Jessica Eye talks body image issues with Cosmopolitan
Ronda Rousey has received a lot of publicity lately speaking about body image issues and how they’ve affected her throughout her life. Now she’s being joined by fellow bantamweight fighter Jessica Eye, who was featured in an expose in the most recent issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.
The subject of the story focused on some of the fittest women on the planet and, despite how strong they may look on the outside, how self-esteem issues can hit them just as hard as anybody.
Eye was one of five women the magazine interviewed along with Olympic gold medalists Sanya Richards-Ross and Natasha Hastings, and fitness models Christmas Abbott and Massy Arias.
From her perspective, Eye says she’s always been rather athletic, which means she didn’t fill out dresses or skirts the way many young women would when she was growing up.
Teenagers can be especially brutal within their own circles when it comes to objectifying each other in good or bad ways and Eye was no exception. She felt the brunt of those attacks as a kid growing up, but as she got older and more comfortable in her own skin, it allowed the future top-five ranked UFC fighter to feel beautiful no matter what she was wearing.
"I’ve always had an athletic build, so sometimes I didn’t fill out tank tops the right way, or I couldn’t wear certain outfits because my legs were bigger, my calves were bigger, or my body was more athletic than your typical female, with a big chest and a giant butt and skinny legs," Eye said in the Cosmo interview.
"To me, it took me getting older that I was like, ‘You know what, I like how I am.’ I like having big legs! I like having wide shoulders! I like those things now."
Eye is in a particularly tough sport when it comes to standing out as a female because mixed martial arts has always been a predominantly male-centric sport.
Fighters like Eye and Rousey are bringing brand new eyeballs to the sport while changing misconceptions about the women who compete inside the Octagon and how they can still be feminine yet fierce — both beauty and beast.
"I think the biggest misconception about female athletes is that we’re tomboys and that we’re not pretty, we’re not girls — we’re just like male figures in the sport. We’re not!" Eye said.
"We’re females too. We still like to get dressed up, we still like to put makeup on, we still like to go out on dates and be treated like women."