According to colorlines.com, Serena Williams recently paid homage to the famous Vanity Fair cover of a nude, pregnant Demi Moore, by having the same photographer, Annie Leibovitz, shoot her recent pregnancy cover in a similar pose (the hand on that hip though – all Serena). Leibovitz also shot all of the story’s photos, including black-and-white images of Williams with Alexis Ohanian, her Armenian-American fiancé who co-founded Reddit.
The cover story focuses on Williams and Ohanian’s account of their year-and-a-half courtship, engagement last December and her subsequent pregnancy. Williams also discusses her plan to return to tennis in January, roughly three months after her child’s anticipated birthdate.
Read the article and view the full set of photos here.
Serena Williams is the first black female athlete to land a solo cover of Vogue, and the tennis pro looks absolutely breathtaking (she last fronted the magazine for the June 2012 issue alongside Ryan Lochte and Hope Solo). Serena sports long natural curls and a slim-fitting blue sheath dress on the cover, finishing her look with minimal makeup and a simple tennis bracelet (natch). Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz shot the stunning spread, which also features tennis star (not to mention Serena’s best friend and top competitor) Caroline Wozniacki.
In the editorial, Serena lets her enviable figure do the talking in a second skin wine-red gown that hugs her body in all the right places. Beyond looking beautiful in couture, the star athlete opens up about the pressure of being top-ranked on the courts. (It’s no surprise that Anna Wintour tapped her for the annual Shape issue—the Vogue editrix is a self-proclaimed tennis enthusiast).
“It’s hard and lonely at the top,” Williams admits in the interview. “That’s why it’s so fun to have Caroline and my sister, too. You’re a target when you’re number one. Everyone wants to beat you. Everyone talks behind your back, and you get a lot more criticism. God forbid I lose. It’s like ‘Why?’ Well, I am human.”
Williams announced her Vogue cover in a sexy bikini snapshot on Instagram (why not?), which shows the star athlete kicking back with a copy of the issue. (Really, though, that body!)
Vanity Fair released a sneak peek of its 20th annual Hollywood Issue on Monday, and it may be the most groundbreaking one yet. The magazine has apparently taken steps toward emphasizing the diversity of Hollywood. For the first time since it began putting out the annual special in 1995, six of the 12 celebrated thespians gracing the 2014 cover are not white. The magazine has come under fire in the past for an apparent lack of diversity. Just a few years ago, as Buzzfeed has pointed out, a 2010 the cover featured nine actresses — all white, thin and under 40 years old.
Over the years the annual selection has included one or two minority actors — such as Angela Bassett in 1995, and Lucy Liu and Salma Hayek in 2004 — but this year’s edition shows how expansive the African-American film scope has grown across several genres.
Among those featured on the three-panel foldout are many of Hollywood’s most heralded actors of the past year, including Oscar nominees Julia Roberts, for August: Osage County, Jared Leto, who is the front-runner in his Best Supporting Actor category for Dallas Buyers Club, and Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o from 12 Years A Slave.