Serena Williams is a sex symbol of strength in her naked, pregnant Vanity Fair cover

What’s the difference between Serena Williams posing nude and pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair and every other celebrity who can’t wait to take it all off for any publication that will have them?

Williams is not doing it to become a sex object, not doing it to boost a fading career, or to create one because she has no talent for anything other than being naked.

In short, Serena is no Emily Ratjakowski who thinks naked is an actual profession. Serena Williams is a world champion, Ratjakowski rose to fame as a naked dancing girl in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” where nothing was blurred.

Serena on the other hand, has managed to be a sex symbol of strength without being a sex object. Williams is a phenom of female power and strength — whether pregnant or not. She’s not exploiting herself by being naked like some implant-enhanced desperate movie star or reality show faker who are famous for being famously naked.

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When Serena shows off her naked, pregnant self it’s not because she has nothing else going for her, it’s because she has everything going for her.

(AARON FAVILA/AP)

Serena is displaying the epitome of what a woman can achieve with her body — what the female body is capable of, despite the odds and despite the fact that we are living in an increasingly retro, sexist world where women are valued more for their beauty than their strength.

When Serena shows off her naked, pregnant self it’s not because she has nothing else going for her, it’s because she has everything going for her.

She’s not just showing off her belly bump for the sake of showing off her belly bump. This is a woman who won her 23rd Grand Slam while pregnant. She’s showing us all that being pregnant isn’t a condition-it’s a natural event-one that shouldn’t stop a woman from achieving anything physically including winning yet another Grand Slam.

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Both Serena and her sister Venus are the ones who after all, brought even the most sexist men to the stadiums to watch their unmatchable talent. They leveled the playing field and made women’s tennis as must-see-or make that more-see-than men’s.

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But because men are really the weaker sex, conservative radio hosts and other halfwits spread rumors that she was on steroids. How could a woman be that strong, have arms that big?

Serena’s pregnant, naked cover gives the big finger to all the off-the-cuff idiots who have criticized her over the years for saying she was juicing, and that her body was too masculine.

Too masculine for whom? For her madly-in-love fiancé, Reddit co-creator, Alexis Ohanian? No.

Too manly for what? To get pregnant? No.

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Not that it’s her first foray into posing naked. In fact by doing so she has made it OK for every athlete, including men-to show off the bodies that have made them world class champs.

And that’s not just a good thing, it’s a damned good thing. Praise the Lord! Since 2009, ESPN’s Body Issue has featured naked male and female athletes. In fact, the upcoming Issue includes naked Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas and Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez.

If you go blind, complain to ESPN. I’m just an innocent by-looker.

Posted in Columns on June, 2017