Impact Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team Champion Jordynne Grace recently put together a body positivity photo shoot with several indie wrestlers.
The shoot was held during WrestleMania 37 Weekend in Tampa, featuring Grace and 10 other wrestlers. Grace self-funded the project, booked space at a hotel and hired a photographer, Harry Aaron of MLW. This was volunteer-based for the talents involved, and all those who participated received the photos from their individual shoots.
The shoot ran for 6 hours on Sunday, April 11 with Grace working as a model and as the liaison for each talent. Wrestlers featured were Grace, Nevaeh Chantelle, Katalina Perez, Lady Frost, Faye Jackson, Holidead, Davienne, Mazzerati, Alejandra Lion, Becca and Dillon McQueen, the one male talent.
Grace spoke to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated and noted that the shoot was originally planned to be an all-women project, but she added Dillon because of what she’s seen him go through.
“This was originally supposed to be an all-women photo shoot, but I’ve seen Dillon do a 180 with his body,” Grace said. “He’s suffered from body image issues his whole life, so when he asked me to be part of it, he was welcomed. There are so many different shapes and sizes for men in wrestling. There are guys shaped like beer kegs. People still think there is a certain way for a woman to look in professional wrestling.”
You can see a few photos from the shoot below. Grace currently writes a monthly column for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and is working on a body positivity piece that will detail the shoot from a firsthand perspective.
“The message to come out of this was very powerful,” Grace said. “There is a great variation in athlete bodies and criticizing anyone’s appearance without knowing their background does them a disservice. Athletes suffer disproportionately from body dysmorphia and depression stemming from that, so I believe the body positivity movement combats the constant thought that we’ll never fit society’s standard of what an ‘athlete’ should look like.”
Grace recalled how she served a cookie platter with positive messages on each cookie, so that a talent would absorb that message when they ate the cookie.
“Obviously you’re in your bra and underwear and kind of baring it all, so I tried to hype everyone up and make everyone as comfortable as possible,” said Grace of coordinating the shoot, adding that she also put thought into the refreshments provided. “I had a cookie platter catered of custom art cookies with positive body affirmations. When you eat a message, you absorb it in a way, so that was just a small gift to the models.”
Grace teamed with the debuting Rachael Ellering at Sunday’s Impact Rebellion pay-per-view to capture the Knockouts Tag Team Titles from Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan.
Stay tuned for more. Below are a few photos from Grace’s shoot: