The Body Issue is definitely one of my favorite issues of ESPN Magazine. I am truly mesmerized by the human body, especially the bodies of athletes. It’s incredible how people have different body shapes, but I find it even more incredible the different types of physicalities of athletes who play different sports. The cross between genetics, different types of training and nutrition to determine different body shapes and forms.
Tennis player Venus Williams graces the pages of the 2014 issue, letting us see her in a whole different light. She bares it all, with her body on display as well as telling her struggles with her disease “Sjogren’s Syndrome”. Peep excerpts from her interview with ESPN;
On doing a nude shoot, and body insecurities;
Oh man, this is the real deal. It didn’t dawn on me until right when I walked on set that I would have to be without clothes. If I would have thought about it before, there may have been a little less of a chance….I had such a lackadaisical attitude toward being tall. I never really used to care; it just always helped me with my game. Sometimes women who are taller aren’t comfortable with it, but I love being tall.
The only complaint she said she has about being tall is having a hard time finding jeans that fit for her height. And she admits she has big feet, and that it’s not the easiest finding cute shoes.
I was joking (around), wishing I did a thousand abs a day so I could compete with all the athletes that are just ripped, but I’m probably never going to be ripped…I wish I could retain muscle easier. If I don’t go to the gym for a week, I just get thinner and thinner. My body just doesn’t want it. I’m full of oil, I guess…
On how looking good plays a role on her confidence;
My motto personally has always been: Look Good, Play Well. I think there’s a connection with what you wear. If you don’t feel good about what you’re wearing, you aren’t going to feel confident and you aren’t going to be able to concentrate.
On her disease;
Sjogren’s syndrome has been a life-changing experience, that’s for sure….You are so tired it hurts. At my worst point, I wasn’t able to play tennis at all. Just the whole quality of my life was compromised — and uncomfortable. It’s very difficult to understand unless you’ve gone through it. Especially as a professional athlete, there’s never any acceptable excuse. You push and you push and you’ll die on the court if you have to, but you get it done. The whole experience is just foreign as an athlete. You have to accept that you’re never going to be 100 percent. So, how do you get past those roadblocks? I wouldn’t say I “enjoyed” the challenge. But I’m up for the challenge.
Interesting enough, comparing her body to her sister Serena Williams, who both biologically have the same parents, and play the same sports, yet have different body types. Check out the differences of Venus’ ESPN body issue pics compared to Serena’s body issue pics from a previous issue below;
To watch the entire ESPN Body issue with Venus click here; http://espn.go.com/espnw/video/11113063/venus-williams-feature