Oh Miss Rousey...
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Oh Miss Rousey...

This fighter is more than a pretty face

Oh Miss Rousey...

The American public is seemingly obsessed with sex and violence. This may seem like a sweeping overgeneralization, however, in terms of women and how they are represented in our media, over-sexualizing is a virus that infects the public and changes how we interpret our every day lives and the images that we come face to face with.

My primary example is the fight that occurred between Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes. This fight signals an evident shift in the way Americans internalize femininity and athleticism. These athletes are seasoned and decorated, Rousey in particular, who is an Olympic medalist and mixed martial artist. However, all of this gets out-shined when she steps into the cage.

Rousey is seen as sex symbol. Her aggression is viewed as sexy, or powerful and dominating. Rousey is seen in the eyes of men as threatening and a force to be reckoned with and that maybe they could have her if they were aggressive enough. Rousey has devoted her entire life to her sport and profession, so to be regarded for her body rather than ability takes all of her hard work and discredits her achievements in the most typical way. People take her intense focus and facial expressions as her being a bitch. To those people, are all women required to have smiles on their faces and look beautiful all the time? Rousey is an MMA fighter; focus is necessary to be as successful as she is. In fact, when I searched her on YouTube to look at interviews, the suggested videos had titles like “Rousey’s Sexiest Moments!” and “Rousey’s Ideal Man.” So that is enough to prove people are looking at the wrong things.

She is marketed as a fighter but also comes to interviews in skintight dresses and poses in bathing suits. But when she steps into the cage, she weighs 135, and her body does not resemble the waifs that walk down the runway. People see this as different, and it’s a pat on the back to look different.

Such thinking is what’s wrong with her representation; she has to look a certain way to fight, and she, like any other professional athlete is required to have the strength and physical ability to compete. So her being “different” is actually her body being conditioned to do her job. However, this is still somehow sexualized and taken in the wrong context.

However, it’s critical to examine the things she says and not just pick apart her tool that is necessary to work. In two interviews with Ellen DeGeneres, she admits that she cries often and that she’s had suicidal thoughts and has trouble handling the pressure that is put on her. Given, she is the highest paid MMA fighter in the league and people continue to discredit her abilities and fawn over the fact she’s a blonde woman who is incredibly powerful and influential.

In my opinion, it’s not the fact that there need to be more female fighters to normalize the sport or be represented differently, it’s the thinking of others, specifically the men and women who only regard her for her body and how she looks. In reality, Rousey is much more than a fighter; she’s a popular figure, an author, a girlfriend, an actress, and one of the greatest athletes of our time, yet people still regard her only for her body and looks.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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