Serena Williams may often be lauded as a fitness inspiration for many women, as well as praised for the way in which she celebrates her unique figure in a sport filled with the women who have a homogenous look, but she admits that motherhood changed the way she viewed her legendary body.
Like many everyday women, she initially fell prey to the idea that her body needed to look like it had bounced back quickly after having her daughter, Alexis. Less than 30 days after giving birth last September, she actually posted a picture of herself bump-less and with a “bounce back body” as fans called it on her Instagram:
But she wasn’t as confident as she seemed to be.
In her recent cover story for TIME, the 36-year-old tennis legend revealed that feeling the need to look a certain way, she regretfully turned to a waist trainer. She didn’t have to admit that (because who would have known?), however, she wanted to share it for the sake of shedding more light on the idea that the social pressures surrounding body after baby can impact anyone:
The stress of juggling family and career has brought out the same insecurities in Serena that other parents feel. “I don’t think I’m doing it right,” she says. She fell prey to peer pressure on social media, posting a photo of her post-pregnancy body on Instagram. She says now that she used a waist trainer to push in her stomach. “I hated that I fell victim to that,” she says. “It puts a lot of pressure on women, young and old.”
“It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves,” Williams said at the time. “I definitely feel like it is an opportunity for me to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids.”