Tennis Ace Serena Williams has had a full and glorious career. Conquering limitations, exceeding every expectation, she recently moved on to uncharted waters; motherhood.
In a heart-to-heart chat with new Teen Vogue editor Lindsay Peoples Wagner and young activist Naomi Wadler to discuss using their platforms as a vehicle for change and to inspire, the three women sat on stage at the Teen Vogue Summit and the star athlete spoke candidly as they shared experiences as black women in respective career fields.
Read excerpts from the interview below:
On using her platform responsibly: We’re in a position where we have the opportunity to use our status and our social network, and to use different platforms that we are on and that we can talk about it, ’cause a lot of people see what we post and see the things that we write. And although it’s so fun to have the opportunity to post lots of fun things, I also find it really important to post and talk about real items that affect us on a day-to-day basis.
On her day-to-day: Honestly, I don’t know. I go to bed every night thinking, how did I get through this day? I’m sure a lot of people out there can relate, right? It’s like, this day is over, it’s 10 o’clock, I got through it. How did that happen? That’s kind of how I am. Between… I just started training. Yes, I’m still playing. So, that has been… OK, now I’m training on top of running this fashion company, on top of being a full-time mom. I’m super hands-on as a mom. I just take it as it is and realize that everyone goes through the same thing.
On confidence: I think it’s really important to realize that no day is going to be perfect. For me, that’s really hard because I strive for perfection, and I feel like everything I do has to be great and has to be perfect, because I am a true perfectionist. But that’s impossible. That’s not reasonable. Then I realize that, OK, I had a rough day today, let’s do something to make it better tomorrow. I think it’s important to expect to have some really rough times when you’re going through something, but always know that you can overcome it.
On supporting other women of colour: I think it’s what Naomi was saying earlier, it’s just about having the conversation and starting. If you are just reading about it or maybe not knowing about it, then you can’t make a change. It’s definitely important to have that conversation, and then encourage people to support each other. Especially as women of color. We really have to support each other. I always like to say that women really should support each other, because the success of one woman should be the inspiration to the next. If we look at it that way, there would be so much more that we can accomplish.
By Sarah Oyedo
Read also: Serena Williams Named GQ’s Woman Of The Year