By Doug Belton
She stands tall, trim, and confident. She is tastefully adorned in practical attire that is both attractive and functional. Her pants allow her ample room to move and stretch. Her shoes, while stylish, are comfortable, and able to support her through a grueling crucible of physical exercise that could come at a moments notice.
She is all beautiful and all business, her attractiveness is beyond aesthetics, and her business acumen takes her around the world, rubbing shoulders with the business, entertainment, sports, and political elite. She is part of a growing breed of female bodyguards.
As a new cop back in the early 90’s I learned an important lesson. There were two ways to get through a night shift. A cop can either fight their way through one incident after another, chasing bad guys through dark alleys and buildings.
Or a cop can solve problems before they start and have an easy laid back shift where the bad guys go to jail at the end of the night, and the cop goes home without a scratch. The key to my laid back nights was my partner, a no nonsense woman who could disarm a tough guy with a distracting smile, then knock him on his butt before he knew what hit him. She could also talk a barricaded suspect out of a closet with the sweet resonance of her voice which I could never conjure from my own.
The distinctions in how men and women problem solve is not lost on law enforcement officials who are rethinking their strategies for confronting hostile environments, and it is not lost on those who employ professional bodyguards. The fact is, people who can afford personal protection are learning that the best fight is the one you never have to engage in.
Women often have a distinct advantage over men at avoiding unnecessary conflicts and at utilizing more effective tactics to put down disturbances once they do arise. Another important dimension of the female bodyguard is their ability to blend into a celebrity entourage without making a spectacle of themselves.
A hulking bodyguard stuffed into a suit like a sausage is not always the best image for a celebrity who wants to protect him/herself with a degree of anonymity and style. These celebrities want to keep themselves and their family’s safe without calling unnecessary attention to themselves.
As women gain valuable experience in the military and in law enforcement they become prime candidates for this growing field. The old paradigm was to defeminize oneself by looking as tough and masculine as possible. The key now is to bring your femininity to the bodyguard profession without compromising your ability to handle a physical confrontation when it occurs.
Walking into an active shooter situation, a robbery in progress, or a common domestic meant trusting my partner to keep me safe. Countless nights I willingly put my personal safety in the hands of a woman half my size because I knew my best chance of going home that night was in working with her. More and more people who pay for safety are now learning what I found out some 20 years ago.
For women looking to become a bodyguard, find a good school with a solid reputation for training and get in the game. This is your time to shine women, so make the most of it. There are great resources here at Bodyguard Careers that will take you to the next level in your career as a professional bodyguard.