Serena Williams, in 1999 she became the second African-American woman to have won a Grand Slam singles tournament, a long time coming since 1958 when Althea Gibson first staked claim to the title, but that was just the very beginning for Williams. Since then her notable accomplishments have taken her far off the court and she has become part of the fabric of women's empowerment in sports, fashion and beyond.
Today Serena Williams is more than an athlete, she's also a businesswoman, fashionista, and role model to millions of girls worldwide.
If you need a poster child for women's empowerment, Williams fits the bill perfectly. As February is Black History Month we thought it was an apropos time to give Serena the props she so deserves as an undeniable African American female role model.
Grand Slam & Serena Williams
It's not about whether you follow the sport; tennis fan or not, everyone has heard and knows of Serena Williams because she's been a game-changer on multiple counts. One of the greatest tennis players of our, and perhaps, all time, Serena has been the world’s no 1 in singles matches on six separate occasions—first in 2002, and most recently in 2013. With not one, but two 'Serena Slams' under her belt (having won four consecutive Grand Slams, twice over), the athlete has an impeccable track record and gets paid more than a couple of millions in prize money annually (totally well-deserved). When Sports Illustrated named her Sportsperson of the Year in December 2015, it was long overdue, we think.
The Williams Style Quotient
Forbes pegged Serena's net worth at $24.6 million last year, making her the second-highest-paid athlete (after Maria Sharapova) in 2015. She owes her earnings, not just to her impeccable and consistent performance on the court, but to her entrepreneurial skills as she builds an empire on endorsements and partnerships. Serena has multiple clothing lines for active wear with a variety of brands: She first associated with Puma, and then moved onto signing a $40 million deal with Nike. All this is managed while she simultaneously runs her own label of designer apparel under the brand Aneres (her first name spelled backward). But, if you thought her ventures stopped at fashion, you’ll be surprised to learn that in 2010 she became a certified nail technician in preparation for her launch with beauty brand HairTech.
Breaking The Stereotype Body Type
Call a spade a spade—Serena Williams is not your average woman because frankly, she's extraordinary! Williams is often ridiculed for having a “manly” appearance, but we think it's coming from quarters that are intimidated by her fierceness and strength. She's an athlete with biceps, triceps and abs to match her profession, and they're all evidence of how hard she trains to be the best!
In fact, it was refreshing to see Serena on the cover of Vogue in April 2015, because if you want glossy magazines to feature real role models for the next generation, she certainly ticks all the right boxes. And FYI, she looked absolutely stunning! Also, did you happen to catch the 2016 Pirelli Calendar? We're so happy they traded their skinny minny nude models for real woman like Williams and Amy Schumer, who are true representations of everyday women and their aspirations.
Acing the game on every front, give it up for Serena Williams ladies and gentleman!
Images Via Instagram/Serena Williams