Serena Williams’ unrecognizable look attacked by critics who said ‘her melanin is fading’

Serena Williams dazzles on and off the tennis court, but her recent appearance in a star-studded runway show during Paris Fashion Week 2024 brought attention to her appearance.

The sports icon gave birth to her and husband Alexis Ohanian’s second daughter, Adira, in August. They are also parents to 6-year-old Olympia. Aside from the Grammy Awards in February, the CDFA Fashion Awards and a Vanity Fair x Audemars Piguet event in November, Williams has rarely been photographed dressing up and incorporating fashion elements lately.

Serena Williams has defended herself after critics said her glam look at Paris Fashion Week made her almost unrecognizable. (Photo: Serenawilliams/Instagram.)

While abroad, however, she stepped away from her motherly duties to attend fashion shows for brands such as Balenciaga, Balmain and Maison Valentino. While supporting Off-White, a reporter from Women’s Wear Daily asked the athletic phenom what the fashion house’s “Demand Black” theme means to her.

Williams responded: “Be yourself, own who you are, only black is welcome. That’s the culture; it’s changing the culture. “It’s been changing the culture for decades. ” In the video circulating on social media, the 42-year-old has honey-blonde hair with flowing old Hollywood curls, a light pink blush on her cheekbones and a rosy nude lip.

An “ironic thing is that she says black is popular while her melanin is all but gone,” one user’s comment read. Someone else wrote: “Haha she said be herself. “Although it looks like someone else. ” A third post asked: “Is it me, or does Serena suddenly look Asian? “

A fourth person opened up her face and commented: “Interesting though, you can see skin lightning, facial plastic surgery enhancements, especially the nose, etc.” Remember those proud little Compton girls , do they wear braids and colorful beads? “

The onslaught of criticism prompted Serena’s fans to come to her defense, reminding viewers that she had endured harsh comments for years about her face and body not being feminine enough and her hair being too ethnic. “Y’all really want her to get plastic surgery. No, sorry, she’s not wearing makeup, she has the same features. Just say she looks great and move on,” one defender wrote.

Others suggested that her skin tone may appear lighter due to the lighting and makeup, which to some appeared to be inspired by black beauty expert Uche Natori.

“It’s so ‘pathetic’ that you guys have bullied this woman for decades for her looks and now… after she’s done what she wants, I want to try again and feel attractive.” Y’all These are some weirdos, bro,” another supporter wrote.

In a 2022 interview with Time, Williams said she had no intention of portraying herself as someone else to appease opponents. “You can’t let the world dictate beauty. … A lot of people feel like they’re not beautiful or lovable enough because they’re dark. … I think people can relate to my confidence because I’ve always been told, ‘Look Get up and be great. And be proud to be black,” she told the publication.

Williams has faced harsh criticism before, particularly regarding her skin color. In 2021, she sparked backlash when she posted a photo of herself with a drastically different skin tone on her face and body. She eventually deleted the photo amid accusations of skin bleaching.

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