Serena Williams Doesn’t Need You To Like Her Body

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Between her victory at Wimbledon and competing in the Olympics later this month, Serena Williams posed for the cover of SELF's September issue. Williams spoke about being a woman whose work places her under public scrutiny while, you know, having a body, and she was refreshingly real — not that we'd expect anything less from the champion and Kevin Hart workout buddy. "I love my body, and I would never change anything about it," Williams told the magazine. "I'm not asking you to like my body. I'm just asking you to let me be me." Of course, this isn't the first time she absolutely owned her appearance and took a stand for body positivity. Williams has made it clear throughout her career — her own sense of self-worth and self-love takes priority over critics' comments. Ashley Graham recently wrote, "I refuse to let others dictate how I live my life and what my body should look like for their own comfort... My body is MY body. I’ll call the shots." Williams echoed Graham's sentiment, adding exactly why it's so important that women in the spotlight speak out against body-shaming: "I'm going to influence a girl who does look like me, and I want her to feel good about herself." As far as body-positive role models go, Williams is a stellar choice for anyone — young girls and grown women alike. Beyond that, she's also our number one role model in telling off haters. Oh, and also: She's a killer dance teacher on top of everything else.

It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach here.

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