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Serena Williams on buying mommy and me Disney costumes to match Olympia: ‘I’m not even sure she likes princesses’

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Serena Williams exemplified a working mom's quarantine life while appearing in Yahoo’s Reset Your Mindset event. The tennis superstar and entrepreneur wore a Cinderella costume for her talk about mental health and well-being during this unprecedented time.

Video Transcript


DYLANN MCGEE: Thank you, Jen. As Jen said, I'm Dyllan McGee. I'm the founder and executive producer of Makers. And on behalf of Yahoo and Verizon Media, welcome to "Reset Your Mindset." I could not be more excited to be sitting here with one of the greatest women of all times, the one and only, my friend, Serena Williams. Hi, Serena.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Hi, Dylan. How are you?

DYLANN MCGEE: I think we have to dive right into your beautiful outfit.

SERENA WILLIAMS: So I'm donning a Cinderella gown, because my daughter dressed me. My baby comes to all the meetings with me.

DYLANN MCGEE: Hi, Olympia.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Olympia, you want to say hi?


DYLANN MCGEE: You show your Cinderella dress?


DYLANN MCGEE: So I'm curious if that sort of-- that playfulness-- has been something that's been getting you through these crazy times.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm just really thriving. I'm here. I'm with my daughter. And it's a lot of stuff that I don't get to do normally. I feel like I almost get to be normal. And that-- as weird as it sounds, it's, like, amazing, and I love it.

DYLANN MCGEE: I have to say, there was one moment-- I can't remember. Was it early March?


DYLANN MCGEE: You did. You let the world know that you were like, OK, people, I'm starting to crack.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I started to crack.

DYLANN MCGEE: I was like-- I was elated. I was like, OK, if Serena's cracking, I can crack.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was just being at home all day. And now I'm grateful for it. But I wasn't used to it, you know, just never leaving the house.

And you know, I started quarantining a little bit earlier. I was in the house a really long time. And then I was like, I'm with a two-year-old, who's amazing, but it's a lot of work every single day.

And then she was in this phase where every word was "Mommy." But we overcame it. And now we're in our Cinderella robes.

So I got these new, like, glasses. They're kind of cool. But I'm not really used to wearing them. I think I'm going to take them off. They're giving me a headache.

DYLANN MCGEE: So tell me about your training.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I took, like, six weeks, of just nothing. And so that's why I was like, I really have to watch what I eat. I see all the memes online that talk about quarantine. Everyone's getting a little bigger.

But I really took out this time to take-- to take and cleanse my body. And I did intermittent fasting. I eat-- I try to eat healthy.

And you know, it's no fun. And I'm like-- I'm like, I want to drink in quarantine too. I was having so many issues. And I was like, I don't have to train. This is great. I can actually heal.

And then so the last, like, three, four weeks, I've been back on the court, and it's been great. I'm like, oh, my gosh, no pain. Like, this is amazing.

DYLANN MCGEE: So it sounds like we've got your-- you're eating healthy, you're, you know, back into training. But what about your mindset?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I do a ton of praying, which is so important in my life, as you know already. I don't know. I think that's the one thing I could work on a little bit more.

DYLANN MCGEE: And one of the things that I find so endearing about you is your ability to be vulnerable. I'm wondering if there's any, you know, advice you have for those moms out there who are, you know, struggling right now.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's hard. It's not easy. I think a lot of people just think, oh, you have a baby, and you're so happy, and it's amazing.

And it is. But there's also a lot of other stuff that comes with that that's not really talked about. The whole process of having a baby is not easy. And being pregnant is not easy, and all the hormones that you get.

I think the best thing we can do about it is just talk and not be afraid to talk about uncomfortable things. But I don't think they're uncomfortable to talk about. I'm like, this is what happened to me.

This was my experience. And it is what it is. And don't think it's going to be roses. Because it is going to be roses. But there's a lot of poop with those roses.

DYLANN MCGEE: I mean, quote of the interview. "There's a lot of poop with those roses," by Serena Williams.


DYLANN MCGEE: So speaking about goals, I mean, again, it's got to be hard for you. Even though there's part joy of this new phase you're in, there's also this looming not knowing when you're going to get back to tennis.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know how to feel about it. I feel like it's great. It's exciting. And I want it to happen.

But then I'm just like-- I'm just so confused about everything. I don't know. Like, my job is international sports. So that really is affecting us in a different way.

And so I'm like, gosh, this isn't great for us. But I don't know. Like, I don't know what's going on with the corona. You know, I don't know if there's going to be a second wave, like people are talking about. I don't know if it's good to open up.

But I'm just waiting on the right people to make the decision. And then if it happens, I'm there. If it doesn't, then we'll be somewhere else doing something-- some business until it comes back.

DYLANN MCGEE: It's amazing. You have your business, and your mom, and you have all these other things. You're going to have to go with the flow. You can't control it, right?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's kind of how I am. And that's how you have to be in tennis. Like, not everything is going to be perfect.

And I think a lot of things that are in my sport has reflected how I am in life. That's why I think tennis is great, because it's great. But it helped me deal with a lot of things in life.

DYLANN MCGEE: May is graduation month. And there are all these graduates who are graduating at their homes virtually and going into the workforce with this uncertainty. And I'm wondering what that advice to graduates is that you have.

SERENA WILLIAMS: If you can get through this, you can get through a lot of stuff. Because this is something that the world has never gone-- never been through. And they're the only people in history to go through this. And they are a future history lesson. And that's what they have to think about.

DYLANN MCGEE: Anything else that you want to make sure everyone knows as we start thinking about resetting our mindset?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm right there with everyone. I can't say I have a tip. I'm not-- I'm here to take tips and provide humor, I guess. So that's it. [LAUGHS]

DYLANN MCGEE: Well, you're bringing us so much joy, Serena.


DYLANN MCGEE: Whether you're Cinderella, Snow White, or Serena Williams, the mom, we're so appreciative of your time and for kicking off "Reset Your Mindset" with us. On behalf of Yahoo, Makers, Verizon Media, we're so grateful for your time.