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Sports Illustrated bashed for allegedly altering Serena Williams' thighs (PHOTO)

Leah Prinzivalli writes about pop culture, beauty and health and has interviewed some of your favorite reality stars. She has been published in VICE, Reductress, The Toast, The Frisky, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat, l...

Sports Illustrated claims it didn't Photoshop Serena Williams' thighs, no matter what doubters say

When Serena Williams was crowned Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year, there were cheers from all corners.

But as with many female celebrities on magazine covers, after the excitement, comes the inevitable backlash. For Williams and SI, fans are worried about her famously tennis-toned thighs. Did the magazine Photoshop her into a slimmer, more "acceptable" build?

As Cosmopolitan reports, Sports Illustrated denies any Photoshopping aside from the typical retouching done in "normal magazine production." SI Assistant Managing Editor Stephen Cannella adamantly denied the charge to Cosmopolitan.

"The fact is that we didn't do anything to change the integrity of the photo, change Serena's likeness, or change her body in any way," he said. "Every magazine's photos are worked on, but the idea that we made her thighs or any other part of her smaller is silly."

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According to Cannella, Williams herself had a large role in conceiving the cover shoot, "everything from what she wore to her pose. It was something she was actively involved in." If anything, he said, he's thrilled the audience is talking about the cover and "studying every tiny little detail... we love that kind of attention."

Williams' camp has not yet commented on the controversy. If Instagram is any clue, she's savoring the moment of being SI's Sportsperson of the Year.

Williams captioned a 'gram of her shoot with the inspiring words, "This year was spectacular for me. For Sports Illustrated to recognize my hard work, my dedication, and my sheer determination gives me hope to continue on and to do better. As I always say, it takes a village it's not just one person. This is not just an accomplishment for me, but for my whole team. I am beyond honored. 2016? #letsdoit."

More: 15 Amazing women who have torn down barriers in the world of sports

More: Serena Williams shames reporter for stupid question (VIDEO)

That isn't doing anything to convince fans who swear her thighs are slimmer.

Do you believe Sports Illustrated let Serena Williams go natural on its cover? Let us know in the comments!

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