Ever since her loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 last November, Ronda Rousey hasn't quite been, well, Ronda Rousey.
Before her defeat, we all were used to seeing Rousey everywhere, not just in the octagon. Now, not so much.
However, thanks to an essay Ronda Rousey just penned for Refinery29, it appears we can all put to bed some of the speculation surrounding the former UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion.
What is real are imperfections. What builds character and toughness is struggle.
In her powerful piece, Rousey didn't mince words when she basically called out all the "perfect" Instagram models you follow on a daily basis.
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. 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. 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.
But, Rousey's essay was far from being all rah-rah.
She went on to explain how hard it is for women to feel comfortable in their own skin and how there's a double standard when it comes to men and women pursuing their dreams.
According to Rousey, and I think most women you'll talk to, women are constantly asked to assess themselves in their roles and their successes.
Am I good girlfriend? Am I a perfect mom? Am I the best athlete? Am I wearing white after Labor Day? Am I dressed in the right brands? Am I dieting right? Am I manicured, blown-out and tanned? These little constant quests for perfection start pecking away at our attention. Perfect never leaves room for improvement. And perfect never lets us focus on what's really out there for us to achieve.
You cannot get wrapped up in the pursuit of perfection. If you do, Rousey said, you lose track of your most important goals. Rousey went on to explain how judo became the most positive influence on her life.
It forced her to communicate, open up and trust.
What makes us better and more human is attempting something, coming up short, and then trying it again.
Rousey realized most women may never get the opportunity she had, and they may not want it. However, she urged women to think back to a time in their lives when they didn't care about being perfect.
She finished her piece by saying,
I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that you don't need to be perfect to be valid. 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.
Don't be perfect. Be you.