Mary Kate Duignan goes by many names. As a former professional wrestler, that’s just par for the course. And while her career has seen her change names, and indeed body shapes, regularly, I still recall seeing her for the first time as “Rosie Lottalove” on TNA wrestling way back in 2010. As this persona, she resonated with me as an empowering woman.

the down-low on rosie

  • She was one of the few true plus size pro wrestlers
  • She lost over 100lbs and re-branded herself in a WWE developmental program

I’m not going to comment too much on her weight loss decision. At the end of the day, we need to do what is right for our own selves, and if losing weight helps you gain confidence then go for it. I want to be clear though that I’m writing about Mary Kate’s influence on me as a tall, plus size woman when she played the persona of Rosie Lottalove.

remembering the first time i saw rosie

In Florida, we tend to watch wrestling a lot. I remember watching what, at the time, I deemed to be a “boring” broadcast with my brothers (we were all teenagers) and all of a sudden I saw this woman in her purest form walking out to the ring, radiating power. It was Rosie Lottalove. 

Growing up plus size, it was actually very cool to see someone “that looked like me” in a setting where I’d honestly never expected to see a big woman.

Watching her do her thing was empowering! She literally picked her opponent up like she weighed nothing and slammed her onto the canvas! Of course, with the scripted nature of wrestling, Rosie got “flipped” (technical term unknown by me) by her smaller opponent and held down for a surprise submission, but to see her raw strength and power on display was incredible. So much so, she inspired me to give it a go myself. 

inspiring me to wrestle

No, this isn’t a joke! As a native Floridian, she was a big influence on me. I was so empowered by seeing her strut her stuff on TV that from that moment on I always had the thought “huh, maybe I could try wrestling” in the back of my mind. My brothers are sporty, and a few years down the line I brought it up to them and they agreed to show me a few of the basic moves of folkstyle wrestling. I never went as far as trying out or taking it uber-seriously, but I think the fact that I was interested in trying it alone speaks to the influence that seeing a big girl wrestling had on me. Of course, since then Nia Jax has become the “bbw icon” of the pro wrestling world, but it was Rosie Lottalove who inspired me to get my big ass on the mats! 

So, even though she probably will never read this, this is me thanking Rosie for being one of the many positive influences on me growing up, and making me think that truly, anything is possible!

mary kate’s measurements

  • Mary Kate is 5 foot 10 and a half
  • As Rosie Lottalove, her billed weight was 316lbs
  • After her weight loss her billed weight was 190lbs

Just a comment on her weight loss here. I think part of what might have inspired Mary Kate to lose weight is that her character was entering almost “gimmick” territory. She didn’t get a great reception, watching that video back, and the male commentators made a few choice comments about her size. I wish we lived in a society where seeing a 300lb woman walk out in front of a crowd didn’t create such outrage and derision, but I guess the production company saw this as a chance to market a “different” looking woman as a bit of a villain. I’m sure as a 190lb wrestler in her later years, she didn’t face as much negativity, which I’m sure would grind you down if you did that for any amount of time.

Nevertheless, I remember her vividly as the powerful, all-conquering force of femininity that I craved to see in popular culture growing up. I remember her as Rosie Lottalove.

where to find her nowadays

Mary Kate Duignan is on Instagram.