In the middle of winter, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue always brings the heat. On Tuesday night, the brand unveiled its three covers of model Kate Upton along with peeks at the other stars of the issue. And among the gorgeous faces: Serena Williams. The athlete exudes sexiness with her otherworldly curves on display in bikinis and modern swimsuits.
In a behind-the-scenes video, Williams dishes a bit on the stunning looks from her spread. First up is a thong bikini that gives all new meaning to va-va-voom. "I've actually never worn a thong bikini, so for that to be my first shot was a huge shot of espresso for me because I had to wake up immediately," Williams says. "It was perfect. It really made me comfortable. I'm officially a thong girl now."
"Every swimsuit I've worn has been better than the last," Williams states of her next ensemble—a high-cut American Apparel one-piece that gives a major nod to the '80s and '90s. And her musical choice played right into the silhouette. "I asked on set to play cheesy '90s songs," she reveals. "And I act like that girl in those videos." Based on the way she dominated alongside Beyoncé in her "Sorry" video, we're surprised that more artists aren't making her the love interest in all their music videos.
Then, Williams slipped on a teeny yellow bikini, given some fashion flair with a black fabric background in her shots. "It really spoke to an ode to dancing," she acknowledges. The steamy shower scene was next and the star revealed, "I've always wanted to do something like that." She wanted that feeling of letting go and being "strong and beautiful at the same time." We'd say they nailed it with this one!
"Ultimately, I want people to feel comfortable with their body," Williams declares. "I'm not a size 2 and it's OK to look good, feel good, and I'm strong. I feel like it's OK to look strong, to be sexy, and to be a woman."
Williams continues, "And to be unbreakable. To be all those things. I really want to be that influence out there to people who have my body type."
Two years ago, Williams garnered the Sportsperson of the Year title from the brand, so she's absolutely no stranger to gracing Sports Illustrated's pages. She's one of many groundbreaking women in the issue, alongside Simone Biles and Ashley Graham.