Expect Ronda Rousey wearing only body paint in SI's swimsuit issue

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Is Ronda Rousey Appearing in the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue?


In 2015, UFC sensation Ronda Rousey became the superstar we saw everywhere.

In 2016, it seems, we'll see all of her, covered by nothing but bodypaint and perhaps a few flattering touches from a digital airbrush.

Rousey will appear in Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit edition wearing only paint next month, if you believe a cryptic, teasing series of posts the magazine itself just put online.

First came this Instagram by swimsuit edition editor MJ Day. It shows a painted booty — and a very noticeable tattoo on the right wrist affiliated with that booty.

Rousey — as many were quick to point out — has a tattoo on her own wrist that appears identical to this one.

Then Sports Illustrated followed Day's photo with an article on its own website, headlined "Who's that girl? SI Swimsuit 2016 snap may reveal Ronda Rousey in body paint." The post's contents — on top of its mere existence — all but guarantee we'll see a bodypainted Rousey when SI's swimsuit issue hits stands next month.

Rousey, of course, has made her name as a tenacious fighter providing young girls (and boys) with a tremendous role model who refutes hetero-normative gender stereotypes.

Her paint-only appearance in SI's swimsuit issue after appearing in more traditional garb last edition will surely divide the Internet's hot-takers along two predictable lines.

  • Being objectified like this refutes many of the positive messages Rousey has so far epitomized about achieving tremendous success without pandering to traditional gender norms.

  • Being featured in a swimsuit issue (sans swimsuit, no less!) sends a powerful message that it's perfectly fine and totally possible to be many things to many people at the same time.

We're not saying either position is right. We're just saying to brace yourselves — the takes are coming.

Have something to say about this story? Share it in the comments.

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Expect Ronda Rousey wearing only body paint in SI's swimsuit issue
SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 5: Ronda Rousey (in blue) competes with Grace Jividen in their 63 kg match during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Judo on June 5, 2004 at the San Jose State University Event Center in San Jose, California. In winning Rousey made the US Olympic team. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: Ronda Rousey of the USA happily displays her first World Cup gold medal during the Fighting Films Birmingham Women's World Cup on Saturday, April 01, 2006 at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, England, UK. (Photo by David Finch/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - APRIL 14: Martial artist Ronda Rousey poses for a portrait during the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summitt at the Palmer House Hilton on April 14, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
United States Ronda Rousey (blue) and Germany's Annett Boehm compete in their women's -70kg judo bronze medal match of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 13, 2008 in Beijing. US Ronda Rousey won the bronze medal. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Ronda Rousey poses with her bronze medal on the podium for the women's -70kg judo competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 13, 2008 in Beijing. Japan's Masae Ueno won the gold, Cuba's Anaysi Hernandez won the silver, US Ronda Rousey and Netherlands Edith Bosch won the bronze medals. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 11: Ronda Rousey poses for a portrait on August 11, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kari Hubert/Zuffa LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Fighter Ronda Rousey attends the UFC On FOX: Live Heavyweight Championship held at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OHIO - MARCH 2, 2012: Ronda Rousey weighs in during the Strikeforce Tate v Rousey official weigh in at Columbus Convention Center on March 2, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 03: Ronda Rousey prepares to walk to the cage for her bantamweight championship fight with Miesha Tate during the Strikeforce event at Nationwide Arena on March 3, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Esther Lin/Forza LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 03: Ronda Rousey stands in her corner before facing Miesha Tate during their bantamweight championship fight during the Strikeforce event at Nationwide Arena on March 3, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Esther Lin/Forza LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images)
Ronda Rousey arrives at the 2013 Maxim Hot 100 celebration at Vanguard on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
Ronda Rousey, left, of Venice, Calif., punches Miesha Tate of Yakima, Wash., during the UFC 168 mixed martial arts women's bantamweight title fight on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, in Las Vegas. Rousey won by a third round tap out. (AP Photo/David Becker)
FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2014, file photo, Ronda Rousey looks around after defeating Sara McMann in a UFC 170 mixed martial arts women's bantamweight title bout in Las Vegas. Gina Carano was scheduled to meet with UFC President Dana White on Wednesday April 9, to discuss a return to mixed martial arts for a potential bout with bantamweight champion Rousey. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, File)
Ronda Rousey smiles at a weigh-in for the UFC 175 mixed martial arts event at the Mandalay Bay, Friday, July 4, 2014, in Las Vegas. Rousey is scheduled to fight Alexis Davis in a women's bantamweight title fight on Saturday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Ronda Rousey, celebrates after defeating Cat Zingano in a UFC 184 mixed martial arts bantamweight title bout, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. Rousey won after Zingano tapped out 14 seconds into the first round. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Ronda Rousey arrives at the premiere of "Furious 7" at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey removes tape after her workout at Glendale Fighting Club, Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Glendale, Calif. Rousey, the UFC bantamweight champion, will return to the octagon against Brazilâs unbeaten Bethe Correia at UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 1. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
UFC fighter Ronda Rousey accepts the best female athlete award at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 12: UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey of the United States holds an open workout for fans and media at Federation Square on November 12, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Ronda Rousey, left, and Holly Holm fight during their UFC 193 bantamweight title bout in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Holm pulled off a stunning upset victory over Rousey in the fight, knocking out the women's bantamweight champion in the second round with a powerful kick to the head Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Holly Holm, left, punches Ronda Rousey during their UFC 193 bantamweight title fight in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Holm pulled off a stunning upset victory over Rousey in the fight, knocking out the women's bantamweight champion in the second round with a powerful kick to the head Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Holly Holm, left wrestles Ronda Rousey during thier UFC 193 Bantamweight title fight in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Holly Holm, left, and Ronda Rousey exchange their punches during their UFC 193 bantamweight title fight in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Holm pulled off a stunning upset victory over Rousey in the fight, knocking out the women's bantamweight champion in the second round with a powerful kick to the head Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Holly Holm celebrates after defeating Ronda Rousey during their UFC 193 bantamweight title fight in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Ronda Rousey is treated by a medical staff member after being knocked out by Holly Holm in their UFC 193 bantamweight title fight in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Holm pulled off a stunning upset victory over Rousey in the fight, knocking out the women's bantamweight champion in the second round with a powerful kick to the head Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Holly Holm, left, watches Ronda Rousey, right, being tended after knocking her out during their UFC 193 bantamweight title fight in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Holm pulled off a stunning upset victory over Rousey in the fight, knocking out the women's bantamweight champion in the second round with a powerful kick to the head Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Ronda Rousey is hugged by her coach Edmond Tarverdy after being defeated by Holly Holm after their UFC 193 Bantamweight title fight in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
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