When you think of a Pantene commercial, you probably think of an uber-feminine woman frolicking around in stilettos as she flips her perfectly shiny, blown out hair... right? We do at least. What you probably don't think of is Ronda Rousey—the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic medal in Judo, UFC's longest-running bantamweight champion, and one of the strongest, toughest female athletes in the history of American sports. Yet, Rousey is, in fact, the hair care brand's latest brand ambassador for their ongoing #StrongIsBeautiful campaign.
"I’m fully aware that I might not be the first person people think of to collaborate with a beauty brand," said Rousey in the press release. "I’ve been called 'Miss Man' and 'savage' because of my physique, but to me, strength isn’t only about having muscles. It’s about having heart and finding inner confidence, so I’m honored that Pantene asked me to be part of their new campaign that encourages women to break gender barriers, break the glass ceiling and never settle."
The new campaign features Rousey the phrase "Don't Hate Me Because I’m Strong," (which Pantene explains is a play on words from their iconic “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful” campaign from the 1980s) and is intended to highlight the fact that "a woman's power comes from her strength, not her beauty." Yes, the two videos still feature plenty of flowing hair shots in a white dress (girl's got great hair!), but they also show Rousey kicking some serious ass in a sports bra and shorts, showing the world a body type we haven't often seen associated with established beauty giants like Pantene.
While definitely a step in the right direction for Pantene, for Rousey, this campaign only helps to round out her resume as a body pos champ. Earlier this year, she owned up when she unknowingly posted a Photoshopped pic of herself, clarifying that she really is 'extremely proud' of 'every inch' of her toned body. And just this summer, she joined Reebok's #PerfectNever campaign and shared what it's like to be called 'too masculine' and receive criticism for her looks.
Per a Procter & Gamble exec in the press release: “Ronda is the future of strong women everywhere—women rising above society’s expectations and proving once and for all that strong is always beautiful."