Courtesy Degree Women Clinical Protection
Sportscaster Erin Andrews has worked hard to make it to the top — and she’s not going to apologize for it.
“I put so much pressure on myself, and I also have a massive chip on my shoulder to work harder than anyone else,” she tells PEOPLE. “There’s always this fear with me since I’ve been in the industry that I don’t want anyone to challenge how much I know, or that I got my job because I’m a female, or I look a certain way. That’s why I’ve always wanted to go above and beyond.”
And that’s why she was the perfect choice to front Degree Women Clinical Protection’s “Unapologetically Strong” contest, which encourages women to share inspiring stories of personal challenge on Facebook (starting Sept. 12) for a chance to win $5,000 to achieve their dreams.
“I love this concept,” Andrews says. “And since my whole life is just pushing the limits, I feel like it was a perfect fit.”
Andrews also finds herself pushing the limits with her wardrobe these days, especially since she’ll be reporting from a studio — thanks to her new gig at FOX — come fall.
“I have a stylist who does a great job in helping me out in getting ready,” she admits. “She’s trying to really get me away from always doing the blazer and trousers … to just be really hip and to blend fashion into sports.” But the style element she’s most excited about? Shoes. “Now that we are in a studio, I can wear fun designer shoes,” she shares. “Before, it was like, ‘How many ways can you make a flat look fabulous?'”
However, with fashion fun does come some scrutiny. “I feel like sometimes there is a stereotype for the girls who want to look nice in this industry,” she shares. “I color my hair, I worry about working out, I’m into the latest fashion and makeup. And I think it’s kind of interesting that still, in sports, some people look at it like, ‘Oh, you can’t like this stuff and like sports.’ Well, why not? That’s the stereotype that I’m trying to battle against right now. It’s OK to have fun shoes on, but guess what, I still know what the coach is going to call on 2nd and 8.”
It’s a tricky balance; Andrews doesn’t want a focus on her looks to overshadow a focus on her craft, either. “I just laugh [when people talk about my looks],” she says. “There are women I look at as beautiful — Gisele [Bündchen], she’s my ultimate mega-crush — but I look at myself as just me; I don’t see myself as that.”
In fact, most would consider her a guy’s girl, and she’s probably fine with that … at least for the time being. “It’s fun to try and bring a little bit of female fashion to the sports world,” she admits. “We’re slowly trying to turn this tomboy into a fashionista.”
Visit Facebook.com/DegreeWomen for more information on the “Unapologetically Strong” contest.