VB&P, Ronda Rousey Address Perfection for Reebok

By Erik Oster 

Eight months ago, Ronda Rousey lost her UFC World Bantamweight Championship title and perfect MMA record when she was knocked out by Holly Holm. Now Rousey appears in Venables Bell & Partners’ new spot for Reebok, entitled “#PerfectNever” as part of the brand’s “Be More Human” campaign. 

“Here’s the thing about being perfect,” says a glamed-up Rousey, via voiceover at the beginning of the spot, while slowly walking off the set of a shoot, “Perfect never gets truly tested.” She continues, “Perfect never gets to silence its critics” after removing her false eyelashes and hair extensions, and then pins her hair up and wipes off her lipstick. The spot switches from full color to black and white as Rousey appears in her fighting gear, ready for her shot at redemption, concluding, “So yeah, I’m fine not being perfect.”

For Rousey’s fans, the spot will be welcomed as a likely sign of an impending comeback (she hasn’t fought since her loss to Holm), but it’s meant to have a wider appeal than just the MMA fighter’s faithful. There’s a very clear femvertising element to Rousey’s symbolic shedding of the trappings of typical glamour and beauty perfectionism, intended to echo the everyday pressures placed on women everywhere to look as close to “perfect” as possible. The message fits the overall theme of the “Be More Human” campaign, as Rousey rejects ideals of perfection, both in terms of beauty/glamour and her fighting career, while implying that her loss has helped her build character and ultimately will make her a better person. Cynics may opine that the philosophy is just a way to rationalize her loss, but Rousey’s fans will likely love her all the more for it.