Serena Williams has just achieved something pretty impressive. Every year, Pirelli recruits 12 of the world’s most beautiful supermodels and fashion icons to star in their calendar, but for the 2016 edition the brand has announced a rather unlikely addition: Serena Williams.
Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Serena has some pretty big boots to fill including those of Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls, although judging by the tennis pro’s appearance at New York Fashion Week, she stands in pretty good stead to take over.
And following the trolling against her bod and beauty regime earlier this month, we’d say her Pirelli news stands as pretty sturdy evidence against everything that was said.
Speaking to Good Morning America about the trolls, the 33-year-old said: ‘This is me and I love me, and I’ve learned to love me. I’ve been like this my whole life, and I embrace me.
‘And I love how I look. I love that I’m 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.’ YES, lady.
Serena continued: ‘It’s so important to look at the positives. If I get caught up looking at the negatives it could really bring you down, and I don’t have time to be brought down.
‘I have too many things to do. I have grand slams to win and people to inspire and that’s what I’m here for.’
Amazing. But that wasn’t the only way Serena hit back at the haters. Shortly after, she was shot looking absolutely amazing on the front cover of New York Magazine’s fashion issue.
The iconic sportswoman was seen showing off her incredible, athletic body (those ABS!) as she performed the splits and worked a sexy cut-out leotard, showing just how proud she is of her body. And rightly so.
And why was this shoot so important to Serena? Well, last month, an article in the New York Times discussed the struggle female tennis players have looking ‘feminine’ on court. And unsurprisingly, it didn’t go down too well.
Serena fans bombarded Twitter with messages of support for the gorgeous sportswoman, and accused the NYT of body-shaming.
Even J.K. Rowling got in on the action, tweeting a picture of Williams in a sexy red dress and also tweeting: ‘I love her. What an athlete, what a role model, what a woman!’
But the Twitter trolling continued. Next up came messages accusing Serena of being built ‘like a man’, whilst others honed in on her beauty regime.
Williams was particularly targeted for her eyebrows: “They’re too long, they’re gross, I hate them’, people wrote online, with others referring to them as ‘caterpillars.’
Seriously, how on earth anyone was focusing on this woman’s face-framers as she was beating down everyone in her path to play the most amazing game of tennis we’ve seen all year is beyond us. But still, it looks like it got to Serena.
In a move that made us seriously sad, the 33-year-old uploaded a new Instagram video showing her getting her brows clipped, waxed and threaded.
‘Lol finally getting them shaped! Hahahha #haters I love you!!! Hahah but I still like them all natural! But for now you win lol’, she captioned the video.
Maybe Serena was perfectly happy to give her brows a little TLC, and we praise her for calling out her haters, but we can’t help but feel angry that this incredible athlete found herself bowing down to the trolls.
When it came to her body-shamers, Williams reacted in style. From posing in a bra to sharing a photo of her looking incredible, muscles and all, at the Wimbledon Champions’ Dinner, she seemed to be laughing in the face of her critics with her body-confident Instagram snaps. And come shoot time, we’re absolutely certain that her role in the Pirelli calendar will stop the critics in their tracks once again.
We just can’t wait to see which A-listers will be joining her for the exclusive shoot..
As for the trolling, should Serena have kept her brows au naturel to prove a point? Or was she right to clip her ‘caterpillers’ into shape? (Um, we can answer that one for you: No).
Let us know your thoughts….