What she went through after losing Price is the heart of 'On The Line':
It was a real dark period in my life. I went through depression. I never even talked about it to my mom. No one knew I was in therapy, but I was. I was so close to her.
Not surprisingly, that dark time led to a 20-pound weight gain. Add the hypercritical glare of the media spotlight, and it's not surprising that like many women, Serena wrestles with insecurities about her looks:
Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and am, like, I want to lose my inner thigh. I've got to do an hour of cardio today, or whatever. I try not to do it, but the insecurity comes back sometimes.
My thighs. I think they're too big. But also my arms. I think they're too muscular. They're too thick.
When People counters that one could "consider those your best part," Serena responds:
I'm sensitive about them. I know that toned arms are in now. Look at Michelle Obama. She has great arms, and I think it's wonderful that she shows them off like that! I love her for that. I'm like, Keep wearing strapless dresses! But I don't like mine.
That's too bad. I deem Serena a beautiful new age woman: Her accomplishments (22 Grand Slams including mixed and doubles, thank you), business sense (she and her sister, Venus, just purchased a stake of the Miami Dolphins) and style (I don't care what the critics say) prove her to be a young woman who is all about her business. I'm sure you've heard some of the negative chatter about how some people view her body, but I love that she still understands that we have to define ourselves:
I want women to know that it's okay. You can be whatever size you are, and you can be beautiful both inside and out. We're always told what's beautiful and what's not, and that's not right.
Serena is a role model just for being honest about her insecurities. She isn't any different from any woman who has an off day and thinks, "I could lose a few,". Loving and valuing yourself throughout those down days is what counts.
Young black girls can rejoice in the accomplishments of a Serena Williams and they can also rejoice in her integrity and strength. Clearly she is working through her issues ... as we all are.