Inspiration in Strange Places: Ronda Rousey

All of us, no matter our weight or level of fitness, have moments of doubt about our appearance. I had one of those last week, just feeling down on all the little bits of myself that no one else notices: stretch marks, excess skin, veiny hands, face blemishes, etc. Dumb little stuff that no one really cares about but me. I’m a tall woman with broad shoulders and a wide and long torso, meaning I’m tall but I don’t have long, elegant legs. My hips are narrow compared to my waist and I’m considered a “rectangle” or “banana” shape. They don’t make fashion models that look like me, which is something I’ve come to terms with over my 34 years on this earth. I blogged about it on my SparkPeople blog, and was overwhelmed by the response. I wasn’t fishing for compliments, not by a long shot. I knew I was just having a time where my body just wasn’t what I wanted, and that in a few days I’d be over it and back to being proud of my hard work. It comes and goes in waves, right? So I was honored to be featured in the At Goal & Transitioning to Maintenance Group weekly e-mail, and then due to that, it then became a featured blog post! Imagine that, a blog where I complain about my body becomes a Featured Blog. Ha!

Well, this blog is not about what I dislike about my body, because like I thought, I’m over it now. This blog is about women on magazine covers that we can actually look up to.

Until yesterday, I’d never really seen a woman on a magazine cover where I thought “Oh, I could totally look like that.” Magazines are notorious for crazy airbrushing, stick-thin models, and unrealistically white teeth. (I mean, seriously, do those teeth glow in the dark?) Yesterday, however, I saw this magazine cover while checking out at Barnes & Noble:

http://www.foxsports.com/ufc/story/ufc-ronda-rousey-lands-sports-illustrated-cover-051215
Image courtesy of http://www.foxsports.com

Now for those of you who don’t know Ronda Rousey, you will soon. Her star is rising: as the cover of the magazine says, she’s the world’s most dominant athlete. NOT female athlete. ATHLETE. Period. She’s an UNDEFEATED bantamweight UFC fighter, an actress (The Expendables 3, Furious 7 and the forthcoming Entourage movie), and she was the first American to win a gold medal in judo in the 2008 Olympics since judo became an Olympic sport in 1992. She’s badass. She’s fit. She’s STRONG. And also? Her body is completely and totally attainable. I looked at this cover, and I saw a body that I, as a woman 6 years her senior and formerly obese, could attain. Sure I have some excess skin and stretch marks. But I could look (mostly) like that.

(What do you think?)

The point is, woman are hard pressed to find positive body type role models on the covers of magazines. We’re shown unreachable standards of beauty, and we spend money and time trying anyway. I’m so glad to find someone that I can look up to (despite being 3″ taller than Ronda) as a positive physical role model. Maybe 3 years and 100+ pounds ago I wouldn’t have felt the same as I did yesterday, but I find it heartening to be close to my goal weight and feel like I’m GOOD ENOUGH where I am, all thanks to Ronda. I can be 5’10” and 170 lbs and look almost like a woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I don’t have to starve myself to look like a swimsuit model or Keira Knightley. Strength and beauty can go hand-in-hand. And I, for one, am thrilled.

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2 comments

  1. Our culture does these silly things to us. In long ago years it was much more fashionable to be
    quite plump. (Being thin was poor, malnourished, and certainly not coveted.) We have a new
    morning weather girl here in my town and she caught my attention at 7:00 a.m. due to the fact that
    she was long and slim legged, trim in the middle, but oh my – endowed at the top. Our culture has
    fed me the idea that fat in the bosom category is attractive. If you are African American, you might
    consider the fat in the buttocks to be more desirable. (And I must say that one of the first photo
    shoots of Ms. Obama in Vogue magazine proved the point. Well, hey, yeah, actually a curvy backside
    IS sexy. The photographer convinced me.) What we really should shoot for is considering ourselves
    all beautiful flowers in a garden . . . . each one unique and different. But each one beautiful in their
    own way. Short, tall, big boned, tiny . . . . we are all beautiful. As my mother used to say, “If you don’t
    think everyone is beautiful, you haven’t looked hard enough.”

    Liked by 1 person

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