Fact: being beautiful is not an achievement, Kelly Kelly

One of the many things I love about William Regal is that when he’s commentating on one of AJ’s matches, he always talks about how much his niece loves her, and what a great role model she is.

It’s true, as well. You can completely see why a little girl would worship happy little AJ, with her gymnastics and her power-pop theme and her cute ring gear (which she never looks in danger of falling out of, because it actually has some material to it).

I find it a little more concerning when the WWE try to push Kelly Kelly as some kind of role model.

I found it concerning when Jerry Lawler told us that she’d “earned” a new accolade.

I found it concerning that Eve joined her in the ring to celebrate this magazine cover and told her, “This is your moment!”

And I find it concerning that she would be “thrilled” to be a Maxim cover girl, and that the WWE would expect us to cheer for that. (Actually, the Liverpool crowd didn’t – watch the footage, they’re all just standing there looking puzzled – and I thank each and every one of them for that.)

Leaving aside the fact that we see her in a skimpy bra and knickers set in the ring every week anyway, being beautiful enough to be on the cover of a magazine is not a personal achievement.

Beth Phoenix and Natalya interrupted Kelly Kelly before the cover could be unveiled, and whatever the sarcastic commentary offered by Lawler, they were right.

Little girls shouldn’t be wanting to be Barbie dolls when they grow up.

Little girls will look at that image of Kelly Kelly, eyes half shut, leaning backwards, legs open, and think that’s what it takes to succeed.

One of the defences that is always raised when a woman opts to take her clothes off and pose for men’s magazines is that she’s doing it because she’s chosen to do it, and that should be applauded. Well, no, not exactly. She’s doing it because she’s in a culture that financially rewards female beauty over achievement. And this is rarely a “choice” men make. When JoMo gets half-naked on the cover of Cosmopolitan, I’ll rethink my stance.

Kelly Kelly’s dig about the Pin-Up Strong women being on the cover of National Geographic made the point even more clearly – as always, the WWE continues to value and push slim, conventionally pretty, docile, gracious women, and wants its fans to as well. Women who fall outside those categories – by doing such terrible things as being strong, being good at wrestling, and cutting decent promos – are heels and there to be booed.

Of course, as Beth and Natalya left the ring, Lawler wheeled out the justification that always lies behind all Divas’ storylines – “They’re jealous, that’s all that is.”

And once more, I implore WWE Creative to come up with better ideas than that. Beth and Natalya have a genuine point, not one emerging from envy. Seeing someone applauded for offering herself up for objectification week on week on week would indeed make you angry, and rightly so. Anger isn’t jealousy. I don’t see you arguing that Alberto del Rio is just jealous of Punk, or that Miz and Truth are just jealous of John Cena. The jealousy line is saved solely for women’s disputes with other women, and I am sick of it.

To be fair to Kelly Kelly, I have no doubt that she genuinely meant what she said, that she always strives to be better at her job. But one would hope that the job she meant was professional wrestling – not standing around in her underwear to be leered at.


20 Responses to Fact: being beautiful is not an achievement, Kelly Kelly

  1. Chloe says:

    This just said everything I was thinking but could not say. 🙂

  2. workmancer says:

    Nope its not. Its more of a she’s Torrie of this generation or Sable of a later generation. Good role models are great, but logistically a lot of the divas are really. When have they gotten busted for drugs, DUI or anything questionable? Most of them seem to be as wholesome as Cena.

  3. Carrie says:

    I suppose it depends what you want from your role models – whether it’s just being law-abiding, or something more.

    • workmancer says:

      Well even though Kelly hasn’t been in Playboy and rejected attempts to put her in there. She did kick off her WWE career by being the exhibitionist. So maybe that’s not good.

  4. Mike says:

    I think WWE may be trying to gloss over Kelly Kelly’s in-ring stripteases from the pre-NXT WWECW days.

    Although that may be because they’re trying to gloss over the WWENXT days in general…

  5. Carrie says:

    Last night’s RAW kind of proved my point. Kelly Kelly: “whooop! It’s such an honour to be wearing a bikini because it means I’m BEAUTIFUL!” Alberto del Rio on the front of a different mag, fully clad in a sharp suit.

    • workmancer says:

      Beauty means everything to most women and psychologiests say its because little girls grow up hearing oh you’re so cute look at you! Look at that pretty dress… when you should be asking them what’s your favorite book? What’s 2 + 2? I’ve known so many dumb women and models in my life. Like one who looks very similar to Kelly minus the thick black eye lashes that thought Chicago is in Ohio.

      Maybe Stephanie will be on the cover of business weekly with a sharp suit. It depends on the magazine.

      • Carrie says:

        Of course it’s to do with gender expectations from birth. It doesn’t make it right. Ditto with Rock/Cena exchanging insults during RAW based on calling each other women or transsexuals. Misogyny in the WWE and society as a whole is deep-rooted.

      • Carrie says:

        Also, I find your example interesting. Steph, who is actually involved in the running of WWE, may pose in a suit. But ADR isn’t, he’s in-ring talent, like K2. But he’s allowed to keep his clothes on!

  6. workmancer says:

    It also has to do with the magazine. Maxim and Playboy are always looking for a scantily clad lass. While Business Week is looking for power businessmen and Life is looking for human interests. I’m sure Muscle and Fitness wouldn’t have a man in a suit… Vince has been in there. But he’s been in suits on the cover of other magazines.

    Its the magazine and the WWE probably lobbied them if not paid for her to be in there. Or maybe they wanted her, seeing as she is a TV star. Stephanie can be in a bikini on FHM…

    As for the transexuals… that’s what WWE is. Homophobic, cuz don’t you dare call wrestling in your underwear with other oiled men gay… its not gayyayyyya, to prove it they’ll make fun of gays. Yet… women wrestling always draws the ratings! Double standard.

    Then there’s Orlando Jordan… he’s so over the top its a mockery of wrestling.

    • Carrie says:

      But it doesn’t make it right. Or palatable.

      • workmancer says:

        Then there’s Chicago’s Shimmer. Women exclusive promotion. Women come from Japan and all over the US to train and be in this promotion. It’s nothing like the old WOW or GLOW. In fact its co-owned by Steve Corino’s sister, Allysson… something. She got married. Oh and Dave Prazak.

      • Carrie says:

        Yes, that’s true. But how much media coverage does it get? It’s depressing times.

  7. workmancer says:

    They’ve gotten local coverage here, but they’re very high priced… and draw big. Because men will always love women and stick with them. I think Marleena’s dress selling for $10,000 at auction vs a $3,000 Rock Elbowpad from Wrestlemania 17 says a lot.

  8. workmancer says:

    Sometimes being beautiful is an achievement when you work for the body, bleech your hair, go through the pain of getting implants, braces and keeping your teeth that pearly white. But its a bigger achievement when you’re 60 and still look beautiful. 🙂

    • Carrie says:

      It’s not, though. It’s something you can buy, or something you’re born with, or something you refine. It’s not something you achieve.

  9. […] as a sexual object, and then as a wrestler, you are on a slippery slope; a slope that ends with your champion being Kelly Kelly and the catchy little motto “Wrestling Matters” being a total […]

  10. […] The Divas division I’ve been through this in detail […]

  11. […] surprised when I heard. After all, we’re all very aware of the attention that WWE pays to women’s wrestling (ie a cursory glance every couple of weeks or so): why would a technically brilliant wrestler, […]

  12. […] their own merchandise range. More than that, they were very pleased indeed to have her feature on the front of Maxim magazine last year – reclining, eyes half-shut, legs apart. (Still, I suppose it’s better than […]

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