Lana Says Things Are Getting Better for Women in the Wrestling Business
Celebrate Hilton Head recently interviewed WWE Superstar Lana, who discussed various topics. Below are some highlights.
Lana on how things are slowly changing for women in wrestling: “Yeah, I remember in 2011, watching Captain America and asking my friend why all of these leading heroes are men. He said that no one was interested in a woman being a leading character, and that women couldn’t sell a movie. I got so mad (laughs), but thankfully these things are slowly changing. It was really cool to see Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman both do so well at the box office when people said that would never happen. And I think that it started with characters like Princess Leia. She was not to be messed with, and I think she was one of the first. Now, more women are saying, ‘We can do this,’ and when we are given opportunities, we kick it out of the park. No matter if you are a girl, a boy or whatever race or sexual orientation, we all deserve opportunities. I am a big human rights activist.”
Lana on showing reality: “WWE reaches over a billion people on social media, and it’s crazy to think that so many people follow me and that I can influence others. I believe in working hard and also playing hard, and I like to show that on social media. I try to keep it real. I really love fashion and beauty, and I like to show that a lot on Instagram. So often, people paint this picture of perfection with all the apps and the edits, and that’s great; let’s make a flawless picture, but let’s also show reality as well. I love to dress up, put on makeup, and put different wigs on, but, in life, sometimes your wig might fly off, and I’m not afraid to show that. I think it is funny. Let’s show that we don’t always have perfect skin or maybe the wig is ungluing, and let’s laugh. Growing up, my brothers would always tell me, you’re only funny to laugh at. But now I have realized that if I am making people laugh and I’m laughing too, that’s all that matters.”
Lana on showing herself on Total Divas: “In Total Divas, you have to be yourself and be willing to show your flaws and imperfections, and that can be challenging because the world is gonna judge you. In SmackDown Live, I was Lana, the Ravishing Russian. I spoke in an accent, and I was a villain—well, I still am a villain (laughs)—so if I wasn’t liked, it meant that I was doing a good job. However, when people don’t like you and judge you for who you are, that is a little more challenging, and it can be hurtful. But you have to be prepared; that’s the job—that’s what you are signing up for.”
Lana on dealing with dyslexia: “I would like to think so. When I was in college I found out I actually have a learning disability; I have dyslexia, so it took a lot of self-discipline for me, as a little girl, to find that resilience to keep reading slowly, even if it was just The Cat in the Hat—to keep on trying and not give up. I have always had to prove my doubters and naysayers wrong, and that has taught me resilience that I carry through entertainment, through WWE, through life in general. To me, obstacles are just a part of life. It’s like, okay, I have an obstacle! I’ll either build a bridge over it, dig a tunnel under it, or make a detour, but we will get to our destination—don’t you worry! (laughs). I hope to be able to encourage others to dream, you know, go for it. Don’t be afraid; chase your dream no matter what others say or think.”
Lana on why she loves Princess Leia in Star Wars: “Oh, gosh. When I was really little, there weren’t a lot of roles where women were the leading hero, but Princess Leia was a badass! She was beautiful, she was cool, and she ran it. I loved that! She wasn’t just a pretty face; she wasn’t just a wife or just a girlfriend or just the eye candy. Don’t get me wrong. You can be those things, but you can also kick ass; you can make your dreams come true and be a mom and be a wife and run a company. You can be anything you set your mind to. And being a mother, bearing children … if we can bear children, we can do anything.”
Lana if she’s ever had a pinch herself moment in WWE: “Gosh, I have so many but, recently at WrestleMania, it really caught me. I’m so grateful, because I get to go out there and compete and I also get to manage my husband as well. People dream of being in WrestleMania, but only a select few are given this opportunity to be WWE Superstars and perform in front of thousands of people. And here I am doing two performances as part of two acts in two competitions. I would definitely say that it’s a privilege and an honor to be able to do what I do. It’s really cool, and it reflects on who I am. It’s like yeah, you can be a wife and you can also have a career; you can be a wife and have a business. One day I’ll have children, and I’m still gonna be kicking ass and running my own business and maybe winning WWE championships—maybe winning Oscars. Who’s to say? The sky is the limit!”