Serena Williams Strips Down for an Instantly Iconic Pregnant 'Vanity Fair' Cover

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, of course.
Author:
Publish date:
Serena Williams on the August 2017 cover of "Vanity Fair". Photo: Annie Leibovitz/"Vanity Fair"

Serena Williams on the August 2017 cover of "Vanity Fair". Photo: Annie Leibovitz/"Vanity Fair"

Vanity Fair's August 2017 issue is nothing short of iconic: Serena Williams covers the magazine's latest issue, pregnant and nude, with the exception of a pair of flesh-toned underwear and a belly chain. The spread was photographed by Annie Leibovitz, who also shot Demi Moore's memorable 1991 pregnant cover for the same magazine. (Vanity Fair loves a good pregnant nude shoot, that's for sure.) 

The similarities between the two covers go beyond that: Like Moore, Serena poses with a strategically placed "hand bra," wearing just a bit of subtle jewelry and virtually nothing else. She, too, appears on a spare gray background. 

Demi Moore on the August 1991 cover of "Vanity Fair". Photo: Annie Leibovitz/"Vanity Fair"

Demi Moore on the August 1991 cover of "Vanity Fair". Photo: Annie Leibovitz/"Vanity Fair"

Like Moore's cover, Williams's is a shadowy and artful celebration of the female form. In the tennis champion's case, it's also a celebration of peak athleticism and power.

The accompanying story by Buzz Bissinger touches on Williams's epic tennis career — but largely, it's an in-depth account of her somewhat unlikely love story with fiancé Alexis Ohanian, "the geek co-founder of Reddit," including the six pregnancy tests she took to be really, truly sure.

Even at six months along, the Williams is still coming to terms with the reality of the pregnancy. "It just doesn’t seem real. I don't know why. Am I having a baby?" she told Bissinger. "If you would have told me last year in October or November that I would have a baby, not be pregnant but have a baby, I would have thought you were the biggest liar in the world. This is kind of how I am right now. This is happening sooner than later, and it's going by so fast." Perhaps this cover will help her pregnancy really set in for Williams. For the rest of us, it'll serve as a reminder that women — and, yes, Serena Williams in particular — are incredible.

To see the entire shoot and read the full interview, head over to Vanity Fair.

Sign up for our daily newsletter and get the latest industry news in your inbox every day.