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.
In and outside of a wrestling ring, The Bella Twins have spent over a decade culminating themselves as a household name. Their namesake carried them through WWE’s women’s division where they would both hold The Divas Championship, star on E!’s Total Divas and their spin-off Total Bellas, hold their own YouTube channel under WWE, and Nikki would become the longest-reigning Divas Champion in history.
Elsewhere, they’ve had incredible success transitioning over to mainstream media. Nikki starred on season 25 of Dancing with the Stars where she would compete until finishing in seventh place. Most recently, she announced her spot as a judge on America’s Got Talent: XTreme while Brie is following in the dancing footsteps by appearing on The Real Dirty Dancing. From clothing lines to their own memoir and wine companies, there isn’t a thing that Nikki and Brie haven’t done, together or apart.
They consistently use their platforms to promote various humanitarian efforts. For their baby shower, in lieu of a baby registry, they partnered with UNICEF to give back to mothers in need. They’ve also taken part in charity fashion shows and other celebrity charity events. In 2018, Nikki participated in American Ninja Warrior‘s Red Nose Day event helping earn $15,000 for children in poverty.
Last year, they got inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame 2020 class. While controversial to some, it’s hard to deny the amount of buzz they brought into the WWE that would spearhead the #GiveDivasAChance movement and evolve into the Women’s Evolution. For a long time, Nikki and Brie were some of the last remnants of an era where women were viewed as the “bathroom break” at shows.
From two-minute matches and segments to sometimes none at all, they were part of the change that fought for a better future and opportunity seen in the current division. Not only that, Nikki suffered a career-threatening neck injury and she was told she’d never step foot in a ring again. Since that diagnosis, she’s been cleared multiple times to wrestle, including in the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble.
On an episode of The Bellas Podcast, the two discussed a potential final run together that would have them winning the tag titles. Nikki stated, “I would like to be the first-ever winner of the Royal Rumble to kind of give the middle finger to both champions to go, ‘I want the tag titles.’ How badass would that be? Would I not be the coolest person to go down in history?”
Love them or hate them, their immeasurable impact on modern-day wrestling fans and the world outside of professional wrestling is undeniable.