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Ronda Rousey Body Paint Sports Illustrated Photoshoot: The Story behind it

LockerRoom Team
22 June 2023

The Body Paint Photoshoot of Ronda Rousey for Sports Illustrated is something that broke the internet in 2015. But did you know that there is a story behind the shoot?

For over a decade, the SI Swimsuit edition has captivated readers with its iconic body painting feature. Leading the way in this artistry is Joanne Gair, a legendary makeup artist from New Zealand, renowned for her exceptional talent in body painting.

Gair's remarkable career in body painting extends far beyond her work with SI Swimsuit. Initially recognized as a makeup artist for celebrities like Cindy Crawford and Christina Aguilera, she skyrocketed to fame as Madonna's personal makeup artist during her Blonde Ambition Tour in 1990.

However, it was her groundbreaking body painting work that truly established her as one of the world's top artists. Notably, her masterpiece on Demi Moore for Vanity Fair's 1992 cover solidified her reputation.

In 1999, SI Swimsuit enlisted Gair to create extraordinary body paint designs, a collaboration that continued until the 2016 issue. Throughout her tenure, Gair mesmerized readers with her incredible artistry. When asked about the preparation process for body painting, Gair shared her insights, emphasizing the importance of removing hair follicles beforehand. Even the slightest presence of follicles becomes noticeable when airbrushing, as they become coated with color, which can be distracting in high-definition images.

The Body Paint Shoot of Ronda Rousey

Among Gair's most cherished works is the tiger body paint she created for Ronda Rousey in the 2016 issue.

Rousey, a renowned UFC fighter who gained fame after winning a bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Summer Olympics, made her SI Swimsuit debut in 2015. The following year, she graced the cover and returned for another memorable appearance. Photographed by Frederic Pinet in Petit St. Vincent, Rousey donned Gair's captivating tiger design, inspired by We Are Handsome. The artwork, titled "The Fighter," perfectly reflected Rousey's personality and received widespread acclaim.

ALSO READ | Ronda Rousey says that WWE fans are better than UFC fans

Joanne Gair's exceptional body painting skills have left an indelible mark on the SI Swimsuit edition. Her collaborations with renowned athletes and celebrities continue to push boundaries in the world of body art, captivating audiences with each stroke of her brush

ALSO READ | Former UFC Champion Ronda Rousey expected to enter Marvel Cinematic Universe

What do you think of the story? Let us know in the comments below.


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