Tennis champion, Serena Williams, looks pretty with her cornrow hairstyle on the cover of Teen Vogue‘s December issue.
For the feature interview, which took place earlier this month at the Teen Vogue Summit, Williams joined teen activist, Naomi Wadler in a conversation with Lindsay Peoples Wagner, the magazine’s newly instated editor-in-chief to discuss power, activism and black girl magic.
Lindsay Peoples Wagner: There are so many things I want to ask both of you, but one of the immediate things that comes to mind is how you’ve both taken a lot of risks in your personal and professional lives. Why have you been so willing to take risks and speak out, whether about activism or being a woman of color?
Naomi Wadler: Okay, so I want to do all of the events that I do right until I am about to go onstage, because that is when I am like —
Lindsay Peoples Wagner: You nervous?
Naomi Wadler: It’s just great to be able to have the platform that I have, and that Serena has, and that you have, because not everybody has those platforms, and so part of that is being able to lift up other voices, and so that it’s not just somebody who is famous, or well known, or just a public figure.
Serena Williams: You put that really well. We’re in a position where we have the opportunity to use our status and our social network, and to use different platforms that we are on and that we can talk about it, ’cause a lot of people see what we post and see the things that we write. And although it’s so fun to have the opportunity to post lots of fun things, I also find it really important to post and talk about real items that affect us on a day-to-day basis.
Lindsay Peoples Wagner: Serena, how do you handle it all? Your training, your beautiful baby, business. How do you handle it day to day?
Serena Williams: Honestly, I don’t know. I go to bed every night thinking, How did I get through this day? I’m sure a lot of people out there can relate, right? It’s like, this day is over, it’s 10 o’clock, I got through it. How did that happen? That’s kind of how I am. Between… I just started training. Yes, I’m still playing.
Lindsay Peoples Wagner: We’re ready.
Serena Williams: So, that has been… OK, now I’m training on top of running this fashion company, on top of being a full-time mom. I’m super hands-on as a mom. I just take it as it is and realize that everyone goes through the same thing.
Lindsay Peoples Wagner: I want to talk about confidence. You both are so public, I’m sure you have days where you either get nervous or don’t feel great. How do you pick it back up on those days when you don’t feel so confident that you’re doing the right things or you don’t feel like things are going in that direction?
Serena Williams: I think it’s really important to realize that no day is going to be perfect. For me, that’s really hard because I strive for perfection, and I feel like everything I do has to be great and has to be perfect, because I am a true perfectionist. But that’s impossible. That’s not reasonable. Then I realize that, OK, I had a rough day today, let’s do something to make it better tomorrow. I think it’s important to expect to have some really rough times when you’re going through something, but always know that you can overcome it.