• Even the most dominant sportswoman of our time struggled with body perception (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Grand Slams, gold medals, 70 WTA titles, Serena Williams body has propelled her to the heights of sport
Ann Odong

20 Jun 2016 - 7:11 AM  UPDATED 20 Jun 2016 - 7:15 AM

Even the greatest have insecurities.  

Perception is a funny thing. When I look at Serena Williams I see power, grace and confidence.  I see a body sculptured, toned and honed to do what she does best; be the best tennis player in the world, possibly the greatest of all time.  

Williams' body has been praised, dissected and degraded for most of her career. And for most of her career Williams has ignored the body shamers.  

“I've been like this my whole life, and I embrace me and I love how I look. I love that I am a full woman, and I'm strong and I'm powerful and I'm beautiful at the same time. And there's nothing wrong with that.”

“I just don't have time to be brought down. I have too many things to do, you know. I have Grand Slams to win. I have people to inspire. And that's what I'm here for.”


But that hasn't always been the case as Williams opened up to Gayle King following the premier of her new documentary "Serena".  

"You know when I was younger I wasn't really comfortable with my body, I just wasn't. If you look at most athletes they have a totally different figure than me," she said during a Q&A after the Cinema Society screening.

"But if you look at the physique of track players or tennis players, they just have a different physique and I just didn't fit that."

Thankfully for the sports world, Williams embraced her body and the rest has been history including 21 Grand Slams.  

"It took me awhile to find the strength and the courage to embrace [my body] and then to come to feel like, 'I love my physique.'" she said.

"It doesn't matter what people say about you or how people feel, you have to love yourself. When you love yourself, it will manifest in everything that you do."

Recently named the highest paid female sportswoman in the world, Williams is speaking out on her insecurities ahead of the television release of her documentary which profiles her search for the calendar grand slam in 2015.

"I really wanted to share this experience with everyone, with the public, just of what it takes to be an athlete, the top player and the pressures that I feel," she told CNN.

"And then you know, show a different side of me as well. A little bit off the court and how I approach life. I also wanted to motivate people ... my main goal was to be an inspiration and motivation." 

As for the body shamers, living well has been the best revenge. 

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