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The advice Serena Williams’ mother gave her that helps her deal with body shamers

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Serena Williams has taken more than her share of body criticism throughout her incredible career as the top-earning female athlete in the world. She has been criticized as being too muscular or too masculine, or too racy or too sexy. The 21-time Grand Slam winner told The Guardian in a new interview ahead of this week’s Wimbledon tournament that growing up, her mother taught her and her sisters to be strong and love their bodies.

“It’s really important. You are who you are, you can’t change it. And you’re beautiful,” Williams said.

Williams said that the positive comments on her body outweigh the bad, and that her attitude for her career has been an acceptance of knowing that “not everyone’s going to like the way I look.” Williams also brought that attitude to her stint in Beyonce’s video for her new album, Lemonade, in which Williams dances “like no one’s watching.”

Williams also talked about how she’s begun to think more about having children, but is not quite done achieving her tennis dreams yet.

“I’m Serena,” she said. “I’m happy to be Serena, and I will always be Serena. And if I’m not true to myself, then who am I?”

Read the full story in The Guardian.

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