Hey LUI family! It's me again :)
You guessed it....our #4 feature for #blackhistorymonth, is Serena Williams!
Before we dive into the nitty gritty, I'd like to share my favorite quote by this iconic black woman.
I really think a champion is defined not by their wins, but by how they can recover when they fall.
This statement holds so much truth. In order to emerge stronger, you must put in the work to pick yourself up after each failure.
Serena is arguably one of the greatest professional American tennis players/athletes of all time. With 23 Grand Slam singles titles and consistent victories under her belt, Serena has demonstrated record-breaking excellence (winning a Grand Slam title is a huge deal in tennis- I had to look this one up ahaha)
She embodies female strength, dominance, while still showcasing vulnerability.
Keep reading to find out how!
Combating challenges before "stardom"
Serena was first introduced to the sport at the tender age of 4. Her parents (being Tennis coaches themselves) were her primary coaches in early years. She practiced and honed her skills alongside her older sister- Venus. Despite having to practice tennis in neighborhoods that weren't safe for children at the time, the sisters emerged victorious in their game!
At an early age, Serena and her sister, experienced racism in the form of derogatory remarks made my some white parents at tournaments. This was one of the factors that drove her father to stop sending his daughters to junior National tournaments.
When she's not dominating the court...
She advocates for racial equality, sexism, poverty, and positive body image
I think we can all agree that Serena has re-defined women's tennis, but is that all she's known for?
Serena utilizes every opportunity she gets to empower women- especially black women. And, GET THIS
She actually puts her money where her mouth is, by investing in women of color entrepreneurs! She's keen to help out women of color who lack the same support and opportunities that she's had.
Undeniably, she's putting her "celebrity" status to great use!
Being at the forefront of athletics from a young age, she was subject to much scrutiny about her race and body. Throughout her career, Serena garnered criticism for her body shape, hair, and choice of clothing. As a black tennis player, she knew that she looked and sounded different, and that she would be judged for these differences.
However, these hateful comments and opinions didn't hinder her pursuit of success. Instead, she was motivated to be even more steadfast in her advocacy!
You can be whatever size you are, and you can be beautiful both inside and out. We're always told what's beautiful and what's not, and that's not right.
She even launched her own active wear clothing line- Serena, dedicated to promoting inclusivity for all body types. Her efforts to educate and change the narrative surrounding people of color and positive body image are paramount.
Why is positive body image so important? It's quite simple, really...
How we perceive ourselves, and how we are perceived by others, is inextricably linked to our mental wellbeing. A strong body image imparts a sense of confidence and positive self-worth. Selena aspires to make this a universal message- that there's no "perfect" body type, even in the athletic world.
She juggles tennis, motherhood, and her health problems like the pro she is!
She is still playing competitive tennis, even after her complicated pregnancy! Moreover, she suffers from a chronic autoimmune disease- Sjogren's syndrome, which presents its share of difficulties.
In 2018, she opened up about her medical ordeal post-childbirth.
In doing so, she exposed the existing racial disparity in the American healthcare system. She pointed out that if the healthcare staff had been more attentive to her concerns, the complications she experienced could have been avoided.
Conclusion: Serena is bold, outspoken, and rises up to every challenge! More importantly, she does all this while empowering people of color around her!
I think there's so much to be learned from her story and her message!
What about you? What did you gain from this profile? Comment below :)