Venus Williams is on the cover of Cosmopolitan speaking candidly about her life and of course tennis. A couple of things stood out in her interview, two of which we wanted to highlight.
She doesn’t feel the pressure to start a family
Venus shared that she is completely comfortable with where she is in her life and doesn’t feel the pressure to start a family. This is contrary to what her friends think.
She shared: “I have a lot of friends who don’t believe me when I say that I like my life and I don’t want to change it for any reason. I’m not desperate and they don’t believe me,” she tells Cosmopolitan for the magazine’s October cover.
“They say things like, ‘You’re going to miss your window.’ I’m like, ‘Please, relax. You might feel this way, but I don’t. I promise you I don’t.'”
“There’s this sort of quiet resistance that Venus always carries herself with,” says journalist and podcast host Jemele Hill.
“She’s chosen to live her life so unapologetically and I think there’s a beauty in that. Especially when you think about these narratives about how Black women are desperate or lonely or how after a certain age, something is wrong with you if you aren’t getting married or having kids.
The joy that she has both on the court and off it is kind of an indirect retaliation to that narrative. She just seems like somebody who’s just not pressed. I love that about her.”
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Her reaction to How her peers are handling the media
Venus gets it, clearly, and she’s watching the way these athletes fight back with a kind of big-sister pride. “I admire everyone who stands up for what is right, which isn’t easy,” she says of Naomi and her peers.
“It takes strength, courage, and vulnerability. I love to see this next generation of players be willing and open to do that regardless of the cost to them.”
“We’re like gladiators out there, literally,” she says. “You go out there with your lance and it’s just you.” And as she went from rookie to seasoned champ, she also learned how to cope with the pressure of being a world-famous athlete.
“As you grow up and mature, you realize you don’t have to be in any situation you find disrespectful,” she explains. “You can let people know what you find disrespectful.”
We lock eyes on the latter point. There’s a fine line between demanding respect and being labeled an angry Black woman, so it doesn’t surprise me when she continues: “It doesn’t have to be yelling or screaming. I’m not a combative person.
I’m never going to let any situation change that, because I want to look back and know that I stayed true to who I am. So come. Come for me if you want to, but you won’t come again.”
Read the entire editorial here.
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