Despite her monumental success, Serena Williams admits that she’s been feeling “undervalued” and “underpaid” throughout her tennis career in comparison to her peers.
Williams, 39, is the cover star of British Vogue’s November issue, in which she talks about dealing with the pressure of being in the spotlight without seeing others that looked like her being represented.
“I’ve never been a person that has been like, ‘I want to be a different color’ or ‘I want my skin tone to be lighter,” the tennis phenom said, according to Good Morning America.
“I like who I am, I like how I look, and I love representing the beautiful dark women out there. For me, it’s perfect. I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she said, adding, “When I was growing up, what was celebrated was different.”
The mother of one also discussed body image, admitting that she felt her sister, Venus Williams, had a body that was more accepted by society.
“Venus looked more like what is really acceptable: She has incredibly long legs, she’s really, really thin. I didn’t see people on TV that looked like me, who were thick. There wasn’t positive body image. It was a different age,” Williams said, as she expressed her newfound love for her body.
“How amazing that my body has been able to give me the career that I’ve had, and I’m really thankful for it. I only wish I had been thankful sooner,” she said. “It just all comes full circle when I look at my daughter.”
Elsewhere in the interview, she touched on the Black Lives Matter movement, saying she thinks people are starting to “see” what’s going on even if they may not be able to “understand” it.
“We see things that have been hidden for years, the things that we as people have to go through. This has been happening for years. People just couldn’t pull out their phones and video it before,” she said.
“At the end of May, I had so many people who were white writing to me saying, ‘I’m sorry for everything you’ve had to go through,” she said. “I was like ‘well, you didn’t see any of this before?’ I’ve been talking about this my whole career. It’s been one thing after another,” she added.