Oprah Talks to Venus and Serena Williams
Oprah: Does coming from such a strong family help you handle the criticism that comes with living in the public eye?
Venus: When anyone is critical of what I do, I'm just motivated by it. If someone says we're not good enough, then we just do better. If another tennis player says something negative, I say, "That girl will never beat me." We feed off the criticism.
Oprah: I love that. I've never once heard you make negative statements about other players.
Venus: And you won't. I don't have anything against anyone. When I walk onto the court, I'm there to play tennis and nothing else. Serena and I have no issues with anyone.
Serena: We're enjoying ourselves, and there's no time for anything else. You can't just be catty about everything.
Oprah: Do you even care what other people think of you?
Serena: I really don't—as long as my family knows who I am. And I know that a lie can't live forever. As Dr. Martin Luther King once said, "How long? Not long!" Most of the lies people tell about us are eventually washed away, so they don't bother me.
Oprah: Aren't you amazed at the untruths that people can write about you?
Serena: That's why we don't read the articles—I just look at the pictures. The negativity can really bring you down.
Venus: I avoid the hype. When I watch tennis on TV, I hit mute. I don't want to be bothered with the junk.
Oprah: Venus, was there ever a time when you cared what people thought?
Oprah: That's mighty—to be raised female and not have that concern.
Serena: My mom raised us to be strong women. We were taught that things like peer pressure didn't exist for us.
Oprah: With all that's been said and written, is there one thing people most often misunderstand about you?
Serena: Some people say we're mean or stuck-up. But they don't know us. We're really nice—and Venus is very funny!
Venus: Being famous has taught us not to make presumptions about others.