Anyone Hating On Serena Williams' New Look Needs To Pipe Down

Serena Williams' recent appearance at the 2024 Paris Fashion Week has caused quite a stir on social media, and it's completely unwarranted and troubling.

Since splashing onto the scene in the 1990s, Williams has had an illustrious career on the tennis court and beyond. Reflecting on her legacy, following her final tennis match at the 2022 U.S. Open, the talented icon told the crowd, per Eurosport, "It's so important to give your all ... no matter what obstacles you face. I've been down and out so m any times in the public eye ... you just never give up." She added, "It sounds cliche, but that really means something, no matter what you are going through." 

On top of being the G.O.A.T. in tennis, Williams has also thrived off the court, getting married to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in 2017 and having two children: older daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian in 2017, and second daughter Adira River Ohanian, whom Williams and Ohanian welcomed in 2023. While the world has undoubtedly been Williams' oyster all these years, she has also been faced with a large amount of hate, racism, sexism, and disgusting comments about her appearance. "It was hard for me. People would say I was born a guy, all because of my arms or because I'm strong," she said in Harper's Bazaar in 2018. While Williams has brushed off the comments over the years, her beauty has continued to be unfairly targeted, with her recent social outing sparking debate on social media.

Fans call out critics targeting Serena Williams' appearance at Paris Fashion Week

For the closing weekend of 2024 Paris Fashion Week, an array of celebs flocked to make appearances at various shows, including sports icon Serena Williams. From her '60s-inspired mini dress to her sleek black tube dress and lavish blue coat ensemble, the 23-time Grand Slam champion stunned in a variety of outfits. In addition to delivering showstopping looks, Williams also took part in mini-interviews at the shows she attended. When discussing the brand's powerful theme, "Black By Popular Demand," with Women Wears Daily, the Olympic gold medalist revealed what it meant to her. "Be yourself. Own who you are. Black is popular ... and it's been changing culture for decades and, honestly, forever," she told the news outlet. "It's in popular demand. I love it." 

Unfortunately, Williams' impactful message was lost on a handful of social media critics, who used the aforementioned interview to target and criticize her looks. One user on X, formerly known as Twitter, wrote, "What did she do to her face?" while another person accused Williams of getting "skin [lightening]" and "facial plastic surgery augmentation." Fortunately, it didn't take long for rational fans to hit back against the disgusting batch of critics. "She's wearing makeup... my god ya'll are so dramatic in this app," one user wrote. Another fan added, "Y'all want her to have gotten plastic surgery so bad ... Without makeup she has the same features. Just say she looks great and move along."

Serena Williams' beauty and appearance are not up for debate

Since stepping foot onto the world tennis stage, the Grand Slam champion has been used as a punching bag for insecure individuals spewing hateful sexist and racist rhetoric. In 2001, radio sports commentator Sid Rosenberg was fired after he made disgusting comments about Serena and her sister, fellow tennis legend Venus Williams, calling them "boys" and stating that they were more likely to pose for National Geographic than Playboy, per the New York Post. Williams' looks were also targeted by the Australian newspaper The Herald, which printed an offensive and exaggerated cartoon version of the talented athlete reacting to her three code violations at the 2018 US Open. Fortunately, Williams doesn't let online noise get her down, a feat she acknowledged in her statement for Black Women's Equal Pay Day in July 2017. "I have been the subject of racist remarks on and off the tennis court," she said (via Fortune). "Luckily, I am blessed with an inner drive and a support system of family and friends that encourage me to move forward."

While Williams pays no attention to the online trolls, rightfully so, it's truly alarming to see people continue to spew harmful rhetoric after witnessing the hate she endured for close to three decades. Just because she is in the public eye does not mean that said public should question, debate, or critique her beauty. As anyone would expect from a stranger off the street, Williams is due respect, not belittling comments from the online peanut gallery.