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August 22, 2014

Stephanie McMahon on sexism, sacrifices and keeping romance alive

Not familiar with Stephanie McMahon? You could be forgiven.

The pro-wrestler and Chief Brand Officer at WWE doesn’t have much time to play the fame game.

She’s busy representing World Wrestling Entertainment Inc – of which she is CBO - in the 150 countries in which they operate, defeating fellow wrestlers in front of millions and raising her three daughters at the home she shares with fellow wrestler Paul Levesque.

Unlikely as it might seem, I am an unapologetic WWE fan despite my 30 years. And for many young fans like me (I started watching at 12), Stephanie was an idol.

She was strong, she was fierce, she was unapologetic and she held her own in the male dominated world of pro wrestling.

Where every other woman I was being encouraged to idolise was stripping off in music videos or falling drunkenly out of a nightclub, here was a woman whose body was strong, whose strength was palpable, whose ambition was worn like a badge of honour.

Stephanie McMahon made her WWE debut at the tender age of 22. She is the daughter of Vince McMahon, who is Chairman of the company to this day.

She became Women’s Champion a year after her debut and, alongside stars like The Rock, Chyna and Stone Cold Steve Austin, hers was one of the golden ages for the WWE.

She worked for the company, on reception, design and TV production during her performing career and was made executive vice president of Creative in 2007.

In 2003 she married fellow wrestler Paul Levesque, Triple H, and in 2006 the couple welcomed their first daughter.

She continues to perform to this day and, she tells me, took her first two girls on tour with her for three years of their lives.

In person Stephanie, 37, is warm, engaging and forthcoming – quite the opposite of the villainous character she plays on WWE. Yet there’s no denying a steel that lies beneath and as the face of the business it’s little surprise that she answers questions in perfect sound bites.

I meet her in London’s Zetter Townhouse - she jetted in from Rome that morning and is off to Berlin first thing tomorrow.

She’s fiercely proud to be a working mum and grateful for the recent trend – galvanised in the USA by Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In – for a more open discussion about a woman’s right to have a family and a successful career...More?

source: stylist.co.uk


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