Tennis superstar Serena Williams caused an internet sensation on Saturday by posing topless in a music video for a cover she recorded of the Divinyls 1990 hit “I Touch Myself” to raise awareness for breast cancer.
The video promotes Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and the I Touch Myself Project, which encourages women to regularly examine their b******. The organization was formed after Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett died from breast cancer at 53 in 2013.
“This Breast Cancer Awareness Month I’ve recorded a version of The Divinyls global hit ‘I Touch Myself’ to remind women to self-check regularly,” Williams wrote in the video’s caption on Instagram.
Singing in front of the world while unclad wasn’t easy for Williams. “Yes, this put me out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to do it because it’s an issue that affects all women of all colors, all around the world,” she wrote on Instagram. “Early detection is key — it saves so many lives. I just hope this helps to remind women of that.”
Women’s lingerie brand Berlei also supported the project. They’ve even released a rock-star inspired bra called The Chrissy named after Amphlett, with the words of “I Touch Myself” printed inside, and 100 percent of its profits will support Breast Cancer Network Australia.
Williams has had a busy year, juggling her career and raising her 1-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia with husband Alexis Ohanian, 35.
“It’s been so hard balancing being a mom and starting my clothing line, as well as playing a professional sport!” Williams said earlier this month. “However, it is the challenge that makes it fun!”
“I have spent every day with Olympia since she was born, and one of the latest challenges has been her teething,” added the mother of one. “I’m sure a lot of parents can relate. A milestone has been her walking — I get a good workout chasing her around the house!”
Williams’ secret to doing it all? Little sleep and working on the road, she said in August after launching her own eponymous clothing line in May. She said the collection is “inspired by femininity and strength.”
Also in August, the tennis champ sat down with Today‘s Stephanie Ruhle and revealed that she’s taken comfort in the feedback she’s received from other moms on social media after missing her daughter’s first steps while she was away training for Wimbledon.
“When I missed Olympia’s walking, I posted about it and so many parents wrote in and said, ‘Don’t worry about it, I missed it too,’ ” Williams said in an interview that aired on the NBC morning show.
“I didn’t realize that it’s almost more normal to miss it than it is to make it,” she explained. “So I really kind of rely on everyone’s help out there. It’s been so, so amazing.”
“Amazing Serena, important message and such a beautiful voice!” wrote one under the username deedpaula.
Another alshaze47 commented: “This is powerful!! I’m a Breast cancer survivor!!”
Williams, who celebrated her 37th birthday four days ago, pulled out of this week’s China Open in Beijing to bring a premature end to her 2018 season, her first back on tour since giving birth to a daughter a year ago.