WWE superstar and former SmackDown women’s champion Bianca Belair recently appeared on Ebro Dardens The Message series on Apple Music to discuss a number of different topics, which included the EST discussing the added pressure she feels while performing as a black female wrestler because she’s worried about being a good representation for her community. Highlights from the interview are below.
Says that as a black woman she doesn’t just have the privilege to go out there and perform for WWE:
Yeah, its 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 being a Black woman, we dont have the privilege to just go out there and just perform. Theres so much thats on our shoulders. When I go out there specifically, for me, I cant speak for everyone else but, Im not just worried about performing. Im worried about representing and making sure Im 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, its 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 doesnt come about very often and I cant wait until it becomes the new norm and so its definitely added pressure there but you know, for me its 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 Im doing that for other people, thats my role and thats my why. But thats that added pressure. We dont have that privilege to just go out there and perform and compete and thats all were worried about. Its that added pressure of representing and representing the right way.
Says it’s special to be apart of the WWE women’s locker room:
Well for one, just changing the image, the perspective of what it means to be female wrestler. Im in WWE at an amazing time when women are on the main stage, were performing and putting on matches the same way as men are. Were main eventing WrestleManias but also were main eventing on a weekly basis on Raw, SmackDown, all the pay-per-views that are happening, were main eventing. Were showing up and were showing out and I feel like a lot of times when people think about women athletes and women in sports, they always say, What do women need to do differently to get these opportunities? We dont need to do anything differently. We just need those opportunities because when we get them, we show out. Also, just being a woman wrestler, its so many times when I walk into a venue or I walk into an airport or just a public space and people Im with my husband [and] they go, Oh, youre a wrestler? And they understand my husband being a wrestler but sometimes they look at me and they say, Youre a wrestler? You? You dont look like a wrestler. What does that mean? What do you mean I dont look like a wrestler, you know? And I wanna change that perspective. We can be whatever we wanna be. We can define what it means to be a female wrestler, whether we wanna 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 isnt one type of female wrestler in WWE. We have so much diversity in the womens locker room. Every single woman represents something different. Anyone can watch WWE and find someone that they can relate to and thats whats 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 and I want that to be what people think of when they think of female wrestlers. Its not just one thing.
(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)