Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Ronda Rousey is the first woman to grace the front cover of Men’s Fitness magazine in Australia.
The cover was announced via the magazine’s social media channels, and has raked in the international coverage. The issue went on sale yesterday.
While much of the comments have been inspiring and celebratory, the move has left a few readers throwing a few choice phrases in the comments section of the magazine’s Facebook page.
Some of the commenters pull Rousey’s gender into question, with another feeling emasculated by having a woman bursting from the front pages.
One commenter asked why he was getting a women’s mag this month, saying he threw it straight in the trash.
The Independent in the UK also reported a number of users who questioned having a woman on the cover of a men’s magazine, and another who suggested The Rock should be the face of tampon commercials.
Editor-in-chief of Men’s Fitness, Todd Cole, however took to the mag’s website to celebrate the magazine’s milestone.
“It had a faint whiff of controversy of the tone, ‘How dare put a chick on the cover’ comments, but fans of Ronda were vocal in support,” he wrote. “The dissent generated more stories until people, like the head of Marvel comics, get asked about the cover. I mean, really?”
While there will still be some haters out there, Cole seems pretty chuffed about the whole thing.
“Ronda is on the cover is because she is timely,” continued Cole, as she is headlining a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champion) event at Etihad Stadium in November.
Cole also added the cover came from reader feedback.
“We didn’t expect this to go worldwide or start a gender debate. That wasn’t the intention. Ronda is a once-in-a-generation athlete who embodies the spirit and character of this magazine. She is a supreme athlete, first and foremost. She is a female, but isn’t defined by her gender.
“Like it or hate it, Ronda Rousey is on the cover of the November issue of Men’s Fitness, she sits with our MMA Editor, Ritchie Cranny with an up close and personal look at her life, training and what motivates her.
“Personally, I am humbled by the worldwide attention this has received. I thought it would be big, but I’ve never seen anything like this, ever. Thanks Ronda Rousey for helping us make history.”
Read his full statement here. Cole has been contacted by B&T for further comment.