CrossFit Games athlete Brooke Ence is breaking the mold of what it means to be beautiful by Hollywood's standards. After launching her career in the film industry with her roles in Wonder Woman and Justice League, the 28-year-old has been making the rounds on red carpets and movie premieres — and her tough, athletic physique isn’t to be missed. Brooke spoke exclusively to Life & Style about her ultimate goals of turning current beauty standards on their head and celebrating women with different body types.
“Honestly I never thought there would be a place for me in Hollywood,” she said. “So I was very excited, and it also made sense, the movie I was doing [Wonder Woman] was a natural fit for the way I looked.” Brooke’s breakout role was as an Amazon in the superhero flick, and even though the part called for women to play warriors, she noted that her CrossFit body stood out even among the other stars. “I definitely had a more intense physique, a more ‘hard’ physique,” she said. “I definitely had some moments when I was working on Wonder Woman when I felt really insecure about that… There was talk about, ‘Oh, she must do steroids.’ So that was pretty tough.”
(Photo Credit: (L-r) MADELEINE VALL as Egeria and BROOKE ENCE as Penthiselea in the action adventure “WONDER WOMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Clay Enos/ ™ & © DC Comics)
Body-shaming is something that Brooke, who has been an athlete since she was a young girl, has grown up combating. “I was bullied growing up for always being a ‘strong girl,’” she explained. “And what I had to tell myself during the movie was that I wouldn’t be there if they didn’t want me. So regardless of what other actresses or what people might think, about the way that I look, I’m still here. They still hired me just like they hired everyone else.”
And with her Instagram following growing to nearly 900k, the blonde beauty no doubt faces haters that troll the Internet. “There’s body shaming everywhere. Of course it’s on social media,” she said. “And it’s not just the ‘fit’ girls, it’s the ‘fat’ girls, it’s the ‘skinny’ girls, it’s everywhere. It’s people with personal opinions and them feeling entitled enough and that they matter enough to share their personal opinions.”
And though there’s been an uptick in celebs showing off their fitness regimens, Brooke doesn’t think that different body types are being shown enough in the entertainment industry. “As much as people say that strength is the new beauty or whatever, I’ll believe it when I see it,” she said. “I feel like I can make a big difference in the world for girls and boys and for the perception of women and how being fit is honestly not accepted.” And at the end of the day, Brooke explained, it’s the higher-ups in the entertainment industry that keep great change from happening.
“There’s this industry where you can make the biggest difference by working with people that don’t look like your typical woman. I understand there’s a lot more that goes to it than that, but people choose not to,” she said. "It’s almost like everyone’s just waiting for it because they’re talking about it, they’re saying ‘strong is beautiful and blah blah blah.’ I know you keep saying it but how come no one is doing anything about it? No one’s making any crazy choices when it comes to casting… If I don’t at least attempt to do more in a world or in an industry that is different than what I’m used to, it may work out and it may not, but if I don’t at least try, then it’s just another person who has the ability to make a really positive change not doing it just because I’m nervous about it not working out.”