Serena Williams is one fierce mama.
Over a year after welcoming her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, the tennis star opened up about how she feels about her body today. "I'm feeling pretty good about my body. I worked hard at it in the past eight months to get back from the baby," she said in Allure's Body + Mind issue. "It hasn't been easy. I'm not 21 anymore. But I did it slow and steady." Serena added, "After I came out [of the hospital], I had a stomach, but I thought, This is kind of cool. I have a stomach because the baby was there."
The first-time mom is unwilling to allow toxic societal beauty standards to impact the way she sees herself or define beauty. And it's her beyond-the-surface definition of the word beauty that the 23-time Grand Slam champion plans to teach her daughter. "When I tell her she’s beautiful, I want to teach her that she’s beautiful from the inside," she shared. "Giving is beauty. Being kind and humble is the ultimate beauty."
Serena continued: "I want her to know that being strong is never easy. Not in this world we are living in.... Standing up for yourself is not going to be easy, but it’s always eventually respected. Those are the people who’ve made a difference in this world, people that stand up for what’s right. If you look at history, those are the people that you really remember. And at the time, oh, my God, it seemed impossible."
Serena also opened up about her relationship with her husband of one-year Alexis Ohanian. "He doesn’t dim my light," she gushed. "He puts me in the light, even if I don’t want to be. He pushes me to further points I never thought about. It always was something that I could see in some relationships — my light would be dimmer. Now I feel like I can shine really bright and still do everything that I want to do."
Check out more stunning shots from Selena's Allure cover shoot below:
Photo: Getty Images