I only ever wished I looked this badass and beautiful when I boxed. :)

Here she is below on a June 16 visit to train with super bantamweight world champion Nonito Donaire and the unrivaled strength & conditioning coaches at Undisputed Boxing Gym in San Carlos, California.

More on Marlen: “Marlen Esparza: Going the Distance” (Vogue, July 2012) || “CoverGirl Gets Olympics-Ready With Two Fresh New Faces” (People StyleWatch, April 3, 2012) || (photo via Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr.)

NBC Latino

When you think about boxing, you don’t necessarily think beautiful. But in the case of Olympic hopeful Marlen Esparza, that’s exactly what CoverGirl thought when they saw her in action.

Houston native Esparza will be making a slash in two fronts as the first woman boxer for the U.S. Olympics team and the first Hispanic Olympian to be the face of CoverGirl.

“I feel that I embody the image of CoverGirl and that anyone can be beautiful, and is deserving of beauty no matter what your personal situation is,” Esparza, 22, told PEOPLE. “You don’t have to be famous to look good.”

CoverGirl’s Marketing director Bruce Katsman says Esparza appeals broadly to the Hispanic community and she has many fans and supporters across all ages and backgrounds, which made her a perfect addition to the CoverGirl family.

“Marlen’s role goes beyond advertising, and includes helping all women feel beautiful and…

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Going gray

I was about 16 years old when I got my first gray hair. I’d never even noticed it until I wore my hair up one day and my mom, happening to glance at me, stopped and exclaimed, “Ohmigosh, Trina, you have a gray hair!” So it happened early—high school.

At first I was a bit nonplussed, but I don’t think I’ve ever really minded. My face is so baby, and people have always thought I’m younger than I actually am, so I figured a few grays might lend some authority to my otherwise wide-eyed demeanor. (In theory, at least.) Plus this way I would never have to angst over getting my first gray.

Now I’ve always aspired to be one of those women who age gracefully, who earn their beauty, who wear their years with a radiance that can’t be bought in a tube or a compact. But I have to admit that for a while, I used to bust out the Nice ‘n Easy and color my hair at home. Eventually, though, I began to think, You know what? It is what it is—and I began to just let it grow out and be.

Following the custom that once a woman goes totally gray, she cuts her hair short, I used to think that when I went totally gray, I’d get my hair cut like this:

This piece-y ‘do is so flattering on Michelle Williams. I like the tousled look.

But then I saw this photo below in MORE magazine. Somehow it totally changed my perception of how to wear long gray hair, which heretofore I’d always pictured as kind of grizzled.

Hey, if this woman can rock shoulder-length gray hair, why can’t I? That’s pretty much how I wear my hair anyway! I like the layers and movement and (surprise) the piece-y look of it too.

In the meantime I’m reconciling myself to the reality of seeing more and more gray strands appear amid my natural black. I’m trying to convince myself that they’re sparkles.

(via InStyle and MORE)

Update: “How to Go Gray Naturally,”  from Huff/Post 50.