In the letter, Serena Williams, 23-time grand slam champion — the most successful player in the Open Era — talks about the criticism she received growing up because of her muscular physique and writes of her baby daughter’s “same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body.” In the letter, Williams refers to her mom as “one of the strongest women I know.”
“I was looking at my daughter (OMG, yes, I have a daughter) and she has my arms and legs!” Williams says in the letter first published on reddit,
the site co-founded by her fiance Alexis Ohanian.
“I don’t know how I would react if she has to go through what I’ve gone through since I was a 15-year-old and even to this day.
“I’ve been called man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that that I use drugs (No, I have always had far too much integrity to behave dishonestly in order to gain an advantage).
“It has been said I don’t belong in Women’s sports — that I belong in Men’s — because I look stronger than many other women do. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it).
“But mom, I’m not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman.
“I am proud we were able to show them what some women look like. We don’t all look the same. We are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small, just to name a few, and all the same: we are women and proud!”