If ever there were a model of body positivity—literally—it’s Ronda Rousey, mixed-martial-arts champion and self-proclaimed ninja who graces the cover of Self magazine this month. Earlier this year, Rolling Stone called her “the world’s most dangerous woman,” and Rousey didn’t argue with the designation. “Somebody told me once it’s the pretty fighters you have to watch out for,” she told Kelefa Sanneh of The New Yorker, “If someone’s all gnarled and mangled up, obviously they’ve been getting hit a lot."
It’s clear in the landscape of social media that, unlike many women appearing on magazine covers, Rousey’s badass physique actually motivates women to get stronger, rather than making it seem like their ideal bodies are out of reach. Perhaps even more inspirational than her build is her devil-may-care attitude toward her “haters.”
At 5’7” and about 150 pounds, Rousey is hardly fat, but she is more robust—and frankly, alive—looking than most women winning leading roles in Hollywood (she’s co-starring in a new Peter Berg movie alongside Mark Wahlberg).
As someone who hasn’t managed to get below 150 since college, I’m excited by Rousey’s increasingly prevalent image because a realistically sized body with lots of muscle and physical presence is actually something I can strive for. While I’ll never be thin per se, I can certainly focus on changing my body’s fat to muscle composition rather than dwelling on weight. Like Rousey, I can vary my activities, so exercising feels fun, rather than monotonous. Now if only I could conjure up her invincible attitude...