Serena Williams praised for posing unretouched for Harper’s Bazaar

Sabrina Barr

Serena Williams has been praised for posing in unretouched photographs for Harper's Bazaar US.

On Tuesday, the publication announced that Williams had been made the cover star for its August issue, and was photographed by royal wedding photographer Alexi Lubomirski.

"Introducing our August cover star... @SerenaWilliams! The tennis superstar goes unretouched, and gets candid in a first-person essay about last year’s controversial match at the US Open – and why she’ll never regret using her voice to speak out against injustice," Harper's Bazaar US wrote in an Instagram caption.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner penned a heartfelt first-person essay for the magazine, explaining that she feels women are "not allowed" to express their emotions without experiencing prejudice.

Williams also posed in a series of unretouched photographs for the feature, with the tennis star and the magazine both being praised for ensuring the pictures are not airbrushed.

"This should be a lesson for both consumers and major magazines. All of that extra retouching and airbrushing isn't necessary," one person tweeted in response to the images.

Another person added that the lack of airbrushing is indicative of the fact that there is "nothing pretend" about Williams.

Several people left praiseworthy comments underneath the picture shared by Harper's Bazaar US' Instagram account.

"So much power and grace in this photo. Keep shining bright and standing strong!" someone stated.

"Unretouched FTW!!! Thank you! Can't wait to show these to my daughter," wrote political commentator Sally Kohn.

In the essay written for the publication, Williams questioned why she was unable to express her frustrations during the 2018 US Open final without being chastised.

"Why can't I express my frustrations like everyone else?" the tennis player recalled asking herself at the time of her match against Naomi Osaka.

"If I were a man, would I be in this situation? What makes me so different? Is it because I'm a woman?"

The frankness of Williams' essay has been commended by fans.

"As women. As women of colour. We must never let our circumstances quiet us. It is imperative for all of humanity for us to speak up and to speak out," one person tweeted.

"This beautiful essay has me in tears. For my strength and willingness to speak out is now being used against me in horrible ways. Serena is reminding me to stay strong and to keep speaking," another stated.

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