Ronda Rousey recently opened up about the strangest part of having her body painted for the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, saying that it definitely had to be when she was bent over a table so the artist could get to — well, a sensitive spot.
The MMA fighter and action star said that the hours-long process was pretty invasive at one point, and during the shoot she eventually came to a moment where she just wanted to cover up.
“The most memorable thing was me bent over on a table while someone took a little paintbrush and just colored circles around my butth**e. And I was like, ‘I am not used to anything cold and wet being there.’ So it was really odd…I’m standing there naked for 14 hours and shooting for all this time and at the end of the day, they’re like, ‘Do you want to eat? Do you want water? Do you want anything else?’ I’m like ‘No, I want a bra pronto. All other needs come later.'”
Nevertheless, Rousey was pleased with the outcome, saying she loves that the covers — hers is one of three, including Hailey Clauson and Ashley Graham, the first plus-size model to ever have the honor of a cover for SI— and is so happy that each one represents a completely different healthy body type.
“I don’t know if I felt more special getting the cover or being able to sit there and personally witness Ashley Graham’s reaction. I was already slightly girl crush obsessed with her, and she just met every expectation and more. She is an amazing human being and it made me so happy to see her that happy,” Rousey told People.
The women have made history by being simultaneous cover models for the swimsuit issues, and for having different body types included. Assistant Managing Editor MJ Day says that the covers represent the fact that beauty is “not cookie cutter.”
“Every single woman that is booked for this magazine is cover worthy. The collective beauty in the magazine is overwhelming. SI has always been and will always be about the models; the pictures you see here are a celebration of them. The three covers of Hailey, Ronda and Ashley celebrate the new SI Swimsuit. All three women are beautiful, sexy and strong. Beauty is not cookie cutter. Beauty is not ‘one size fits all.’ Beauty is all around us and that became especially obvious to me while shooting and editing this year’s issue,” Day said.
Ronda Rousey has been back in full force since her reappearance following her shocking loss to Holly Holm in November; the former champ left the public eye for a little while and took some time to herself, saying she needed to recover and deal with the first loss on her previously unblemished record. Rousey said earlier this year that she wasn’t sure when she would be able to come back to fight, admitting that after Holm’s kick to the face, it would be several weeks before she could eat an apple, let alone participate in a match. However, Holm is set to go up against Miesha Tate on March 5, and if she wins, UFC President Dana White says there might be a rematch between the two of them. Both women have said they are willing, if not quite ready.
Rousey had several people turn against her after her loss and was skewered in the media, but she did receive support. One of those who reached out to her was Kobe Bryant, who told her that everyone falls down at one time or another.
“I told her, ‘It’s a beautiful thing.’ That’s what I told her. I said, ‘To be a true champion sometimes you have to get knocked down.’ It happens to the best of us. It happened with my Achilles when I tore it, Ali got put down several times – it happens to the best of us,” Bryant told USA Today.
[Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]