Rousey takes on Pantene as brand ambassador

Currently ranked the No. 1 Women’s Bantamweight fighter, Ronda Rousey is no stranger to being seen as “tough” —  known by the nickname “Rowdy” and as a woman proud not to be a “do-nothing bitch,” Rousey may just be the definition fierce. But the UFC fighter will now be showing us what it means to tough outside the confines of the octagon.

According to ELLE, Rousey was just announced as Pantene’s latest brand ambassador, launching a new ad campaign centered around the intersection of strength and beauty. In what ELLE is referring to as a reboot of the haircare brand’s 1980s slogan, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful,” Rousey stars in new ads that read, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Strong.”

While Rousey acknowledges that many may not immediately associate her with a beauty brand, she said in a release announcing her work with Pantene that strength is so much more than something purely physical.

“I’ve been called ‘Miss Man’ and ‘savage’ because of my physique, but to me, strength isn’t only about having muscles,” she said, according to ELLE. “It’s about having heart and finding inner confidence, so I’m honored that Pantene asked me to be part of their new campaign that encourages women to break gender barriers, break the glass ceiling and never settle.”

Her new stint with Pantene follows a run in Reebok’s “#PerfectNever” campaign, which sought to highlight the ways in which “perfection never helped anyone achieve their goals.”


Hadid and Reebok team up for ‘#PerfectNever’ campaign

It looks like UFC fighter Ronda Rousey will have a little company in representing Reebok in their #PerfectNever campaign.

According to WWD, Gigi Hadid has signed on to front the brand’s initiative, all in an effort to “encourage women to use exercise and physical fitness ‘as an escape to drown out all of the negativity that surrounds them,’ by zeroing in on the social, physical and mental benefits.”

Although she is an IMG-signed model, Hadid is no stranger to athletics, says WWD, reporting that the 21-year-old was once a competitive athlete herself, participating in horseback riding and volleyball — even attempting the Junior Olympic qualifiers.

But fitness is still a significant part of Hadid’s life, as the model said focusing on the physical demands helps her escape her own psyche.

“Working out isn’t only physical for me. It’s mental. It helps me escape the noise in my head. It’s the only time my mind goes quiet,” Hadid said, according to WWD. “When I was a competitive athlete, I used to be so focused on being perfect that my coaches would take me out of competing all together. I’d focus on my mistakes which would breed more missteps — a domino effect. Until I learned to change the channel, to refocus, reset. It was my mistakes, my imperfections that motivated me most.”

Seeming like a natural fit for this campaign, WWD explained that the #PerfectNever campaign serves as an “inspirational call to action that asks women around the world to celebrate the beauty of imperfection and champions Reebok’s intrinsic message of self-betterment.”

To see Hadid’s photos for the campaign, click here.

Rousey stars in new Reebok commercial

There’s no such thing as perfection, and UFC star Ronda Rousey is just fine with that.

The fierce MMA fighter just released a new commercial with Reebok, depicting Rousey at first on a photoshoot set looking, well, perfect. But Rousey isn’t there to just look pretty; she’s on a mission to prove that perfection never helped anyone achieve their goals.

As she steps off of the set, she rips off false eyelashes, wipes of lipstick and tears out hair extensions, putting her hair up and seemingly suiting up for battle. In the quick 30-second spot, Rousey commands attention by sharing all of the things that perfection never accomplishes, prompting the hashtag ‘#PerfectNever.’

“Perfect never gets truly tested. Perfect never gets to silence its critics,” she says in the video. “Perfect never gets a shot at redemption. So yeah, I’m fine not being perfect.”

The Bleacher Report says that video references Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 that snapped her undefeated streak. However, the site also points out that the commercial makes it apparent that Rousey is ready to fight — not for perfection, but for redemption. Even the video’s ending with Rousey punching a heavy bag says that she’s more than ready to silence her critics and defend her talent.

Chasing perfection may be fruitless, but proving yourself — that’s something we can get behind. Go get ’em, Ronda.

To watch the whole ad, click here.

SI is Covered in Beauty

Last week, it was announced that size-16 model Ashley Graham would be featured in Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue in ads for Swimsuits for All, a company that designs flattering swimwear for all body shapes. However, Graham is appearing in more than just ads for the magazine.

According to CNNSports Illustrated is making history this year by launching three covers of the issue for the first time in 52 years. The three covergirls include Graham, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey and model Hailey Clauson.

The magazine’s Assistant Managing Editor MJ Day spoke on the decision to feature three different women on this year’s cover. “All three women are beautiful, sexy and strong. Beauty is not cookie cutter. Beauty is not ‘one size fits all,'” Day explained.

Describing Graham’s confidence as “contagious,” Day had equally encouraging things to say about Clauson and Rousey, calling the former “smart” and a “cool girl,” while describing the latter as “the perfect combination of beauty, brains, brawn and humility.”

Graham told People that she credits Day for her appearance on one of the covers, who came to her with tears in her eyes explaining to Graham that her cover was going to make history.

“I thought Sports Illustrated was taking a risk by putting a girl my size in the pages,” Graham said. “But putting me on the cover? They aren’t just breaking barriers; they are the standard now. This is beyond epic.”

Set to be released on Monday, Feb. 15, Graham said her cover isn’t a victory for herself, but one for all women.

“I want to dedicate it to all of the women out there who never felt that they were beautiful enough, who never felt like they were skinny enough, and who never felt like they were going to be able to be represented in society like this,” Graham said. “Because now we’re being represented.”

Thank you, Ashley Graham, Ronda Rousey, Hailey Clauson and Sports Illustrated, for showing us that beauty is not ‘one size fits all.’