You know her name. You know how she can kill it in a fight. You know how good she looks in nothing but body paint. But as much as you might idolize Ronda Rousey, don't you dare think she's "perfect," or expect her to be.
Ronda recently partnered with Reebok as part of their #PerfectNever campaign (you need to watch the powerful video of Rousey they just released), and then penned a super-open essay for Refinery29 about perfection. Spoiler: the girl can punch, but she can also write some heavy-hitting #realtalk. Here's what we learned about perfection—in the ring, in front of the mirror, and in your social media feed—straight from the UFC champ herself.
1. That you won't find perfection on social media—despite how it may appear.
"I scroll through my phone like everyone else. I see the world filtered and duckfaced like every other woman does. And sometimes I'm almost convinced that's real...But it's not," wrote Rousey. "The curated lives we see every day are fake. The perfect angles, the perfect outfits, the perfect lighting. That's not reality. What is real are imperfections."
And she's not shy about her flaws; when fans called her out for a photoshopped photo, she got really real about it.
2. That pretending to be perfect sure as hell won't make you better.
"What builds character and toughness is struggle. What makes us better and more human is attempting something, coming up short, and then trying it again," she wrote. "Your flaws—your unsuccessful attempts at greatness or even mediocrity—are real. They make you better. And that's beautiful because it's never perfect."
Rousey adds that being perfect robs you of the chance to improve, to see what you can really achieve. Case in point: her infamous loss to Holly Holm, which broke her undefeated streak, and gave her the chance for redemption.
3. That, at some point, everyone tries to chase perfection—and it sucks.
"When I was growing up in North Dakota, before my family moved to Los Angeles, I was a tomboy. I wore jeans and a white T-shirt, but not the sexy kind. I wore it because I loved to run, jump, and play. Dresses got in the way of that."
When she moved to L.A., she started a school where she never fit in, and she says her confidence took a hit.
"And like most girls, although women rarely talk about it, these feelings came to a boiling point when I stood in front of the mirror, looked at my changing body that I didn't really recognize anymore, and cried."
4. That even the thing that "saves" you probably won't be perfect at first.
"I wasn't perfect, and I didn't like it," she wrote. And that's when she found martial arts.
"When you practice judo, you have to have a partner. Suddenly the quiet girl had to talk or get thrown on her ass. That was a fast and effective lesson in confidence... Not every move I made was perfect, but I practiced a lot."
She says her passion for Judo allowed her to embrace her flaws and give her shots at redemption.
5. The harder you fight to be perfect, the harder it is to be your most kickass self.
"When we worry about perfection, our bigger goals are sacrificed. We can't look up, work hard and kick ass. But having the confidence to ignore the perfection around us can be difficult," she wrote.
For her, the answer was Judo. For you, it might be something else (that doesn't involve getting into a ring with boxing gloves).
"I'm not trying to inspire you take up martial arts or be anything you're not. But there was a time in your life when you didn't care about being perfect. Maybe you didn't quite understand the way the world worked then, but you also didn't care what anyone thought."
Take a cue from Ronda's playbook, and get back to that young and oblivious disregard for perfection—you can only be better for it. (Need some help along the way? We promise our #LoveMyShape campaign will give you some love-yourself feels.)