Are WWE’s women subject to colorism?
Over the course of the last 8-9 months, race has reared itself into the consciousness of women’s wrestling fandom, it started with Gail Kim making her feelings on WWE’s alleged racist attitudes clear. After Asuka’s shoddy treatment, word was that her language barrier was a problem. Many fans juxtaposed her treatment to that of a Charlotte Flair or Alexa Bliss. The din grew louder with the break/sabbatical/walk out of Sasha Banks and the problematic reaction from Booker T. which has upset a few people.
Wherever you are in the wrestling universe; a fan, Internet “expert”, wrestler, writer, someone in the comments section, you have a perception and opinion. This is something that has been of contentious debate, so much so that other writers are taking on this topic all over the web.
There are many fans who feel WWE and Vince McMahon favour white women, specifically those with blonde hair. This is nothing new, Jim Cornette in one of his notorious anti-Sable rants pointed out her blonde hair and buxom figure were her only talents. Fans have gone onto message boards, YouTube and even here on Diva Dirt and have dismissed the abilities of women such as Trish Stratus, Maryse, Sable, Alexa Bliss, and Charlotte Flair and put it down to Vince having a preference for blonde women.
The pushback against that argument points out Sasha’s four reigns, and Naomi holding the title for as long as she did. Of course, there are The Bellas, AJ Lee and Gail Kim, who won the WWE Women’s Title on her first night on RAW.
So, does WWE have a preference for blondes or white women in general in terms of titles and pushes? That is what we are going to look at.
Looking at the four official Women’s Titles’ histories as well as the official number of reigns and days held, we will get a clearer picture. However, before we begin, there are a couple of disclaimers; though Nia Jax had blonde hair, choices, she will not count towards the blonde total. Sasha, Layla, The Bellas, though half-white, will be counted amongst the non-white champs along with Mickie James, who is white and Powhatan. Last thing, because Moolah’s reign is recognized as 28 straight years, without interruption, the numbers of white champions does also lessen.
In WWE, we have had 29 Women’s Champions, 17 Diva’s Champions, and 7 Raw and Smackdown Women’s Champions apiece, totaling 60 champions in all, and 121 total reigns. Of those total reigns, 82 were with a Caucasian champion, which puts it just under 3/4. We’re going to look at each title and see just where they break down in white versus non-white title reign numbers as well as how many days held, we will also look at how many of these champions were blondes.