Serena Williams body is anything but traditional, and the decorated tennis champion wouldn’t have it any other way.
Fitness Magazine interviewed the four-time Olympic gold medalist, who graces the cover of its April issue. Ms. Williams has so many titles her name alone begs no further validation, yet when asked about her body image the world-class athlete opened up about how she had to grow to love it.
When I was young I thought I should be built more like an athlete -- long and lean -- not with a womanly figure. But then people my age started coming up to me, saying, 'I love you because of the way you look.' They could relate to me. That was really motivating. So I learned to be proud of my curves and to embrace my large boobs and my butt. It's all about loving who you are and realizing that you're beautiful.
Serena also talks about about eating healthy and treating her body right -- her workout regimen now includes dancing -- for the sake of being happy and feeling good. She admits there is another, more competitive and “crazy,” Serena Williams that comes out on the court, but the decorated tennis superwoman’s general attitude toward the game has changed.
After a 2011 health scare when she was hospitalized for a blood clot in her lung, Williams refocused her goal from winning tennis to enjoying the game she's won over 30 major titles in. When she finally got back to competing, "It was the first time I’ve ever had so much fun on the court. Now I know I don’t have to play again if I don’t want to. I play because I love it," Williams told Fitness.
But you don’t have to take her word for it. The 32-year-old's glowing bathing suit photo spread says it all. Whether in a bikini or a one-piece, lounging or in a backbend, there’s no question Serena is a beauty to behold.
Check out Williams' Fitness issue when it hits newsstands on April 22.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story indicated that one of Serena was hospitalized for a blood clot in 2001. It was in fact in 2011.