Ronda Rousey Smacks Down Body Image Critics

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages
In the world of ultimate fighting, Ronda Rousey is quickly becoming a game-changer. She’s the U.F.C.’s biggest draw, undefeated in her weight class, and took down her most recent opponent in just 34 seconds. In spite of her kickass résumé — and her fighter’s physique — Rousey has received her fair share of body-shaming from critics. Her response: Fight back. In an interview with The New York Times, Rousey admits to briefly struggling with bulimia as a teenager and opens up about body image in Hollywood. Rousey specifically mentions a fitting for a television commercial that ended with a suggestion for her to lose weight.
"I swear to God,” Rousey said, “if anyone calls me fat one more time in my life, I’m going to kill them.” For the record, Rousey is 5-foot-7. And like many woman, she fluctuates between weights based on her training schedule (and in her case, whether or not she’s prepping for a fight). But unrealistic views of and societal norms for the female body impacted her attitude toward her body while she was growing up — and at the outset of her career. "I was afraid to show my big arms," Rousey said about her teenage years, when she would wear zip-up jackets in 90-degree heat. In high school, Rousey reveals she struggled with food issues and bulimia in an effort to maintain weight limits for judo tournaments.
Rousey has become a household name thanks to her incredible fighting skills, her confidence, and her ability to push boundaries (she was the first woman to fight in the U.F.C.). As her star continues to rise with roles in Furious 7 and The Expendables 3, Rousey wants to use her time in the spotlight to fight body shaming. “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.”

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