This is one amazing women’s MMA ad. A huge thanks to SL from Of Cupcakes n Armbars for pointing it out to me. What I like is that it’s SEXY without feeling sexual and without feeling like it sexualizes the fighters. What I love is that the ad isn’t selling sex, it’s selling the women as the whole package – not ignoring their gender, yet not exploiting it. On a related note, Meg of A Tangled Triangle wrote great article about sexuality in branding – totally worth reading.


Let’s talk about this word “sexy” for a minute. A while back I wrote an article called BJJ is Sexay. A male friend of mine then posted on the Internet that I sexualize jiu jitsu. It made me angry because I am so powerfully AGAINST it, so I would like to clarify my use of the word sexy. It does not mean “oooh I am now thinking about XYZ in a sexual way.” When I use the word SEXY I mean – confident, empowering, strong, exciting. Those things are sexy to me.

Megjitsu is one of my absolute favorite bloggers when it comes to discussions about gender. She has this neutral, rational voice and engages even with trolls in such a classy manner. I respect the hell out of her when she writes about these topics. One of my favorite articles she wrote was Sexism in Representations of Women in BJJ. I bring it up because her article featured one of my favorite gi ads of all time – the Predadora.

Strong, skill-focused, empowered.

One of my other absolute all-time favorite women-in-BJJ ads was taken by Meerkatsu.

Used with permission from Meerkatsu.

I saw this in February 2010 and two years later it is STILL one of the most vivid, powerful images I’ve ever seen of women in BJJ. Seymour said it evoked two extreme reactions.

All the women I showed this picture to (including the two in the photo) reacted really positively, calling it cool, wow, fantastic etc And the guys universally thought it was too sexy, innuendo-laden and erm, other less mature reactions.

I personally think that the strong eye contact and serious expressions are what I equate with strong, confident, self-assured, bad-assery. I can see that men could easily equate those traits with sex or sexuality – after all, strong, confident women are usually portrayed in tv ads and movies -as the sexpots, the Baronesses, the Catwomans, the dominatrixes.

These are three ads I don’t just like. I like them like them. To me they read Watch out, I’m an empowered woman and I can take care of myself. AND they’re tasteful!

Which female-empowering, tasteful ads do you love or want to share?