Tennis legend Serena Williams was named GQ Woman of the Year for 2018 on Monday, but the magazine landed in the soup for its controversial cover design. The issue had four covers. On one of the covers, the tennis superstar is featured posing in a black bodysuit with a Chanel belt and the handwriting font styled “WOMAN” written above the word “MEN” that had been crossed out.
The magazine cover has drawn criticism from her confused fans and netizens, bringing up the body shaming incidents in the past. The 23-time Grand Slam singles champ had spoken about being called a man and faced judgment in her career because of her muscular body type.
However, GQ in its tweet mentioned that “WOMAN” was handwritten by fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who also styled Williams for the magazine photo shoot.
The quotation is a signature mark of Abloh, whose brand Off-White collaborated with Nike to produce “Queen Collection” for Williams. The 37-year-old star was seen wearing the sports gear with “LOGO” printed on her left shoulder and "SERENA" on her left sleeve.
GQ annually released Men of the Year list for its December issue. It included women among its honorees since 2003. Besides Williams, the magazine honored actors Henry Golding, Jonah Hill and Michael B. Jordan as part of Men and Women of the Year.