In the last few years, Bianca Belair has become an iconic figure. She has proven herself as one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling today, thanks to her impressive accolades, accomplishments, and undeniable talent. Despite her now-famous status, Belair isn’t afraid to talk about the difficulties she’s faced. Belair recently appeared with Ebro Darden on Apple Music’s ‘The Message’ series to discuss various topics.
Black women, Belair said, don’t have the luxury of simply going out to the ring and performing; additional pressure comes with it.
“Yeah, it’s a whole different level of not just being a woman but being a Black woman and being an athlete and being in WWE and being the representation. I always say that we don’t have the privilege to go out there and just perform as a Black woman. There’s so much that’s on our shoulders. When I go out there specifically, I can’t speak for everyone else, but I’m not just worried about performing. I’m worried about representing and making sure I’m doing it the right way and knowing that my role, the role that I play, I inspire so many different people being a Black woman so, it’s added pressure when it comes to that and you know, with being — me and Sasha Banks being the first two Black women to ever main event WrestleMania, that was such a huge deal and anyone that goes back and watches that match, I get so emotional in the beginning of that match because I understood the significance of that moment and how powerful that moment is and how it doesn’t come about very often and I can’t wait until it becomes the new norm and so it’s definitely added pressure there but you know, for me it’s all about knowing my why and knowing — I always say this; I always go back to when I was a little girl and I think about the role models that influenced me and how it changed the whole trajectory of my life and how it influenced where I am right now and to think that I’m doing that for other people, that’s my role and that’s my why. But that’s that added pressure. We don’t have that privilege to go out there and perform and compete, and that’s all we’re worried about. It’s that added pressure of representing and representing the right way.”
Belair was also able to open up about her experience being married to a wrestler, Montez Ford. Belair says:
“Also, just being a woman wrestler, it’s so many times when I walk into a venue, or I walk into an airport or just a public space and people — I’m with my husband [and] they go, ‘Oh, you’re a wrestler?’ And they understand my husband being a wrestler, but sometimes they look at me, and they say, ‘You’re a wrestler? You? You don’t look like a wrestler.’ What does that mean? What do you mean I don’t look like a wrestler, you know? And I want to change that perspective. We can be whatever we want to be. We can define what it means to be a female wrestler, whether we want to highlight our femininity. Whether we wanna highlight our strength, our beauty, whatever we wanna do, we can do that, and I want people to realize there isn’t one type of female wrestler in WWE.”
Belair wraps up the interview with insight into the WWE Women’s locker room, saying:
“Anyone can watch WWE and find someone that they can relate to, and that’s what’s amazing and magical about WWE, and being a female in WWE and being a part of the female locker room is that we all define what beauty means to us. I want that to be what people think of when they think of female wrestlers, and it’s not just one thing.”
In this interview, Belair’s openness is a refreshing and welcoming addition to the ongoing conversations within the wrestling industry.
*Quotes from Ebro Darden’s ‘The Message’ series with a H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. *