Venus Williams has shared her thoughts on the beauty standards prevalent in today's modern society. Regarded as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time, the American is also a trailblazer in many ways.
By introducing unrivaled power and athleticism to the game, she and her sister Serena Williams have completely changed how women's tennis is played. Williams has won two US Open titles and five Wimbledon singles titles, totalling seven Grand Slam wins.
The 42-year-old recently discussed modern beauty standards in an interview with Glamour UK. Even 20–30 years ago, according to her, the beauty standard was to be "as thin as possible," but today, the ideal is to be "as curvy as possible."
"The standard of beauty right now is more inclusive, so that’s wonderful, but at the same time there’s tons of pressure. I think the standard of beauty 20, 30 years ago was ‘be as thin as possible’ and now the standard of beauty has shifted more to ‘be as curvy as possible,'" Venus Williams said.
In light of such drastic changes, Williams continued by saying that one must embrace and understand oneself, and that there is no need to adhere to such arbitrary and fickle standards in any way.
"There’s pressure to augment yourself to fit into the standard somehow and that’s not realistic. You just got to know you and be comfortable with you – and if that means also augmenting, that’s fine too, as long as you accept yourself," she added.
"I feel like I’m still educating people about my culture, one at a time"- Venus Williams
Venus Williams then pondered the rationale behind why, as a young woman, she frequently wore braids and beads in her hair. She explained that since she is African-American, she felt the need to spread awareness of her culture and awaken others to the deep meanings rooted in such practices.
"People didn’t necessarily know my culture. So, when people saw we were wearing braids and beads, they may have thought it was unique. But people from my own culture would’ve realised, ‘Oh, wow, this is something that young girls do.’ So, I feel like I’m still educating people about my culture, one at a time; like, this is normal to African-Americans, or people of African descent or with ethnic hair," Williams said.
"We often do wear braids and beads, which have very deep meanings from their origins. It’s important for people to know about the cultures of the world," she added.