When did you wake up to the importance of good skin care? Tennis champ Venus Williams admits that she was a late starter but has since made up for lost time.

In a recent interview with InStyle magazine (May 2021), one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis, along with her sister Serena, revealed that she didn’t start using sunscreen until her mid-thirties. Making the same assumption that so many of us have made that darker skin doesn’t need protection from the sun.

 

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Venus commented: “I’ve always known the importance of sunscreen; I just didn’t think it applied to me. I thought because I have darker skin, the sun would never affect me, which isn’t true. I finally started applying sunscreen at the age of 35, but by that time I had over 30 years of noncompliance. What woke me up was watching [my sister] Serena wear sunscreen and long sleeves in practice. It dawned on me like, ‘Oh god, I have to do this too.’”

Judging by her wonderfully clear skin, Venus has since made up for lost time. The commitment to taking better care of her skin, has seen her go one step further by adding SPF Beauty to her EleVen by Venus Williams range. The range includes a sunscreen that caters for all skin tones and manages to avoid that chalky white cast that so many sunscreens have.

Our body’s biggest organ, skin plays an important role in how we view ourselves, present to the rest of the world and our general wellbeing. Many of us have that one thing that elevates our game when it comes to beauty and just lifts our spirits. During the interview, Venus revealed hers.

Superstars: A young Venus and Serena Williams

“I’m in the eyeliner club, that’s for sure. I love Thrive eyeliners and their mascara for some extra volume. That way, when I’m looking across the net, I’ve got that steely glance. [laughs] I think I’ve probably worn more makeup on the court than I’ve done on a daily basis, which is crazy. It’s kind of like you’re going to work, and you suit up. Even though my job is in tennis, I still want to look great and feel good.”

Having an unshakable self-love and identity is vital and something Black parents must strive to instil in their children. Venus credits her mum for hers and Serena’s signature braided hairstyles in their younger tennis playing years. This assurance of who she is, and her identity shielded her from those who may have been uncomplimentary about her hair.

 

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Speaking about this, Venus said: “Well, I was taught just to celebrate myself. When I was young, I wasn’t allowed to have my hair straightened—my mom’s all about natural hair, so I wore braids. I’m fortunate that’s the way I grew up because African-American hair is not well understood outside of our community. I was in a locker room once and had my hair in an Afro. One of the players from Europe asked me, “How do you do that?” And I said, “It grows like this.” She loved it. I didn’t take offense. People just don’t know. I love embracing my crazy curls.”


Read the full article in the May issue of InStyle Magazine

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