Meet Valerie Wyndham: wrestling presenter, actor, model and blogger

Last week at the first London Blogging Event I had the opportunity to learn from a variety of different successful bloggers. One of them particularly caught my eye because of her drive and her fascinating story: Valerie Wyndham, wrestling presenter, actor, model and blogger. Although I normally interviewed dancers and performers, I wanted to share Val’s story with you because it’s definitely one you’d want to hear.

Valerie has hosted shows in the United States for UPN, Marvel Comics, DirecTV, Spike TV, The Speed Network and Challenge TV in the United Kingdom. She appeared on WWE & Impact Wrestling and also works as a glamour and lingerie model, as well as a blogger. I was really interested in finding out how she balances all her passions and how she got into them in the first place, so read on to find out more about Val.

I often have trouble when people ask me what I do as I do so many things at the same time, and it looks like you’re quite a busy bee yourself. What do you answer when people ask you what you do?

I usually say “presenter” first. If they keep prying I eventually have to use the word “wrestling” which is what sparks a very long conversation where I need to explain that I don’t actually wrestle but that I am more of an announcer/presenter. Most people can’t seem to wrap their head around me wanting to be IN wrestling but not ACTUALLY wanting to wrestle.

How did you get into wrestling?

The physicality of wrestling never appealed to me. I was drawn in by storylines and the glamour of the women involved. The ones who were more “managers” and announcers. I remember a particular love triangle storyline around the year I started watching (2001) got me hooked. I wanted to watch every week to see the drama develop. When I realised women could be a part of wrestling in more of an acting capacity that’s what intrigued me.

Female wrestling recently came back to the spotlight with the Netflix series GLOW. Have you watched the show and if so what did you think of it?

I LOVED it. I recommend it highly to everyone even if wrestling has never been your thing. The acting and stories are what make the show fantastic. It is based on actual female wrestlers in a promotion that was very popular in the 80s! But the way they’ve put a modern spin on it makes it so watchable. I didn’t know what to think when I first saw it but by the end of episode one I knew it would be one to binge watch. I cannot wait for season 2!

At the event, you mentioned working in the business has attracted some “haters”, what’s their problem with what you do and why are they wrong?

I hear a lot of negative comments about so many different things. But the one that infuriates me most is from other women. I am a HUGE advocate of supporting other women in the choices they make. That to me is the basis of feminism. To support others’ choices without judgment. So when a female says it’s demeaning or frivolous to pose in lingerie, something I do very often, I find that quite offensive. Posing in sexy photoshoots is very empowering for me. It makes me feel confident and sassy! I understand this may not be the case for everyone but for me it works.

Why did you go into blogging? What do you like about it?

I got into blogging because quite frankly I love putting outfits together. The styling process is what I enjoy most. Since I have a background in modelling, who better to model my creations than me? I get a lot of compliments on outfits when I travel so at first I focused on “airport outfits” as I call them. I’ve been a fan of Old Hollywood my whole life. I love looking at vintage photos of starlets jet setting around the globe. Travel used to be a luxury and people dressed to reflect that. But dressing well is also a sign of respect not limited to airports. I take great pride in encouraging others to step it up a notch and put more thought into what they’re wearing. The benefits are elevated confidence & a stronger sense of self.

Are you a feminist? Why?

Absolutely. I am a feminist not because I think our gender is superior, but because I believe that respecting everyones life choice is important. I’m also very serious about women empowering women. We can achieve anything if we support each other & stop judging & criticising others differences.

What’s your relationship with your body?

I’m happy with my body but never consider myself perfect. Perfect is boring anyway, right? I never use words like “hate” or “fat” when it comes to my body or anyone else’s. Sure, I think everyone would tweak a few things if they could. We scrutinise ourselves way more often than we should. But to be confident means you have to cut yourself some slack. When I’m unhappy with my weight for example and don’t feel like I’m the best version of myself I workout hard to get back to a weight that I feel more comfortable in. It’s a personal preference and most importantly it’s for health, not just aesthetics. I want to be a healthy, fit person. I want to feel as great as I can! So I take care of my body but I never get to the point that I’m bullying myself for having a cheat meal here and there or enjoying the pleasures of food. I don’t think anyone should live that way. The most basic advice I have in maintaining a healthy diet for example is to always do things in moderation. Never try fad diets or extreme cleanses. Listen to your body.

What would you recommend to women who want to get into wrestling and blogging?

Reach out to others (like me! Happy to help!) who have the sort of career you want for yourself and ask for advice. Study them and take inspiration from strong women. My heroes are Tyra Banks, Stephanie McMahon and Bethenny Frankel, whose books I highly recommend. I also believe in doing your homework and researching the business you’re hoping to get into. Ingratiate yourself with like-minded people who share the same passion. Attend blogging or fashion events. Get involved! Be willing to do things for free (at first) to gain credibility. If your heart is in it for the right reasons you’ll meet the right people who will believe in you and give you a chance.

Any future projects you’d like to talk about?

I’m currently blogging full time for www.ValerieWyndham.net and writing a monthly style column for “Celebrate MK” magazine. This is all in addition to presenting for various wrestling shows and fashion shows. I’m thankfully starting to get work in the fashion industry. Slowly but surely! I look forward to attending more blogging and fashion events around England to gain more exposure.

Pictures by: Valerie Wyndham
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