Strikeforce Bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey went on TapOut radio and chastised UFC ring girls for their playboy spreads, but then went and did her own nude spread, albeit subjectively more tasteful, for ESPN’s annual “The Body” issue. In response, Meisha Tate called her a hypocrite.
A lot of people dismissed it as sour grapes, but I found the argument intriguing enough to write about it for Spike:
She took her shot by framing it in the context of criticism that Rousey herself levied against the UFC’s ring girls for appearing in Playboy during her recent appearance on TapOut radio:
“With all these ring girls and their vaginas, – all of this goes back to advice my mom gave me. She gave me this one piece of advice, which I still hold dear. She said, ‘Look, whatever pictures you put out there are gonna be out there forever, so just think that one day your 12 or 13-year-old son or daughter is going to see those pictures. Whatever you want your son or daughter, or even your 13-year-old little sister to see, keep that in mind.’ So, whatever I’m not gonna show on a beach, I’m not gonna show in a magazine. These girls are going to have to explain to their kids one day why mommy’s ass and vagina are all over the place.
Tate’s resentments aside, how does one reconcile Rousey’s criticism of ring card girls posing for Playboy and her appearance and subsequent star turn in ESPN: The Magazine?
In short: myself, I’m practically a hedonist. I don’t have a moral judgement to make on either spread; in fact, it seems to be Rousey that’s making that determination. My argument, though, is that the line between her spread and the UFC ring girls in Playboy is a cynical and somewhat arbitrary, especially when you take into account ESPN’s motives behind their annual issue (hint: they’re not selling it on art). I’m convinced Rousey like many others think there’s a big difference, but I’m not so sure there is and don’t think she or anyone can fault ring girls or anyone else for posing for one magazine simply because they faced the camera head-on.
Give it a read, though, and lemme know your thoughts.
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