Serena Williams Regrets Using Waist Trainers to Look Thinner on Instagram

Serena Williams
Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack/Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images for WTA.

Serena Williams is a boss. But even she isn’t immune to body-image pressures. After giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in September, the 36-year-old felt a pressure to bounce back to her pre-baby body and slim down her figure post-birth. So she resorted to waist trainers, a choice she now regrets.

In an interview with Time, Williams—who shares her daughter with her husband, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian—opened up about the pressure of looking thin so soon after her birth. To give off the illusion that her post-baby body was thinner than it was, Williams wore waist trainers in her Instagrams, which pushed her stomach in. In hindsight, she regrets using them, as she also contributed to society’s post-baby-body-image pressures. “I hated that I fell victim to that,” Williams said. “It puts a lot of pressure on women, young and old.”

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However, body image isn’t the only issue Williams is struggling with. As a new mom, the tennis player is also fighting against discrimination in the workplace after she was treated differently by the tennis industry after she returned from her maternity leave. “It would be nice to recognize that women shouldn’t be treated differently because they take time to bring life into this world,” William said.

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Keep continuing to speak the truth, Serena.