Remind Yourself When Ronda Rousey Wore Nothing But Body Paint for Sports Illustrated

Justin Golightly
Ronda in body paint

If awesome life milestones were video game trophies, Ronda Rousey would definitely be rocking the platinum for earning every achievement. On top of being an Olympian, a UFC champion and the latest WWE Superstar, she was also a two-time Sports Illustrated cover girl.

This time, Ronda got to be a swimsuit model without even wearing one when renowned artist Joanne Gair painted her body. To this day, it’s still one of the highlights of Gair’s career.

“I would have to say the white tiger that we did on Ronda Rousey [is one of my favorites]. I had never painted a tiger before — I had never painted an animal before — and it was so appropriate for this personality,” Gair told Sports Illustrated. “The cover one was a great success, it was lovely to do as well, but the tiger one was very Ronda. She wore it so well, she loved it.”

“I didn’t have much say about it. They were just like, ‘Let’s make you a tiger.’ And I was like, ‘Alright!’ The canvas doesn’t tell the painter what to paint. I was there to be a canvas for their artwork,” Ronda said.” But it ended up being great and it was an amazing experience even though both paint jobs probably took like 18 hours a piece or something. I forget but it was a long time.”

Only an elite few have experienced Gair turning their body into art, so the probabilities of this honor being granted to someone twice may be comparable to mounting the Vitreous Stone Drake in World of Warcraft.

It’s no surprise that Ronda achieved both like a boss. 

“We’re here doing a new suit because some paparazzi dude thought it’d be a great idea to follow us out to an island and take pictures of my naked butt, then we get to do a whole other shoot! So, thank you?”

One peeping Tom and 36 total hours of body painting later, Ronda was on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2016 Swimsuit Issue. It’s still searched by a billion dudes and probably that one dork on the beach.

“I pretty much had to stay up through the night while they painted me and be ready to shoot in the morning. It kind of felt like being licked by a bunch of small, cold little tongues.”

Check out a completely different type of ocean adventure when Ronda Rousey went on the Discovery Channel. 

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