LIFESTYLE

Serena Williams 'Sports Illustrated' Shoot Makes Powerful Body Image Statement: 'It's OK To Be Strong And Sexy'

The tennis legend got real about body image pressure.

16/02/2017 11:49 GMT | Updated 16/02/2017 11:49 GMT

Serena Williams has used her Sports Illustrated photo shoot to make a powerful statement about body image for women.

With a smouldering glance over her shoulder as she showers in a red thong bikini, the 35-year-old has one message to women: “It’s OK to be strong and sexy.”

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Williams said: “I want people to come away with the fact that it’s okay to be comfortable in your body. I’m not a size two. It’s okay to look good and feel good and I’m strong. It’s okay to look strong and to be sexy and to be a woman and to be unbreakable — all those things.

“I really want to have that influence for people out there that have my body type. I want them to be like, ‘I look good too.’ That’s what I hope for.”

#SISwim on sale now @si_swimsuit

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The issue, which stars Kate Upton on the cover for the third time, also features plus-size model Ashley Graham and 63-year-old Christie Brinkley.

According to Upton, the issue’s theme is about “every woman of every age and every body type being accepted. It was inspiring to be asked to be a part of that issue”.

The issue hasn’t been without controversy however. Twitter pointed out that Kate Upton isn’t even wearing a real swimsuit on the cover of its so-called Swimsuit Issue.

Awks.

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