Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic celebrated their Wimbledon titles by dancing. Kind of.  (Thomas Lovelock / EPA / AELTC HANDOUT)

Most likely, Serena Williams just wanted to look fabulous at the Wimbledon champions dinner on Sunday night and she accomplished that as deftly as she has won three of the four Grand Slam tournaments this year.

But, in the process, she served up a pretty serious message that should put to rest the weekend’s ugly conversation about women athletes and their bodies, a conversation that even drew the attention of author J.K. Rowling. In a New York Times story headlined “Tennis’s Top Women Balance Body Image with Ambition,” Williams admitted that getting comfortable in her powerful physique was a journey. It’s one that has taken her to the cover of Vogue, a place more usually reserved for celebrities and models, and to ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue.

[Jenkins: Williams isn’t stopping to enjoy her ‘Serena Slam’]

With 20 major victories since 1999, Williams has been world’s most dominant athlete, and often its most controversial during that span. In spite of that, she admitted that she struggled with “societal norms,” even covering her arms “because when I do people don’t recognize me as much” as she sought to prove that feminism and athleticism can peacefully co-exist.

“I don’t touch a weight, because I’m already super fit and super cut, and if I even look at weights, I get bigger,” she told Ben Rothenberg. “For years I’ve only done Thera-Bands and things like that, because that’s kind of how I felt. But then I realized that you really have to learn to accept who you are and love who you are. I’m really happy with my body type, and I’m really proud of it. Obviously it works out for me. I talk about it all the time, how it was uncomfortable for someone like me to be in my body.”

She may finally be comfortable, but, as she was rolling to another Wimbledon title, the trolls came out. Who better to stifle them than the Harry Potter author?

Williams showed just how comfortable she is Sunday when she arrived for the Wimbledon champions dinner wearing a peachy dress, with her hair long and straight. Now, if Williams completes the first Grand Slam since Steffi Graf 27 years ago, the next step for her is to become a role model, a real living, breathing, strong role model.

“That is really an important acceptance for some female athletes, that their best body type, their best performance build, is one that is not thin,” Pam Shriver told the Times. “It’s one of power.”

(Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images)

(Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images)