A ring girl is a woman who enters the ring between rounds of a combat sport, carrying a sign that displays the number of the upcoming round. Ring girls are often seen in boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts.
Ring girls first appeared in a 1965 edition of Ring Magazine. The magazine published a photo of a Las Vegas model holding a sign at a boxing match. Boxing promotions adapted the concept of ring girls at their events.
In modern combat sports
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In professional wrestling, ring girls are attendants who remove the entrance gear (such as jackets, robes, and other clothing) and championship belts from the ring after a wrestler takes them off before his match. Throughout the 1980s, World Wrestling Entertainment employed ring girls known as the Federettes. Since its inception in 2002, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling has featured various independent female wrestlers and valets as ring girls.
During the first year of WWF Monday Night Raw, WWE featured traditional boxing-style ring girls who carried signs featuring various Raw-themed slogans in the ring between matches.
Playboy is an American entertainment magazine. Here is a list of notable ring girls who have posed for Playboy.
|Rachelle Leah||October 2008||Playboy||UFC ring girl|
|Arianny Celeste||November 2010||Playboy||UFC ring girl|
|Brittney Palmer||March 2012||Playboy||UFC ring girl|
|Jade Bryce||December 2012||Playboy||Bellator MMA ring girl|
Some sports viewers, medias and fighters claim that ring girls are unnecessary. Ring girls first appeared in boxing, when viewers are mostly men. Having half-naked women at the games provided sexual attraction. "We have women as part of the actual athletic competition in MMA," argued sports columnist Ben Fowlkes, "We have a multitude of female fans." Sports journalist Malissa Smith called ring girls "blatant sexual exploitation".
In contrast, some people see ring girls as a harmless tradition. Boxing promoter Lisa Elovich calls the practice "part of the show." Neuroscientist Jack Pemment argues that ring girls help grow modeling careers for women.
"Ring boys" or "ring guys" have been proposed for women's matches. Pro-boxer Mikaela Laurén said "I want a number boy. I think that's only fair, and I'm sure it will give the women in the audience some pleasure as well."
While all-female fighting promotion Invicta FC utilizes ring girls, the promotion brought in UFC fighter and sometimes model Elias Theodoreau to serve as a ring boy at Invicta FC 28. In an appearance on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour, Theodoreau said that "Mixed martial arts has been at the forefront of equality in many different ways. You can see in regards to women being on top of pay-per-views and selling millions and also now myself included as the first ring boy.”
Theodoreau received criticism, however, for using the occasion to promote sponsors, and for showing less skin than a ring girl traditionally would.
There were speculations that ring girls are paid more than some female athletes. In 2015, former UFC bamtamweight champion Ronda Rousey protested. "Do you think her walking in circles, " argued Rousey, "is worth more (than fighters)? ... either the ring card girls are paid too much, or the fighters aren't paid enough." UFC ring girls are reputedly paid $18,000 a year. This excludes jobs outside the UFC, like modeling. UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste protested, calling Rousey a "big bully". "I think people don't realise how much work it is to be a model," argued Celeste, "Trying being like a live mannequin and having clients put you in a million different outfits... It's not as easy as it looks... Not a lot of people would know that unless they were in my shoes."
- Steven Kelliher (November 16, 2015). "What Are the Girls Who Walk Around the Boxing Rings Between Rounds?". livestrong.com. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Kevin Norquay (April 28, 2017). "Boxing's ring girls: harmless entertainment or Dark Ages sexism?". Retrieved August 8, 2017.
- Ben Fowlkes and Danny Downes (March 8, 2015). "Trading Shots: What outdated tradition should MMA ditch once and for all?". Retrieved August 8, 2017.
- Jack Pemment (July 4, 2013). "The Role of Ring Girls at Professional Fighting Events". Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Matt Saccaro (November 8, 2012). "In Light of the Ronda Rousey News, Should the UFC Get Rid of Ring Card Girls?". Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Amy Winters (October 11, 2013). "MMA,Say Hello to Ring Dudes". Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Sarah Kurchak (April 21, 2016). "Boxing Champ Mikaela Lauren Wants "Ring Boys" for Her Next Fight". Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Alexander K. Lee (February 19, 2018). "Elias Theodorou to act as 'ring boy' at Invicta FC 28". Retrieved July 1, 2018.
- Ben Fowlkes and Danny Downes (March 25, 2018). "Trading Shots: Did 'ring boy' Elias Theodorou steal Invicta FC spotlight or add shine?". Retrieved July 1, 2018.
- Mark McGowan (March 24, 2017). "This Is How Much UFC Ring Card Girls Earn". Retrieved August 8, 2017.
- Brian Lewis (February 26, 2015). "'Big bully' Ronda Rousey in heated feud with UFC ring girl". Retrieved August 8, 2017.
- Brent Brookhouse and John Morgan (February 25, 2015). "Rousey on Celeste's 'bully' comments: 'I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed with the job'". Retrieved August 8, 2017.
- "Arianny Celeste on UFC champ Ronda Rousey's criticism: 'I see her as a big bully'". February 25, 2015. Retrieved August 8, 2017.