So after the recent Caley Reece vs Tiffany Van soest fight I was speaking with a friend and she brought up that they asked the Question “you’re so pretty do you ever worry about getting your face messed up?” I did notice that in the interviews of both Caley and Tiffany, I have also seen the question come up in interviews with other female fighters. This is a question I doubt I would ever have to answer as I’m not really the girly type but if I did get asked it I think I would find it a bit offensive in a way. I actually got quite mad when they were asking Tiffany in a Tv interview I watched as i thought i was a stupid question. I want people to take me seriously and worry about my dedication, hard work & fighting, not my face. I feel that people can over look a fighters skill because of the way they look and often it’s the first thing someone says “oh she’s hot don’t mess up her face” not “oh what and awesome left hook she has”. I have spoken to girls in my early days of fighting that said they didn’t want to fight with elbows because they didn’t want to get cut but I’m not sure if that was just a fear of elbows or they really didn’t want to scar their face. I know my first few elbow fights I was a bit freaked out about getting a big scar on my face. I’ve seen some pretty nasty photos of the guys getting around on Facebook but after getting a few cuts I realised that it was more a fear of stitches than a scar. I quite like my scars, im proud of them, they remind me of my hard work and wars i have had, they all have a story behind them. Anyway my friend and I were wondering what other female fighters opinions are of this question and what their answers would be so I thought I would speak to a few of the beauties of MuayThai to find out…
Lorryn Williams / 17F ISKA & WKBF Champ / Fighting Dragons Thai Boxing
Emma Thomas / 50kg / Master Toddy’s
Teresa Wintermyr / 56fights WMC World Champion/ Sinbi Muay Thai
Caley Reece / 5x World Champ / Riddlers Gym Australia
1. As a female fighter with a pretty face do you ever get asked if your scared to mess up your face? How often does this come up?
Lorryn: I always get asked.. At every fight show without a doubt someone asks me
Emma: Yes, but strangely, the only people who I can recall having asked me this are either my Thai students or co-workers. It definitely has been asked more than a few times, though.
Teresa: This is the most common question/comment I get along with “oh are you a boxer? Better not mess with you then hahaha” I get this question very often but almost always from people that are not into martial arts themselves.
Caley: Its a funny subject becasue we are born with this face so it becomes something you dont think about too much… especially with me being 34…. ive had the same face for a long time!!!!…. so it doesnt really enter my mind as to whether or not its going to get hit or cut. If you think about things like that, you wont be able to fight to your potential because you will fight scared. If you dont want to get hit, start dancing. Lately ive been asked a few times – in the USA, on the radio etc and I just tell them that I dont think about it becasue if I got worried, then I wouldnt be doing this sport.
2. What do you say to the Question “ your so pretty are you worried about messing up your face?”
Lorryn: well in the sport I am in it is a possibility that it could happen and usually I will end it with ‘well shit happens if it happens it will teach me to keep my hands up’ haha
Emma: The question always comes from people that find the idea of fighting totally alien to them, so I usually react in the same way that I do when those same people ask me ‘why do you like Muay Thai?!’ – just giving a short answer. I do usually say that I wouldn’t worry about damaging my face any more than I would worry about any other kind of injury.
Teresa: I usually explain to them that taking hard blows to the face/head and body is normal in a fight and if you are scared or have a problem with it, you simply should not be a fighter. I am not saying that I don’t care but it has nothing to do with my being pretty or not, nobody likes to get their face smashed up. I also tell them that bruises/cuts/broken nose etc are temporary and after a couple of weeks your face will look pretty much the same as before.
Caley: I guess people ask the question becasue peoples general idea of a female fighter would be to look butch. So to look feminine or girly can seem almost a little unbelievable to some people because its against what the “stereotype is”.
3. What do you think about this question, are you fine with it or does it offend you? Explain?
Lorryn: yeah I’m fine with it now it doesn’t really bother me anymore it used to though I just learnt to get over it and explain to people the possibilities of it happening to any one.
Emma: It’s a strange one, because it’s almost like a compliment immediately followed by an insult, although I realise that the people who ask it never mean to be offensive. You just have to take it with a pinch of salt. I think the thing that I find offensive about it is the suggestion that I should value my appearance more than my ambitions. I often get asked ‘when are you going to leave Thailand, move back home and get a boyfriend?’ It seems ridiculous to me, but everyone’s priorities are different. As fighters, ours have to be. As a student, I was once in a job interview for an engineering position where the male interviewers asked me ‘why did you choose engineering? It’s not very fashionable’. Women have to face questions like these all the time. There are always people who are ready to offer a negative response to women who choose to do things that aren’t conventionally ‘lady-like’. I was once telling a male training partner about how I was a ‘tom boy’ as a child, to which he replied ‘tom boys are just girls who refuse to accept puberty’. There is no reason that we should be made to feel less like women just for being who we are. However, there is sometimes a reminder of this idea if we don’t fulfill our gender-specific roles as women in society, we are somehow seen to be of less value. Of course, I reject that. As far as the idea of ‘losing beauty’ goes, I think that following one’s ambitions only ever enhances a person’s beauty, so a scar on my face isn’t going to damage mine. Besides, how many female fighters have you actually seen with permanently mashed-up faces?
Teresa: It doesn’t offend me. To me, it is a ridiculous question that only suggests that the person asking probably has no idea of what I do. However, I often hear from male friends or men in general that they somehow find it disturbing if a girl with a pretty face would get bruised or cut in a fight, whether it’s my or my opponent. This is an opinion/statement that evokes negative reactions in me as it suggests that these men seem to view women as some sort of decoration and don’t you dare mess with that.
Caley: It doesnt “offend” me as such. I dont get angry but it can be a little annoying. I dont think people say it to be rude. I think its mainly out of curiousity. Like asking a surfer if they are scared to get eaten by a shark…..
4. Do you find people take you less serious as a fighter because you are pretty?
Lorryn: yes! I do get it all the time. During the day I work as a hairdresser and people ask what I do in my spare time. So I don’t believe in lying and saying hanging with my friends I have always been upfront about it if someone asks. 9 times out of 10 they don’t believe me. Being in such a girly work industry and having my hair an make up done all the time during the day and smashing out training of a night is hard to explain to most people
Emma: Thankfully, I haven’t found that. People certainly have reacted with surprise after finding out what I do, but generally, most people are great about it. I try to remember that the world of Muay Thai and fighting isn’t familiar to everyone, just as I may not understand or have interest in some things that others choose to do.
Teresa: No. Being taken seriously has less to do with being generally pretty and more to do with how you present yourself as in your behaviour, speech, attitude, dedication etc.
Caley: People that dont know me, that ask me what I do for a sport, I tend to be quite vague sometimes in explaining what I do because some people react differently. Some think its really cool, some people dont, some people ask too many questions and some people ask questions that are quite offensive like “why do you do such a violent sport etc” I think the perception of the way people think about female fighters is generally changing, but in saying that, there will always be people that think feminine girls should not be fighting.
So there you have it! i don’t really think any serious female fighter cares about messing up their pretty face or they wouldn’t be fighting! So next time you go to ask a female fighter that question maybe have a stop and think about something different to ask 🙂
Make sure you click on the photos to check out what our beauties get up too!
Check out my other Blogs and female fighter interviews
Follow My Muay Thai Journey On my Facebook Athlete Page (HERE)
Natasha Sky- Professional Muay Thai Fighter