Serena Williams Reveals the Way She's Teaching Her Daughters to Be Body Positive

"For me, it's super important for them to love who they are and whatever they look like."

Serena Williams attends the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tennis great and proud mom is opening up about the way she is teaching her two daughters body positivity.

"For me, it's super important for them to love who they are and whatever they look like," Williams told Entertainment Tonight's Rachel Smith at the launch of her makeup line Wyn Beauty in New York City.

"I also foster that positivity by encouraging them to give others compliments, especially other girls compliments," she continued. "So if I see a girl in their class, I'm like, 'Oh, she looks pretty, right?' She's like, 'Yeah, I like her hair.' I'm like, 'I like her hair, too.' So just kind of encouraging that, because it doesn't matter what they look like.

"If you can find something positive about them then you're also going to find something positive about you and then you're gonna win," she added.

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Williams shares two daughters—Olympia, 6, and Adira, 7 months—with her husband, Alexis Ohanian.

In February, Williams shared a photo on Instagram of herself in a bathing suit holding baby Adira, along with a body positive caption that touched on what it's like to be a mom postpartum.

"Loving yourself is essential," Williams wrote. "I find that I have to remind myself of that self-love through all different stages in my life. Right now I love that my body is not picture perfect. I love that I smell like milk—that milk sustains @adiraohanian. I love getting to know a new version of my body. It is a change, but it’s a change that has been well worth it. So start this week, knowing that you are loved, and that starts with you.Ok, now I’m about to go to the gym."

In the comment section, one fan shared that they loved "every word of this post," before thanking the tennis legend for "loving yourself."

"It helps us all do the same," the fan wrote.

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In a 2019 interview with Allure, Williams opened up about how pregnancy changed her body after she gave birth to her first daughter, Olympia.

“After I came out (of the hospital), I had a stomach, but I thought, This is kind of cool," she told the publication at the time. "I have a stomach because the baby was there.”

One year later, in 2020, Williams told British Vogue that she's "never been a person that has been like: 'I want to be a different color' or 'I want my skin tone to be lighter.'"

"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 at the time. "When I was growing up, what was celebrated was different. 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."

Danielle Campoamor is an award-winning freelance writer covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mental health, politics, celebrity, and feminist issues. She has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, and more.