“History is filled with women who have changed the world with a singular or daring act, but it’s those who keep going - with or without recognition - who I really admire. - Laura Brown, In Style.
Personally, I think In Style made the perfect selection for their first Bad Ass Women issue.
The William sisters have long held a certain mystic, an inner hardship that I inherently identify with. I’m not actually a huge tennis fan. Honestly, I could take it or leave it. When I watch it, I enjoy it. When I play it, I enjoy it. But it definitely doesn’t get me worked up into a frenzy.
But those Williams women? I remember when they broke onto the scene, I felt uncomfortable watching them. With their dark skin and beaded braids clanking around the tennis courts. I remember feeling a sense of sadness and dread because they weren’t doing enough to “fit in.” Because that’s how so many of us are taught. Fit in, blend in. But they didn’t try to. Not on the surface. They went above the surface and became the BEST. And my little dumb young self kept thinking, “welp, this isn’t going to work they won’t accept them!”
And you know what. They weren’t accepted. They were booed and ridiculed. Indian Wells?!? Anyone remember that ugly little moment in time. That’s all I need to say. But they never gave up. And they kept getting better and they kept being the best!
i know how I feel in my little trials. I can’t imagine the level of strength it requires to literally be booed out of places and still show up with a smile. The names, the jeers, the micro aggressions. And has Serena ever been more than an enviable champion?!! She is Bad Ass Woman goals personified.
There is just so much strength and grace both on and off the court, that is is admirable. From being disrespected for her body type and skin tone and still shining on magazine covers, to being raised a Jehovah’s Witness and still finding her own path in a notariously stiflingly and insular religion, being the GOAT (greatest of all time) in a historically white sport where people that look like her can’t even get into the tennis clubs, to casually speaking perfect French to her doula while discussing birthing plans, to nearly dying in childbirth -only to be saved by her own savvy, to looking a goodness at her wedding, to getting an invite to attending THE Royal Wedding!!!!
She just makes me so proud! I love her. At home, when I work out, I often put on Being Serena. Have you watched it yet? Please go watch it. It’s so good! It keeps me motivated. When my children wander in the room, I make sure they sit down and watch, because she is history. I want by little boy and little girl to see strength and beauty and tenderness, and moments of weakness that turn back into strength. Serena embodies this.
Bad Ass doesn’t even begin to define this woman.