Ronda Rousey shows that women contain multitudes—they can be strong, and beautiful, and whatever they want to be—in a new campaign for Pantene from Grey in New York.
For the "Strong is beautiful" iteration with the mixed martial arts champion, the Procter & Gamble haircare brand updated its iconic 1980s tagline, with the Kelly Le Brock-spoken "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" line revamped to be "Don't hate me because I'm strong."
"This line … with what [Rousey] has been up against her whole life, all the criticism that she faces but she keeps getting back up again and again and again, it just felt so right for her," says Joanna Carver, global group creative director at Grey.
Carver adds: "With what the conversation has been, what the climate has been around strong women and feminism and what it means, this line and this campaign has become even more important and even more relevant."
The work is reminiscent of Under Armour's 2014 campaign with supermodel Gisele Bündchen, in that it takes a woman famous for one thing and shows her excelling at something else, subverting the viewer's expectations—as well as directly addressing her critics.
"I'm fully aware that I might not be the first person people think of to collaborate with a beauty brand," said Rousey in a statement. "I've been called 'Miss Man' and 'savage' because of my physique, but to me, strength isn't only about having muscles."
She continued: "It's about having heart and finding inner confidence, so I'm honored that Pantene asked me to be part of their new campaign that encourages women to break gender barriers, break the glass ceiling and never settle."
Rousey joins brand ambassadors Selena Gomez and Lion Babe's Jillian Hervey.
"Ronda is the future of strong women everywhere—women rising above society's expectations and proving once and for all that strong is always beautiful," Jodi Allen, vp of hair care for North America at P&G, said in a statement.
Agency: Grey New York