Serena Williams made her first public appearance yesterday at TED Talks in Vancouver since announcing that she’s pregnant. Or, more specifically, since “accidentally” announcing she was pregnant. As she told Gayle King at the event:
“Well actually it was an accident. I was on vacation just taking some time for myself. I have this thing where I’ve been checking my status and taking pictures every week to see how far along I’m going,” she said during her TED Talk on Tuesday night in Vancouver.
She was interviewed by Gayle King, who asked if Williams planned to share the photo with friends maybe.
“No, I’ve just been saving it,” Williams said. “I didn’t really tell a lot of people to be quite honest. And I’ve been saving it.
“You know how social media is, you press the wrong button and …” Williams smiled.
Earlier this week, Serena regained the #1 spot on women’s tour world ranking and she celebrated by posting this on Instagram:
My Dearest Baby, You gave me the strength I didn’t know I had. You taught me the true meaning of serenity and peace. I can't wait to meet you. I can't wait for you to join the players box next year. But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you.... once again today. On @alexisohanian bday. 😉 from the world's oldest number one to the world's youngest number one. -Your Mommy
As you know, and as I’ve written many times before, throughout her career, her DOMINANT AS F-CK career, Serena’s achievements have consistently been undermined by assholes. Duana and I talked about this on this week’s episode of the Show Your Work podcast – how even in pregnancy, the haters just won’t give Serena her due, attributing her success to everything BUT her intelligence, her commitment, and her hard WORK.
Later today, a cheater returns to tennis. That cheater, despite not having anywhere near the career that Serena has earned, is the highest paid female athlete in the world, consistently attracting more endorsement and sponsor money than the Greatest Of All Time, Serena Williams. There is nothing to celebrate in that, even though her team is trying to tell you a different story, a story about a “comeback”, a story about a woman who has persevered against the odds. Odds?
Like the kind of odds stacked against a girl from Compton who went on to break all the records? How about those odds? And she’s not done. Her work is not finished. Serena told Gayle yesterday that:
"I definitely plan on coming back. I'm not done yet," Williams said, adding that she draws inspiration from her sister Venus, 36.
"If she's still playing, I know I can play," she joked. "This [motherhood] is just a new part of my life. My baby's going to be in the stands and hopefully cheering for me."
What does work on the level of Serena Williams look like? Well, Serena revealed to Gayle that her fiancé, Alexis Ohanian, proposed to her before the Australian Open – and this was her reaction:
“When he proposed, I was almost angry. Not almost, I was angry because it was right in the middle of my training season and I thought, ‘I have to win the Australian Open.’ I really wanted to pass Steffi Graf’s record.”
Well, she did win the Australian Open. As IF a proposal could distract her. But that would have been the headline, non? Serena knows better than anyone that she’s always been judged against herself and by a different set of rules, both fair and unfair – when she gets engaged and when she’s carrying a child:
“I had to really take all of that energy put it in a paper bag so to say and throw it away. Because I really felt that I didn’t have time to deal with any extra emotions, any extra anything because pregnant or not — no one knew — and I was supposed to win that tournament as I am every tournament that I show up, I am expected to win. If I don’t win, it's actually much bigger news.”
That kind of winning? It’s more than physical. It’s actually mostly in the mind. And THAT’s what terrifies the anti-Serenas the most about Serena. That’s where the racism comes in to play. It’s the strength of her mind. A brilliant black girl wasn’t part of the plan.
Yours in gossip,