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.”
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.”
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.