Serena Williams is about to change the beauty game — and we are ready for it.
As if it wasn’t enough to absolutely dominate the world of tennis (winning 23 Grand Slam titles) and then the fashion industry (collaborating with Puma and Nike in addition to starting her own line), Williams is now working on her own makeup. According to TMZ, the new mom has trademarked the name Aneres — i.e., Serena backwards and also the name of her clothing brand — for a new line of cosmetics. The legal docs indicate that her beauty empire will include skincare, fragrances, makeup kits, bath soaps, lipstick, lip gloss, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara and makeup-removing products. So, basically, she’ll have you covered.
Aside from the fact that Williams has proven that she can do pretty much anything and do it well, it is particularly exciting to have the athlete-turned-fashion-tycoon stepping into the beauty space — an industry that is finally starting to represent more than a small segment of the population.
Here’s why Williams is already breaking new ground by getting in the beauty game with Aneres:
We need more WOC in beauty
The fact that she is a Black powerhouse businesswoman creating beauty products in an industry that has, until very recently, catered to very few skin tones, is in itself something to celebrate. It’s well documented that the beauty industry has long been male-dominated, meaning that men were dictating both beauty standards and the products available for a largely female customer base. And while women have slowly broken that glass ceiling, there is still a lack of women of colour at the beauty table.
Industry giants such as Covergirl and L’Oréal Paris have recently made more of a concerted effort to better represent their customer base by casting models of colour in major campaigns and offering a more diverse range of products. However, there are still relatively few makeup lines created by and for women of colour. It’s been encouraging to see the success of trailblazers including makeup artist Pat McGrath and the creation of Pat McGrath Lab, supermodel Iman’s IMAN Cosmetics and, of course, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. And even though Williams has yet to reveal any products, the very fact that she is joining the ranks of these ladies is a step in the right direction.
She’s outspoken about inclusion, so you know that’ll be top of mind
Even though her track record of success should firmly plant her in people’s minds as nothing short of a freaking champion, Williams’s career has been punctuated by both racism and sexism. Being the class act that she is, she didn’t let the haters keep her down. Instead, she has consistently used her platform to advocate for diversity and inclusion.
“Equality is important…I’m a Black woman, and I am in a sport that wasn’t really meant for Black people,” she told Wired in 2015. In that piece, she spoke not only about the need for better inclusion efforts in professional sports, but also in tech. Last year, she brought that mission to Silicon Valley, acting as a board member for SurveyMonkey.
“I feel like diversity is something I speak to,” Williams told the Associated Press. “Change is always happening; change is always building. What is important to me is to be at the forefront of the change and to make it easier for the next person that comes behind me.”
With that longtime message about creating representation for women of all shapes, sizes and skin tones, it seems inevitable that her makeup line will do the same.
Two words: sweatproof makeup
Our growing obsession with athleisure means that sweatproof makeup has become one of the hottest trends in beauty. That puts Williams in an incredible position as one of the only celebrity beauty icons who is also a high-performance athlete. In a 2016 interview with People, Williams said that even though she brings bright, statement-making fashion to the court, she can’t always do the same with her makeup.
“I wear eyeliner on the court, and that’s it. I don’t really wear [other] makeup because it always runs,” she told People, adding that in addition to mascara, SPF was also an essential in her gym bag. Could this mean we’re in for some products that will *actually* stay put as well as protect us from the sun? PRAISE BE!
All this to say, even though only the name of Williams’s makeup line has been confirmed, we are already certain it’s going to be a smashing success. It’s basically game, set and a perfect match.