Serena Williams Wishes She Was “Thankful” for Her Muscular Body Sooner

"I didn’t see people on TV that looked like me, who were thick."

Serena Williams is a badass (obviously). Not only is she one of the most decorated tennis players in the world, but Williams also runs a size-inclusive fashion label and a venture capital firm to boot. She’s perhaps most widely known for her unbeatable serve in the game that brought her fame, but the athlete recently revealed that the very thing that made her such an unstoppable force in the tennis world—her strong body—was once an insecurity.

In her cover interview for British Vogue, Williams opened up about how growing up, she didn’t see her muscular body type represented onscreen. She even compared her body to her sister’s, fellow tennis champion, Venus Williams.

“When I was growing up, what was celebrated was different,” Williams told British Vogue. “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 concluded.

However, as she’s grown more confident—and society has finally begun to celebrate all body types—Williams says she realized how grateful she should have been for her body all along.

“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,” Williams said.

Yeah, William’s body gave her four Olympic gold medals and 23 Grand Slam titles, making her the most decorated female tennis player of all time. (Although, we’re guessing her determination and work ethic had something to do with it, too.)

When Williams thinks back on her journey with body image, she wants to be a positive role model for her daughter.

It just all comes full circle when I look at my daughter, she told British Vogue of her experience with confidence.

Williams raises her 3-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., with husband Alexis Ohanian, whom she married in 2017. We love Williams’ candor in all areas of life, and we especially love how she’s appreciating her body for what it is (what all of our bodies are): beautiful and powerful.