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Serena Williams Makes History As First Woman To Ever Wear Cornrows On Teen Vogue Cover

The tennis star wore cornrows for the magazine's December cover issue.
Tennis player Serena Williams attends the Teen Vogue Summit at 72andSunny on Dec. 1, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. 
Tennis player Serena Williams attends the Teen Vogue Summit at 72andSunny on Dec. 1, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. 

Serena Williams is breaking down barriers left and right. 

The star tennis player made history on Wednesday as the first woman to ever wear cornrows on a Teen Vogue cover. Williams looks serene and powerful on the magazine’s December cover issue, sporting a coral jacket and delicate gold earrings. 

“We put cornrows on the cover of Teen Vogue for the first time in the publication’s history,” the magazine tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. 

As part of the cover issue, Williams is featured in conversation with Teen Vogue’s new editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner and gun control activist Naomi Wadler. Peoples Wagner explained why one of her first moves as the magazine’s new editor-in-chief was to feature a black woman with cornrows on their cover. 

“My mother once told me that to sustain myself in this industry, I would have to be what I needed when I was younger,” Peoples Wagner wrote in the introduction. “So here we are ― Serena in cornrows for the first time on a cover, in conversation with two young black girls just trying to figure out our magic.”

Williams explained in the interview why it’s so important to support women, but especially her fellow women of color. 

“We really have to support each other,” she said. “I always like to say that women really should support each other, because the success of one woman should be the inspiration to the next. If we look at it that way, there would be so much more that we can accomplish.” 

The cover was shot by another black woman, British photographer Ronan Mckenzie

Wadler, a 12-year-old student who first gained notoriety after speaking at the March for Our Lives protest in Washington, D.C., last year, added earlier in the conversation that her fellow activists are the ones who inspire her to keep working. 

“I think that that’s what keeps me motivated, knowing that people care and that I’m not alone, and that we’re not alone, and that we’re all together, and there’s power in numbers,” she said. “I think about that and I can continue on.”

Head over to Teen Vogue to read Williams’ and Wadler’s interview. 

Serena Williams is on the board of advisers to Oath, HuffPost’s parent company.

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