Professional UFC fighter Ronda Rousey used to pride herself on her once-undefeated and unmatched fighting record. Then, in 2015, perfection came to a crashing halt when Rousey took a fierce foot swing to the head from Holly Holm during a fight in Australia. Rousey took both a physical and emotional beating, culminating with the fighter taking some time away from the limelight. Now Rousey is back, inspiring us all to embrace our humane imperfections with her new campaign with Reebok: #PerfectNever.
The campaign is a part of Reebok’s larger “Be More Human” campaign, encouraging both female and male fitness buffs to find strength in moments of vulnerability and perfection in their imperfections. Rousey is no stranger to body-shaming and the criticism that comes with being a celebrity athlete. Her body has been edited and photoshopped—the same body that made her a three-year reigning champ—and she faced Twitter trolls telling her what she should and should not look like, as well as the general invasion of her privacy and confidence.
“There are a lot of unrealistic standards being put on everyone,” Rousey said in a press release. “I think it’s good to have examples out there who say, ‘You know what, not everyone is always going to like you, but life will go on. You’ll be okay, and you can still love yourself.'”
Women, as well as men, athletes experience inordinate amounts of pressure put on them by the sports industry. In the video, Rousey makes a powerful statement on why it’s good to be imperfect and why athletes should embrace all parts of themselves.
“Perfect never gets to silence its critics. Perfect never gets a shot at redemption,” says Rousey. “So yeah, I’m fine not being perfect.”