Thank you to the UFC and the #RouseyRevolution campaign for sponsoring this post.
When I was a little girl, I would hear the phrase, “You can be anything you want to be- if you put your mind to it.” And like most naïve children, I believed it. Of course it didn’t come with the addendum: It’s going to be hard as hell, harder because you’re a girl, and don’t you want to do something a little more practical/stable/safe? I also wasn’t informed that the very people uttering this phrase to me didn’t believe it themselves.
Before long, the ‘be anything you want to be‘ was clouded by supposed to’s, limitations and little boxes the rest of society put into place, all while they chanted the mantra of possibility.
In my early 20s, I desperately wanted a woman to look up to. In business and in life. A total badass who would remind me it was more than possible to both be myself and be successful. That I could carve out my own path and do things my way.
And when she never came?
I became her. I had to be my own driving force and for a long, long time, I was the only one who believed in me. I self-inflicted early mornings and late nights. I created ladders where there weren’t any. I did whatever it took to keep climbing to where I am today, and I’ll keep climbing higher until I get to where I want to go.
As a strong, powerful, badass, self-empowered woman–I see, acknowledge, respect and love the hell out of other women, especially ones like me.
As they say, queens see queens.
That’s how I felt about Ronda Rousey the first time I saw her. A chick in the UFC? If you know me, you know I’m unimpressed by women who enter a male dominated world and get kudos and a ton of PR, simply for being a woman. Fuck that. That woman better be just as good, if not better, than the men. I was so glad to discover that Ronda was the real deal. That she didn’t just enter into the UFC–she blew the fucking doors off of it.
I was intrigued. I had to know more, so when her book came out I bought it immediately and devoured it. Ronda didn’t just exceed my expectations in the Octagon or as a female athlete- she also amazed me as a human. (Read: 11 Reasons to Girl Crush Hard on Ronda Rousey) I could relate to so many parts of her life. From the ambition and drive, the ups and intense downs, to her extreme sensitivity (I literally cry every day). Ronda isn’t just a technical fighting machine, who also happens to be beautiful, she is freaking brilliant.
This #RouseyRevolution isn’t accidental. This has been her plan all along: To blaze a trail for other women, so big, so bright that they can’t help but find their way. And while it, of course, applies to the world of fighting, it is affecting women and girls everywhere.
I noticed the explosion around me when the DNB video came out. When she sat there and unapologetically addressed the issue of women with muscles, being manly.
“I think it’s femininely badass as fuck because there’s not a single muscle in my body that isn’t for a purpose.”
Fit chicks like myself lost their minds in a collective “yassss” over this. Every day, we hit the weights in an effort to be strong and ultimately better than we were the day before, and every day society tells us not to “get too big” and that muscles on women are masculine. She fought for her self-acceptance and it was like she gave us all permission to shrug off the lens that other people view us through, and to accept and embrace that we are beautiful and strong. That one does not cancel out the other.
She fought for her confidence- and she’s teaching women everywhere that being confident in your abilities isn’t arrogant, and how dare anyone say otherwise when they have no clue what it took for you to get there.
I admire the hell out of Ronda, on so many levels and I’m so grateful that young women and girls have someone like her to look up to. Someone that can tell them, by her words and her actions, “You can be anything you want to be.”
And mean it.
Want to watch while history is made when the UFC and the Octagon visit Australia for the first time on November 14th in Melbourne at UFC 193? Put in your planners! Watch these inspirational videos by young girls who show you what #RouseyRevolution means to them by clicking here, here, and here.
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