Did ANYONE call this for February in the Vogue Predict-a-Cover? I personally thought Vogue would go for a Winter Olympics Melange, given that the Olympics are barreling towards us. In fact, my official prediction was “some random Olympians” and technically Serena does have four gold medals, and her daughter’s middle name (which she goes by) is Olympia, so perhaps I can give myself half-credit? (I cannot. Leaving aside the fact that Serena Williams is anything but random, I meant a few hot skiers and Ashley Wagner, which would have been awkward.)
I am happy to be incorrect about this, because I love this cover. Serena looks great and healthy, baby Olympia is an adorable squashy little noodlemuffin, the red dress is both flattering and Valentine’s Day appropriate, and also I’m pretty interested in reading that thing about trench coats.
I’m also happy to note that, for once, the accompanying profile is quite good, both highly personal and newsworthy (Serena had some scary and serious post-birth complications). Some of that is because the reporter, Rob Haskell, has covered Serena before and I think there is a level of trust there, and some of that is because Serena is a good interview subject. You should really read the entire thing (there is a very specific detail in there about Djokovic that makes me laugh), and it was hard for me to pick the best pull-quote; Serena is very thoughtful about herself, and very honest, and quite funny. But I loved this:
“I remember how stressed I was about getting to Grand Slam number eighteen, tying Chrissie and Martina,” she says. “I had lost every Grand Slam that year. I was in the U.S. Open, and Patrick [Mouratoglou], my coach, said, ‘Serena, this doesn’t make sense. You’re so stressed about eighteen. Why not 30? Why not 40?’ For me, that clicked. I won eighteen, nineteen, and 20 right after that. Why would I want to stand side by side when I can stand out on my own? I think sometimes women limit themselves. I’m not sure why we think that way, but I know that we’re sometimes taught to not dream as big as men, not to believe we can be a president or a CEO, when in the same household, a male child is told he can be anything he wants. I’m so glad I had a daughter. I want to teach her that there are no limits.”
[Cover: Mario Testino for Vogue]