Serena Williams poses unretouched in gold cape, talks US Open sexism controversy

·Freelance Writer
Serena Williams appears on the cover of the August 2019 of Harper's Bazaar [Photo: Harper's Bazaar]
Serena Williams appears on the cover of the August 2019 of Harper's Bazaar [Photo: Harper's Bazaar]

Serena Williams has posed in nothing but a gold Ralph Lauren cape for an unretouched magazine shoot.

To finish the headline-worthy ensemble, she wears a pair of matching Christian Louboutin strappy shoes with a Bulgari bracelet.

The 37-year-old is also pictured in a number of additional gold outfits, including a sequinned Stella McCartney dress - a winning look for the sportswoman with 24 Grand Slam trophies to her name.

The rest of the Harper’s Bazaar spread - shot by the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding photographer Alexi Lubomirski - continues the gold theme, as the mother-of-one is also seen dancing in a fringed Michael Kors dress.

But while Serena undoubtedly looks incredible, it’s the accompanying open essay covering her her controversial match against 20-year-old Naomi Osaka at the 2018 US Open, that will be remembered.

READ MORE: Serena Williams sends strong message in 2019 French Open outfit

After calling the umpire a “thief” for citing her with three violations, Williams ultimately lost the women’s singles final.

The media coverage which resulted was arguably sexist with a number of publications calling her out on a “lack of professionalism” and for acting like “a sore loser”.

Left “heartbroken” by the final, the tennis player eventually sought help from a therapist before picking up a racket again.

Serena details the experience in the magazine - and uses the platform to “exemplify how thousands of women in every area of the workforce are treated every day.”

Serena Williams congratulates Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka on her win [Photo: Getty]
Serena Williams congratulates tennis player Naomi Osaka on her win [Photo: Getty]

“We are not allowed to have emotions, we are not allowed to be passionate,” she wrote.

“We are told to sit down and be quiet, which frankly is just not something I’m okay with. It’s shameful that our society penalises women just for being themselves.”

READ MORE: Serena Williams’ most famous tennis fashion moments of all time

The US tennis player also explains that she has felt the need to voice her opinion from a young age.

“Some may not like it, and to be honest, that’s their prerogative. I respect it,” she continued. “Growing up as the youngest of five girls, I learned that I had to fight for everything I wanted. And I won’t ever stop raising my voice against injustice.”

But after receiving a letter from Osaka which told Williams to continue “trailblazing” for others, she knew she had to continue to fight everyday sexism.

“Ultimately, my daughter is the reason I use my voice, the reason I picked up a racket again,” Williams wrote.

“Love breathes life and newfound perspective into people. It’s not about quitting when someone presents a challenge; it’s about getting up when you are down, dusting yourself off and asking, ‘Is that the best you got?’”

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