Today, Serena Williams turns 36 years old, and the tennis ace has a lot to celebrate. Not only is she set to get married soon, but Williams is celebrating her first birthday as a new mom to daughter Alexis. She can also celebrate the fact that despite what the haters say, she has an amazing body. While people have tried to say that she’s built in a manly way over the years, as Williams told SELF in 2016, she loves the fit figure she’s cultivated and wants to encourage other women of all shapes and sizes to love theirs, too.
“I love my body, and I would never change anything about it,” she said. “I’m not asking you to like my body. I’m just asking you to let me be me. Because I’m going to influence a girl who does look like me, and I want her to feel good about herself.”
And she’s not just influencing young girls. Williams is motivating all sorts of grown women (including myself) to not be afraid of muscle and reminds us that there is beauty in strength — of all kinds, including physical.
So to celebrate her 36th birthday, we’re taking a look back at just a few of the many times the new mom, soon-to-be wife and one of the greatest athletes there ever was gave us all the body goals on a platter. Here’s to another 36 years of being the ultimate positive body image icon.
A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on Dec 22, 2016 at 5:17am PST