WWE Superstar Bianca Belair is one of the most courageous women we know. Not just because she recently earned the WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion title, but also because she’s not afraid to get real about her mental health journey.
We recently chatted with Bianca about the stigmas she’s faced, her solid support system, and how she finds strength inside and outside the ring. Our entire team is in awe of her vulnerability and it’s our hope that her words leave you feeling a little more seen today.
1. What does good mental health look like to you?
I think there’s a misconception that good mental health means that you’re happy all of the time. It’s just good vibes and nothing bothers you. In reality, good mental health is a balance. It’s about knowing that there are going to be stressors and triggers in life, and learning ways to identify them and finding the right tools that help you to cope.
2. Do you think there is a stigma in the Black community about taking care of your mental health?
There is definitely a stigma in the Black community when it comes to mental health. One of the adjectives that I heard a lot growing up is how it’s important to be a “strong Black woman.” There’s always this expectation hanging over you and it’s a lot of pressure to live up to.
3. Is there a time that you’ve struggled with your mental health?
Yes, when I was in college I felt like I had finally gotten away from my hometown and was ready to venture out. I was known as the girl who was going to go off and do big things. When I got there, I got depressed and things started to fall apart. I had to come back home and I felt like a failure. I was embarrassed and ashamed.
With social media especially, we have this need to present ourselves as being strong all of the time. When you finally learn how to be vulnerable and comfortable in your truth, that’s when you can get help.
4. Having a support system is so important. Who is your circle of support?
My support system is first and foremost my husband. I have a wonderful family. My mom is my best friend and I talk to her almost every day. My daddy and my brother are always there. They never give up on me and they’re always there for me.
5. What does it mean for you to serve as such a strong role-model for your younger fans?
It’s a responsibility that I take very seriously. I think back to when I was a little girl and my role models and how they influenced me. People like Flo-Jo and Dominique Dawes made me want to run track and become a gymnast. It led me to where I am today. I want to encourage people to be unapologetically who they are. It’s an honor to be in this position and it’s what gives me purpose. It keeps me going.
Looking to take control of your mental health journey? From empathic, professional therapists to guided meditations, and everything in-between, Sanvello has tools to support you every step of the way. Let’s start by going on a journey to feeling better.
Want more inspiration? Check out our convo with gold medal gymnast and wellness advocate Aly Raisman.
By Katie Nave, Copywriter at Sanvello
Katie Nave is a writer and mental health advocate living in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been featured in publications including Glamour, Business Insider, and Motherly. She has served as a producer for the National Women’s March and worked with organizations like Girls Inc. and CancerCare. She is currently the Copywriter at Sanvello and you can follow her on Instagram: @kathryn.e.nave