For some, body positivity may not typically start with a body slam. But for WWE Superstar Nia Jax, born Savelina Fanene, loving herself began with the wrestling. Coming from a long line of Samoan wrestlers, including her cousin Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jax grew up watching a much different world of wrestling on television.
"I noticed they were always beautiful women but skinnier and smaller than me," Jax said. "I just never really saw somebody like me in the business, and I didn't think that somebody like me would fit in to that business."
Jax's aunt ultimately encouraged her by telling her that she’d be "perfect" for the wrestling world — and the rest is history.
Over the years, wrestlers like Jax have emerged as body positivity icons, a role that she says is so important.
“Maybe a young girl seeing me and not feeling comfortable in her group can feel like, Oh my gosh, look, she went out there and she’s different and I look like her and she’s kicking ass and she’s taking names. Maybe one day I can do that and I should just embrace who I am," Jax said.
She hopes that her presence on TV makes different shapes and sizes normal in society. Her biggest message is to be “not like most,” something that she says is an incredible gift and essential to her success.
To Jax, the future for women in wrestling is limitless. She says that the company has come a long way since the days of mud wrestling and bikinis. Watch Jax tell her story in the video above.