Ronda Rousey has built a career on being fit—she just appeared on the cover of Sport's Illustrated's 2016 Swimsuit Edition, in body paint.
But in a sad statement about our culture’s restrictive expectations for women’s bodies, the former UFC champ discovered this week that a recent press photo had been altered to make her appear skinner. Being the badass that she is, however, she immediately took a stand:
Here’s what went down. On Thursday, Rousey was given a photo of herself to post to Instagram, taken during a recent interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Unbeknownst to the fighter, someone had altered her face, arms, and torso before passing it along.
A few hours after posting the photo, Rousey posted another pic pointing out the photoshop fail and took a moment to let her fans know exactly where she stood on the matter. In the caption, she wrote:
I have to make an apology to everyone—I was sent a picture to share on social for Fallon that was altered without me knowing to make my arms look smaller. I won’t say by who—I know it was done with severely misplaced positive intentions—but this goes against everything I believe and I am extremely proud of every inch of my body. And I can assure you all it will never happen again. I could not be more appalled and hope you all forgive me.
Rather than scold the guilty party, Rousey seized the moment to become a body positive champion. She could have let the alterations slide and never said a word. Instead, she stood up for women everywhere who are tired of being forced to live up to unrealistic, computer-generated expectations.
Rousey 1, body shamers 0.
Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.