seated, speaking up when others are being quiet. That’s an act of hope and an act of courage, but it’s also an act of change.”
And though Williams thought she was fully prepared to return to Indian Wells, as the date approached, she was anything but ready. Two days before she was set to play, she had a panic attack in her bedroom. Serena thought, “I do not want to go there. What if it’s horrible? What if they boo again? How can I get out of this?”
Her sister Isha was all for her retracting her offer. She didn’t want her sister vulnerable and exposed.
Eventually, she pulled herself together and attended with her sisters Isha and Lyndrea and her mother Oracene.
She arrived to a standing ovation.
At first Oracene was wary, wondering, Why are they being so nice? But Serena’s turn to conciliation made her mother take stock. “She needed that, and I learned that I need a bit of that, too,” Oracene says. Isha started crying. When Serena pulled off her headphones before the warmup and heard the cheers, she cried too.
Serena talked about the moment being an iconic one in her career.
“Everyone always asked, ‘What was your greatest moment in tennis?’ and I always said it hasn’t happened,” Serena says. “But I think it has happened now, and that was going back to Indian Wells and playing. It released a lot of feelings that I didn’t even know I had. I was really surprised at how emotional I got—and how relieved I felt after everything was said and done.”
But we all read the headlines. We know the racist incidents didn’t stop after Serena returned to Indian Wells. Many unarmed Black men were killed at the hands of police. Then nine Black people attending Bible study were shot and killed in a Charleston, South Carolina church.
In September, she enrolled in an online history of civil rights class at the University of Massachusetts.
“I was disappointed in how little I knew compared to how much I thought I knew.”
Like many of us, Williams’ parents, who are old enough to remember the country, in the midst of the Civil Rights struggle, tried to warn their daughters of the racial changes they’d face. Their mother, Oracene told them that they would never be fully accepted by Whites. The Williams sisters bristled.
“They used to say, ‘You’re racist!’ ” Oracene says. “And I’d say, ‘I’m not. I just want you to be aware.’
In October, Williams guest-edited Wired magazine. In her piece, she wrote: “To those of you involved in equality movements like Black Lives Matter,” she wrote, “I say this: Keep it up. Don’t let those trolls stop you.”
In a question and answer session at the University of Pennsylvania, Williams told students she was inspired by the examples set by Black activists in the ’60’s.
“I’ve been a little more vocal,” Williams said, “but I want to do more. I want to help everyone to see the so-called light. But there are a lot of other athletes, actors, politicians who are speaking out—of all colors, by the way. They’re not sitting back. They’re calling for justice straight away. It makes me look at myself and say, like, What am I doing? I have a platform. I can speak out, too. If one person hears me, maybe that person can speak out and help. I embrace that. I’m willing and happy to be part of this new movement.”
You can read Williams’ full interview over at Sports Illustrated now.
With 2015 coming to a close, publications and media websites alike are preparing major lists to honor some of the most deserving and hardworking individuals that showed and proved to be ultimate powerhouses in the past 12 months.
Included in those outlets is espnW — the home for women who love sports, featuring tips for athletes, community of female fans, and the latest women’s sports updates — with their IMPACT25. This year, the women sports-driven site joined forces with Marvel to highlight honorees like Serena Williams, Misty Copeland, Carli Lloyd, Lydia Ko, Ronda Rousey and more by creating them into superhero versions of their already larger than life achievements.
Continue scrolling to check out a few of their illustrious IMPACT25 and their superhero transformations.
espnW dubbed superstar pro tennis player, Serena Williams, the “Super Galactic Slam” for her 53-3 match record his year, making her one of the most dominant tennis players this year.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was recognized as an influencer and the “FIFA Slayer” for her relentless work ethic regarding this year’s corruption investigations.
“The Principal” is a fitting title for Misty Copeland after the American Ballet Theatre promoted her to principal dancer, a position that had never been held by an African-American woman in the company’s 75 years.
See more of the amazing women honored in espnW’s IMPACT 25 here.
Don’t let the ad campaigns, red carpet appearances and tennis titles fool you, not only is Serena Williams an athlete, she’s from Compton. In other words, she does not play. Apparently though, one man didn’t get the memo and attempted to steal her cell phone.
Needless to say, his plot didn’t go as planned.
Yesterday, Serena posted a picture of herself in a Superwoman costume and recounted the story.
This dude messed with the wrong one. Homegirl was hoping over chairs and all! I’m actually surprised she handled it so well once she caught up to him. Some of us might have had a few more choice words. And on another note, Serena’s a pretty good storyteller. Have you ever known someone was up to no good and followed your instincts?
You can watch video of the incident below.
The Internet went crazy earlier today after rumors implied that Drake and Serena Williams will be tying the knot soon. According to an OK! Magazine source claiming to have the tea on said proposal, Drake flew Williams into his hometown and asked her to be his wife.
“Right now they’re happy with just being happy,” the source told the tabloid. “She said yes, but they want to keep it on the down-low for now.”
A spokesperson for Drake quickly dispelled the rumors Thursday afternoon in a statement to TMZ.
“The rumor is completely untrue,” said the rapper’s representative.
While we would love to see Drake and Serena get married and have a bunch of babies, we don’t want them to rush into anything prematurely. We all know how quickly those situations can go left.