Serena Williams Isn’t the Only One Proving Strong Is Sexy

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Serena Williams got real about strength for Sports Illustrated. (Photo: Sports Illustrated)
Serena Williams got real about strength for Sports Illustrated. (Photo: Sports Illustrated)

Serena Williams appeared in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated with a clear message: Everybody deserves to feel comfortable in their body.

“I’m not a size two. It’s okay to look good and feel good and I’m strong,” Williams said. “It’s okay to look strong and to be sexy and to be a woman and to be unbreakable — all those things.”

She added: “I really want to have that influence for people out there that have my body type. I want them to be like, ‘I look good too.’ That’s what I hope for.”

Williams isn’t the only one helping women to see that strong can be sexy. Read on for nine more women who are confident being strong and feminine.

“I’m very proud of my body and how hard I have worked to look like this. I of course like everyone else have my days where I feel insecure and not at my best. BUT I think it is that much more important we love our bodies and support each other. It is 2017 and there is NO perfect or ideal body type.” — Aly Raisman on Instagram 2017

“I embrace who I am, and I’m not ashamed of being all woman, but being strong and being a figure of strength. I think it’s important that women know who they are and aren’t afraid to stand up for that.” —– Natasha Hastings, Cosmopolitan, 2015

#FearTheReturn #FridayDec30 #rouseyvsnunes #ufc207 Pic by @ewillphoto

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“If I can represent that body type of women that isn’t represented so much in media, then I’d be happy to do that. When women say that going on publications directed at men is somehow demeaning, I don’t think that’s true. I think that’s one really effective way to change the societal standard women are held to.” — Ronda Rousey, New York Times 2015, referencing her nude cover for ESPN Magazine

“I was built this way for a reason, so I’m going to use it. To go out there and prove what I can do has taught me a lot about who I am. We can push ourselves further. We always have more to give.” — Simone Biles, Teen Vogue 2016

“I encourage young girls to follow their strength. Strong bodies come in a variety of shapes and sizes. But I don’t think you really learn to appreciate your body — however it looks — until you truly understand its capabilities. Realizing physical strength is a great gateway to realizing emotional strength.” — Maria Sharapova, Huffington Post 2015

“I’d always believed that what mattered was how I looked, how well I embodied certain standards of perfection. But now I started to understand that my body’s natural evolution into womanhood had validity, too. Dancing had always made me happy, and I wanted that back. So my priority became simply accepting my new self. I focused on what I wanted: to feel good, to be confident in my skin again, to dance. … My curves became an integral part of who I am as a dancer, not something I needed to lose to become one. … And I think I changed everyone’s mind about what a perfect dancer is supposed to look like.” — Misty Copeland, Self 2014

“Sometimes they will say that you’re too heavy or you’re not smart enough or you’re not girly enough. I come from a strong line of women who’ve taught me that it doesn’t matter who tries to keep you from doing what you love, you just do [it].” — Heather Hardy, Refinery29 2016

“It took me a little bit just to understand I have to love the body that I’m in because it’s still beautiful. And I have to understand that women come in different shapes and different body types. I’ve used exercise to help me feel more confident inside and out, to help me build the areas that I can actually enhance so that I can feel more comfortable. … I’m trying to get women to move and feel strong and feel confident in their own way, not just trying to fit any other mold.” — Massy Arias, Elle 2016

“Generally when you look at athletes, you see their muscles and all that stuff; I don’t have any of that. My arm is just my arm — it’s not cut, it’s not sculpted. I don’t have traps bulging out to my ears; I have a neck. I don’t have a six-pack. My legs are a little toned, but they aren’t bulging out. I’m just dense. I think it’s important to show that athletes come in all shapes and sizes. … I’ll be honest, I like everything about my body.” — Amanda Bingson, ESPN Magazine 2015

Read More:

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