In a bid to show that we can be joyful despite our challenges, many black women have labeled themselves ‘carefree black girls.’ We wear flower crowns and nose rings, we sport tattoos and post pictures online of us frolicking on beaches and in flowery fields. Sometimes it seems that the carefree label is a way to push back against the ‘angry black woman’ narrative that reigns in media and culture. But, at its heart, being carefree involves not giving a damn what others think. And that is Serena Williams in a nutshell.
The tennis star is the latest cover girl for Fader Magazine, and in a video accompaniment to her interview she makes clear that she will show emotion as she pleases.
“Sometimes you’ll see the tears, sometimes you’ll see the anger, sometimes you’ll see that but I never feel like because I’m black I have to say ‘Don’t let them see me do that.’ I am who I am and I don’t apologize for my color, for my sex or for anything.”
This is significant because throughout her career Serena has been blasted for being too emotional and even unsportsmanlike for her habit of expressing visible frustration during difficult games. Many have rightly assumed that this critique falls heavier on her because she is both black and a woman. It is good to know that she is unbothered by the opinions and will continue to play tennis in a manner she sees fit.