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.