By Funmilola Olukomaiya

American professional tennis player and former world No. 1 in women’s single tennis, Serena Williams is the cover star for November 2020 Issue of British Vogue.

In the new issue, Serena opens up on taking a break for the first time in her life, her body confidence, reflecting on a career plagued by racism, how Kim Kardashian’s meme-heavy text messages kept her going through the lockdown and so much more.

She expressed her desire to empower other women and inspire them to chase their dreams.

In her words, “In this society, women are not taught or expected to be that future leader or future CEO. The narrative has to change…I love sticking up for people and supporting women. Being the voice that millions of people don’t have.”

Serena didn’t mince words when talking about the struggle of returning to tennis just six months after a life-threatening birth, while admitting that birthing her daughter, Olympia, has been instrumental in her own evolution in self-confidence. “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 for it sooner,” she said.

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It took Serena many years to embrace and celebrate her body, and now she appreciates all that it has done for her throughout her successful run in the tennis industry.

According to her, tennis has given her a global platform to speak out about injustices while noting that the Black Lives Matter movement is bringing awareness to issues that have always existed.

In her words, “Now, we as Black people have a voice – and technology has been a huge part of that,” she says. “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.”

See some photos from her cover shoot below

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Read the full interview here.