Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Women’s History Month: Bianca Belair

Welcome back to our first-ever Women’s Month Series! Throughout the month of March, we will be highlighting different women in pop culture — fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — who we think exemplify accurate and honest portrayals of women in the mainstream media and use their voices to empower and uplift.

Bianca Belair is one of the fastest rising stars in WWE. Successfully transitioning over from NXT to the main roster, Belair shines bright everywhere she goes. At last year’s Women’s Royal Rumble, Belair outlasted 29 women to win a title opportunity at WrestleMania 37. She, of course, would challenge Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Together, they would make history by being the first two Black women to headline a WWE pay-per-view (and the biggest one of the year.) The match would go on to win an ESPY for “Best WWE Moment.”

While Belair had some setbacks in 2021, her hunger, athleticism, and mic skills acted as a magnet with the crowd. Getting over with the crowd often times comes with a cost. You either sink or swim; that’s not on the wrestlers themselves by any means, but their inconsistent booking decisions. To Belair’s credit, because of her natural ability and awareness, she kept herself afloat and has garnered genuine mainstream potential much like several stars before her, including The Rock, John Cena, and Sasha Banks.

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In 2022, The EST is back on top, ready to reclaim her position after winning a title opportunity at Elimination Chamber. Belair’s accolades extend far beyond wrestling. A former college athlete, she competed in track for six years across multiple colleges. Belair has also been very open abut her own life struggles, including her battle with depression. In partnership with Sanvello Health, she discussed her journey and what it means to be a role model not just to a younger generation of kids, but to everyone.

Knowing that I’m a role model, not just for physical things — not just for little girls that want to be a WWE wrestler one day or that wanna be a track athlete one day — But I’m a role model in a sense of mental health. In a sense of encouraging people to be unapologetically who they are, and be comfortable with that and self love, that’s a responsibility that i take so seriously.

Outside of the ring, Belair uses her platform to encourage conversation and impact various communities in different ways. During the height of the pandemic, she and her husband Montez Ford created The Culture Connection, a place to advocate, learn, share, interact, and promote positivity. In an interview with the New York Post, Belair talked about the reasoning and need for the platform. “We were in a space where we didn’t just want to react. We wanted to act and we really wanted to try to do something that was meaningful and could have a long-term positive impact.”

It’s clear no matter the situation, Belair will always rise to the occasion, regardless of the roadblocks. There’s a reason she’s considered the EST of WWE.

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