Serena Williams’ Vanity Fair Cover Shoot Is The Definition Of Female Empowerment

Serena Williams - Vanity Fair by Annie Leibowitz
Photo by Annie Leibowitz for Vanity Fair

If ever there was a pictorial back hand, skilfully served in John McEnroe’s direction after he refused to label Serena Williams as one of the greatest tennis plays of all time, this is it.

The tennis commentator and former court star had said Serena would rank at “like No. 700 in the world” if she played the men’s circuit.

He puts this down to realism. We put this down to completely misunderstanding that masculine strength doesn’t always make you the best. Especially when, like Serena, you have an aggregate winning percentage of 85.76 per cent and 23 grand slam titles piled on the mantle piece at home.

We highly doubt many, having just learned they were pregnant, would go on to win the Australian Open regardless. And we’re reminded of this power, strength and resilience only possessed of a true champion in the Annie Leibowitz-shot cover feature for the new issue of Vanity Fair.

In it, a naked Serena Williams shows off her incredible physique and baby bump in a series of striking photographs that, to us, epitomise the female empowerment she represents.

@vanityfair texture #annielebowitz Must read article. Link in bio

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

The cover story is about her relationship with Reddit co-creator Alexis Ohanian, but don’t let that put you off. There’s plenty to be inspired by from the pair no one on the planet would have ever put together.

As for McEnroe? Here’s what Serena had to say about his unsolicited opinion:

READ MORE: Emma Watson Curates Her Ultimate Feminist Bookshelf