Better have your doctor on speed dial, because the chances of fainting are high once you browse shots from the Sports Illustrated's 2017 Swimsuit Issue photoshoot. The presence of women of color is hard to ignore, and names like Serena Williams and Simone Biles graced the magazine's pages — in other words, there was plenty of #blackgirlmagic.
Posing oceanside in Turks & Caicos, Williams absolutely werked the steamiest bathing suits you've probably ever seen her wear. Whether it was her aqua one-piece with a deep plunge or her fire red bikini, the tennis champion looked absolutely radiant in every. Single. Shot.
Williams joins the ranks of non-models to land a page in the Swimsuit Issue, showing a sultry side to the fierce athlete normally seen tearing up the tennis court. For a magazine with a long history of featuring petite, light-skinned models, it's refreshing to not only see a woman of deep color turn up the heat, but also a beauty with curves.
Williams isn't the only one. Simone Biles' Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition feature gives the magazine yet another heaping dose of black girl magic. Stripping down to a sleek, black two-piece, Biles' shots were all about looking strong and fierce. Showcasing her beauty and talent all at the same time, Bile's stuck an impressive mid flip-pose and the resulting image was glorious.
If there's one takeaway from Biles' photos, it's that there is beauty in strength. As a woman of color, it's amazing to see a young, Black female delivering such a powerful message.
Williams displayed some next level confidence in her photos as well. It's empowering to see a dark-skinned woman photographed as a bombshell, because it's high time that everyone recognize beauty comes in every shade.
With such beauty, grace, and strength, Williams & Biles bring black excellence to the Sports Illustrated 2017 Swimsuit issue. Inclusion like this gives many black women — myself included — something to celebrate. The fact that such beautiful, melanin-rich complexions are getting a chance to shine assures us we can be comfortable in our skin. We can inspire in our skin. We can break the mold in our skin.