Ronda Rousey has just been featured in the 2015 installment of the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue. That’s great news for just about everyone, including Ronda, the UFC, and anyone who enjoys beach wear. Of course, these appearances invite obligatory moralizing discussions, and some sad person in Toledo is probably wringing his or her hands over the continued objectification of a strong female sports figure, while the rest of us are right-clicking and saving on our work computers.
But take note, you terrified protectors of female honor, that Ronda gained weight for the shoot. Yes, there’s a little curve ball for you, oh great defenders of the integrity of x-chromosomed role models. She curve-balled her entire body, so to speak, challenging your conception of female aesthetics, and making it a touch more difficult to flippantly label her a modern-day Barbie doll for hire.
Ronda explained, “The ESPN Body Issue is about celebrating the peak of human potential and the kind of form the human body, when specialized, can really look like. The Swimsuit Issue has a lot more [of a] sexual side to it, while I don’t think the Body Issue is overtly sexual whereas Sports Illustrated is. The difference in how I approached it is when I posed for ESPN Body, I really tried to be a lot more cut and a lot more close to my prime fighting shape because I was being photographed as a fighter and trying to look more like a fighter.”
“I purposely tried to get a little bit heavier for the SI issue so I was a little bit curvier and not in top fight shape look but the look at which I feel I’m the most attractive. It’s very natural for a person’s body to go through seasons.”
So yes, enjoy the tension between seeing her reclined in the pages of a men’s publication, but doing it after a dozen healthy meals. Perhaps we can all agree to let this one slide.