Nastia Liukin Was Body-Shamed for Gaining Weight After the Olympics
And now, people are shaming her for being too thin. *Eyeroll*
Gymnast and gold-medalist Nastia Liukin recently opened up about how she's been accused of being both "too fat" and "too thin." (Related: Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Has the Body Image Advice You Need to Hear)
Following the Olympics, Liukin said she gained about 25 pounds and suffered harsh criticism from the public. "People remembered me as this petite blond gymnast in a leotard, and then I go through the normal body changes and people are like, 'Oh my God. You're so fat,'" she told StyleCaster in an interview.
The negative comments got to Liukin, and she began skipping events and preferred staying in her apartment. "I had almost this identity crisis," she said. "I didn't know who I was. I didn't know what to wear … I lost all my self-confidence … I didn't want to go to events or to dinner or do anything because I was so insecure [about] myself and my body because of what other people were saying."
Over time, Liukin realized that it wasn't possible for her body to look like it did when she was training for the Olympics. She still continued to work out and eat healthily, and eventually lost some weight. That's when people started saying she was too thin.
"No matter what, you're still being body-shamed," Liukin told StyleCaster. "On my Instagram yesterday, someone was like, 'Jeez. When are you going to start eating again?' It's like, 'Trust me. I eat just fine.' I am healthy … It hurts the same, whether it's one way or another. No matter what, you're never going to be what people want." (Related: 8 Ways Skinny-Shaming Happens at the Gym)
Which is exactly why she stopped trying to make other people happy. "It's important to be happy from within," she said. "Don't focus on what other people want you to look like or to be or to work on or to say. If I'm happy with my body, and I know that I'm healthy, I need to stop worrying about everybody else. Happiness is strength." (P.S. Nastia is just one of this huge crew of Olympians who are proud to tell you why they love their bodies.)