Ronda Rousey Fights for Her Body Image

She’s blazing her own trail and doesn’t care who likes it.

via Flickr

Since “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey made her 2013 U.F.C. debut, the league has gone from not allowing women to having over 50 females competing in the sport. Now, just as she opened up an entire league for women, she’s hoping to blow the door open for other opportunities as well. Traditionally, in athletics, only women that adhere to traditional standards of femininity attract significant media attention and endorsements, but Rousey is blazing her own trail and doesn’t care who likes it.

Rousey is a one-of-a-kind-athlete who’s just as comfortable ripping another woman’s ligaments in an armbar as she is showing off her physique in an ad or magazine article. But, advertisers beware, don’t ever try and tell her what to do with her body. According to Rousey, “Because somebody said something really rude to me, I came into the shoot purposely way heavier,” she said to The New York Times. “I swear to God, if anyone calls me fat one more time in my life, I’m going to kill them.”

Rousey’s strength comes from overcoming a battle with bulimia when she was younger. Even on hot, 90-degree Los Angeles days she covered herself with zip-up jackets, “I was afraid to show my big arms,” she said. Now, she feels most comfortable at 148 pounds, “That’s like my favorite weight,” she said. Recently, she's had no problem flaunting her body for the likes of ESPN Magazine, Maxim, and Sports Illustrated, just as long as it’s completely on her own terms. “If I can represent that body type of women that isn’t represented so much in media, then I’d be happy to do that,” she said. “When women say that going on publications directed at men is somehow demeaning, I don’t think that’s true. I think that’s one really effective way to change the societal standard women are held to.”

Last year, she signed an endorsement deal with Buffalo Jeans exactly because she didn’t fit the fashion industry’s narrow beauty standards. “Frankly, that’s what we loved about her,” said Dari Marder, CMO of Iconix Brand Group, which partly owns Buffalo. “She wasn’t supermodel size.”

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(H/T The New York Times)

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