Beaded braids have long been a significant hairstyle in the Black community. Practically a rite of passage among little girls growing up in the late 20th and 21st centuries, the tradition can be traced back to pre-colonial Africa. It’s so much more than just a style — and when you’re the daughter of Serena Williams, an entirely new layer of meaningfulness is added when you wear beaded braids.
On her very own Instagram account on Wednesday, April 20, the four-year-old shared a picture of herself at what appears to be a Disney park. She stands in the forefront as a real-life Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog poses with a beaming smile in the background.
Although Olympia is twinning with Tiana in her own Princess Tiana dress, she’s also reminding us of Serena and Venus Williams by wearing a version of the beaded braids they so famously wore on the tennis courts in the 1990s. Though she may not be wearing as many beads as they often did — Olympia appears to be wearing anywhere from two to six beads in various pastel shades on each braid, sometimes capped off by a pearl — it’s still a beautiful reminder of how important and relatable her mother and aunt’s hairstyle was to other Black girls who witnessed their incredible skills.
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