Ronda Rousey - Pantene's Newest Brand Ambassador #StrongIsBeautiful

I was never into MMA until I started listening to Joe Rogan's podcast religiously a few years ago and that's how I found out about Ronda Rousey. This chick is a total bad ass and became a household name in the fighting and MMA world and I instantly liked her, not just because of her many accomplishments but because she was a strong, beautiful woman I somehow identified with. I am not a fighter, as a matter of fact despite enjoying it tremendously I stopped going to my boxing classes because I couldn't bear to cut my long nails but boy, was I impressed seeing Ronda kick butt in fights and swooned over her jacked arms and impressive moves.

Today Pantene announced that Ronda Rousey is their new ambassador and that made so happy for so many reasons. As a beauty blogger that lives immersed in our "influencer" community I applaud Pantene for picking a woman that stands out. She's strong, she's fierce and unapologetic. She's different. She's like me.

As a young woman I struggled with an eating disorder for years. I was lucky enough to recover with the help of therapy and an amazing group of people that supported me. While and after recovery I started blogging and working out as a coping mechanism. Both activities kept my mind busy, helped me cope with depression, anxiety and self image issues and helped me grow into a stronger, better person. However, I still, to this day feel I don't totally fit in. I don't fit into society's feminine beauty ideal. I am built differently, I am a tall, broad shouldered girl, I am athletic and let's face it, with all the advances we have made we are still bombarded with unrealistic body images and most girls I see on social media don't look quite like me. I am happy to see the fitness trend growing but saddened to still see workout targeting women with phrases like "Trim Your Thighs" or"Slim Your Waist" in the title.

 The reality is, for some women, such as myself, working out and lifting weights no matter how light will bulk us up because that's just how we're built. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've skipped the weight room many times in favor of running on the treadmill or doing elliptical because that's what will help me look more lean and not give me bulging thighs or jacked arms. While I am proud and happy to have a strong, able and healthy body I still have days where I just feel big and for some reason that makes me feel bad. I still fall victim to social media and social pressure, after a few minutes of scrolling through my Instagram feed filled with injected lips, big butts and "snatched" waists, sculpted cheeks and photoshopped selfies it's hard not to start feeling inadequate.

This past weeks I was reminded that social media can also be powerful and have a positive impact on our lives, we've seen the first Muslim CoverGirl Nura Afia and the first CoverBoy James Charles and today I was happy to see a powerful Ronda Rousey flaunt her beautiful hair and strong body in the new Pantene commercial. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and I am so glad to see strong, athletic women finally being celebrated. I'm gonna go pop in my Jillian Michaels DVD now, make myself a protein shake, hop in the shower and be proud to reach for my Pantene shampoo (and conditioner, and deep conditioner and then the Overnight Miracle because I'm a hair product junkie) and promise to never second guess my boyfriend when he tells me how great my jacked arms look.

*Disclaimer: I am part the P&G Beauty United program however the opinions expressed in this post are my own. This post was not sponsored. I just had to share how happy and excited I am to see brands embrace beautiful women of all shapes and sizes.

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