According to the Powers that WWE, it is time to say good bye to the butterfly belt. I can't deny that I will not miss that horrid pink thing even one teensy bit. Not a smidge. Not a brass farthing. The butterfly belt was intended to represent the metamorphosis of the WWE Women's Division into the Divas' Division...and a sorrier representation could hardly be imagined. Butterflies, though I love them, simply don't conjure up the athletic toughness and fierceness of a lady in the WWE. The debut of that belt was met with some of the harshest criticism I have ever seen...and wrestling fans are not generally known for diplomacy. It was justified. The belt was frilly, a bit silly and waaaaay too pink. At WrestleMania 32, Lita was on hand to unveil a brand new belt. This one is a marked improvement: the pink is gone, the butterfly is gone. The crystal "WW" set on the scarlet background looks like a competitor's belt and something worthy of a WWE woman wrestler. And, like the Diva's belt, it is meant to usher in a new era for the female side of the roster. I can't deny that I feel a bit of sadness over that. I became a wrestling fan just a year before the debut of the butterfly belt, at the very beginning of the growth of the Divas' division from entertainers and athletes to something more. It was the aesthetic of these women as divas which drew me in, because it meant something more than just big muscles and a loud mouth or a sexy fantasy gone public. It meant that these ladies were, indeed, ladies, that they had a girly side. They loved the things I loved: shoes and makeup and most especially, FASHION. It was this concept of the girls that connected me with them and made me respect and honor them, not just as athletes, as comediennes, as fitness inspirations, but also as style inspirations. And that was, and is, a very special dynamic, unmatched in any other area of sport or entertainment because it resides at the intersection of all three. Throughout the blossoming of the division into the Diva era, there were vociferous complaints from fans and the ladies alike that women weren't getting their due, that they could do more. There was a constant clamor for greater opportunity. That opportunity is now here. It's faces are Charlotte, Sasha and Becky: the three marked as the chosen ones by their receiving - and slaying - a match at WrestleMania...and not just the practically regulation Battle Royal, but a real match. The Divas' division is now in the hands of this triumvirate to guide where they will. Based on what we saw this weekend, I have no doubt the course they steer it on will be a bright one indeed, and I look forward to seeing the star of the division ride high for years to come. Yet, they owe something, not just to the greats of the far past -the Moolahs, the Wendi Richters, the Sensational Sherris-, not just to the middle past - the Litas and Trish Stratuses- , but also to those of the near past - the Maryses, the Michelle McCools, the Laylas...the ladies who ran and built the division into Divas, who embraced that epithet and what it meant. They, too, expanded the division. Because of their vision, vehicles like Total Divas and Muscle & Fitness covers, which extend the reach of this division dramatically, are now possible. The Divas' banner ushered in a way to connect to a more feminine side of the wrestling audience in a special way. They made it not only ok, but madly cool, to be a wrestling fan, an athlete and a fashionista too. This was the era I cut my wrestling teeth on, and an era I and many others cherish because of the concept it brought to life. So while Charlotte, Sasha and Becky are leading the charge to still greater heights of wrestling achievement in this new era, I hope they won't forget to borrow a few good things from the Divas era, to keep intact those aspects of Divahood that make the wrestling ring a place where girly girls and fashionistas feel welcome and find inspiration, and to keep reminding newbie wrestling fanchicks that it's fabulous and flawless to be an a$$-kicker and a classy girl all at once. #RealTalk
Welcome to the place where wrestling & fashion join hands. #BeInspired #LoveFashion May the Fierce be with you! ;) Peace & Glitter!
Brie: shoe-lover :) fashion-lover and generally glamorous semi-dork
Photos used for criticism and comment under US Copyright Act Section 107.