As many of you probably already know, Serena Williams recently posed nude for the cover of EPSN Magazine. Smiling like she’s from a cheesecake shot of old (Bettie Paige, eat your heart out). She’s pretty, she’s sexy, she’s brown and looks delicious, but naturally you can’t pose butt-booty-nekkid on the cover of a magazine without garnering a few comments. Everything from “Damn! She looks fine!” to “She is ruining black America!” Demetria L. Lucas of ESSENCE.com threw in her two-cents today, deriding those who are acting like one cheeky photo is going to bring down black womanhood.
A chocolate, curvy, confident, nude Black woman celebrating her whole self? Hmmph. I happily plunked down my cash for the cover and thought: One small step for Serena; one giant step for Black womankind.
I couldn’t imagine anyone would think otherwise… so you can guess my surprise when the morning after the cover’s debut, I was reading my daily blogroll (everyone was talking about the cover) and found comments calling the Serena cover a “sad day for Black America.” Then I read she was “a whore” and a “ghetto hood rat” because she was “selling sex for money.”
Huh? Was Jennifer Aniston a “whore” or “ghetto” when she sat nude wearing only a tie on the cover of GQ in January? Maybe I missed the brouhaha? I looked it up to be sure. Just as I thought, by and large, she was celebrated for being confident and fabulous at 40. So why is Serena being called awful, ugly names?
What’s your take on the photo? I think Serena looks flirty and gorgeous and it is rare to see a woman, shaped like a woman, on the cover of any magazine, let alone a black woman. And it’s not like Serena hasn’t posed nude/near-nude before, so I don’t quite understand the hoopla. She’s fully comfortable with her body in a way I WISH I was comfortable with mine. She feels good about herself and it shows. What do you think?