Naomi Osaka Talks Power Rituals and Positivity — On and Off the Tennis Court
Her serve? Unreal. Her success? Historic. Her shade? Espresso. Haitian-Japanese Grand Slam Tennis Champion Naomi Osaka started playing the game at 3, but it wasn’t until 18 years old that she realized she would be a star (for reference, she’s now 21 and ranked #1 in the world!).
We caught up with Naomi on the set of our BAREPRO Performance For All campaign shoot at the iconic Sheats-Goldstein Residence overlooking LA where she answered our questions about performance, beauty and her unique worldview.
What does performance mean to you?
Performance means a lot to me. I think as athletes we tend to lives really performance-based because it’s something that we have to do. So it’s definitely a really big part of my life.
What is your confidence-boosting beauty routine before a match?
Put my hair in a ponytail and spray a ridiculous amount of hair spray on.
You’re Japanese, Haitian, and grew up in the US — you must have a unique worldview.
That influenced how I experience culture because I live my life like one big melting pot. I never really thought of anything as strange. I think it’s because of the house that I lived in — it definitely makes me very open-minded.
Has your Japanese and Haitian heritage shaped your definition of beauty?
I feel like my background really gives me a diverse outlook on the definition of beauty because I’ve been surrounded by so many different people in my life. I feel like that’s where I’ve been really fortunate.
What was your first experience with bareMinerals?
I was doing a shoot in Japan and they were using bareMinerals products and I thought that it was really amazing. I’ve been fortunate enough to be using it ever since.
What is your favorite bareMinerals product?
Why is clean beauty important to you?
Clean beauty means a lot to me because as an athlete you tend to want to put the best products on your face. Plus we also sweat a lot too — that’s also a concern. I think clean beauty is sort of like clean living.
Who has been a force of good in your life and why?
I would say my parents have been a force of good in my life. Also my big sister; she’s someone I really look up to.
What advice would you give to your fans?
I guess to try to live without regrets. I know it’s pretty impossible, but even if you do it 90%, then you’ll be satisfied with the outcome.
What charity do you most align yourself with?
I try to align myself with anything that has to do with kids because I really like mentoring.
Why do you believe mentorship is so important to young women?
We need role models in our lives and that’s something that we can strive towards.
Your sister also plays tennis. Do you compete or lift each other up?
Me and my sister lift each other up by talking to each other a lot. We probably talk to each other every day. And she often talks to me after my matches, whether I win or lose. She’s a really big influence in my life.
What’s it like to have so many kids look up to you?
It definitely feels really good when a lot of little kids are cheering me on!
What message do you have for all the little girls out there?
Just to keep believing in your dreams and think that anything is possible.
What’s a good tip you’ve learned in your life and from whom?
See the positive in everything. I learned that from — maybe my sister?
How do you try to live optimism every day?
I try to live optimism every day by thinking that nothing’s really as bad as you think it is — it’s probably just something that you feel is terrible in the moment. But if you work through it, it’s probably going to be a really short-lived memory.
How do you remain so positive when the crowd is against you?
I remain so positive in those situations because you tend to think that the other people on the other side of the net are sort of going through the same circumstances.
Do you have any power rituals before a game?
I don’t think I have any power rituals before a game. I just put my shoes on from right to left and listen to a lot of music.
Tell us how you self-care after a game.
I self-care after an exhausting game by going into an ice bath. It’s not really the thing that I want to do, but it definitely really helps in the long run.
You have a killer serve — where do you harness that power from?
I harness my power from my DNA. [Laughs] That’s probably not the correct answer, but I tend to think that I’m pretty strong.
What’s next for you?
The dreams that I’m working towards change every day. I feel like every day something new happens, so I’m sort of just enjoying the ride right now.
Name a woman in history whose good work inspires you.
I mean, I’m sorry, but it’s Beyoncé, oh my God. Oh my God.
What are you full of and free of?
I’m full of drive and free of limitations.
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