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Exclusive: Ronda Rousey Embraces Her Imperfections In New Reebok Campaign

Photo: Courtesy of Reebok.
This past November, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey did something very human: She lost. Rousey, who introduced many new fans to combat sports, took a fearsome kick from Holly Holm during a fight in Australia — and, having successfully defended her championship for three years, took the loss even harder. But now she's teamed up with Reebok to talk about finding strength in those moments of vulnerability, and perfection in her imperfections.

The campaign, #PerfectNever, is a part of Reebok's larger Be More Human campaign, and centres around a video (below) released today. The video stars Rousey first in an elegant dress, showing off her more public face. Then, she transitions to less-glamorous moments full of sweat and grit. The point: Both of those versions of her are ultimately her. And focusing on what society might consider the "more perfect" scenario denies the reality of what it takes to be fully "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey.

"Perfect never gets to silence its critics. Perfect never gets a shot at redemption," she says in the video. "So yeah, I'm fine not being perfect."

On top of those issues, there's the fact that Rousey is no stranger to body-shaming. Like many female athletes, she's been on the receiving end of a barrage of online negativity. Others have gone so far as to Photoshop her body, because being perhaps the most dangerous woman on the planet somehow isn't enough. So dealing with criticism — after a crushing defeat or in the face of a Twitter troll — has become an essential part of how Rousey sees herself.

“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.’”

Of course, all of that applies to the rest of us, too. In all areas of our lives, women are held to incredibly high standards and are made to feel inferior when we inevitably don't measure up. So this campaign sends the message that it's actually the not-measuring-up that makes us interesting, powerful, and, ultimately, human.
Video: Courtesy of Reebok.