Simone Biles is raising her voice about unrealistic beauty expectations and competition in society.
In conjunction with her new partnership with skin care brand SK-II, the five-time Olympic gold medalist shared a reflective note on how much competition has influenced her life and shaped her perspective.
“Let’s talk about competition,” she wrote. “Specifically, the competition I didn’t sign up for and feel like has become almost a daily challenge for me. And I do not think I’m the only one.”
The 22-year-old explained the downside of the attention she’s experienced outside of her profession. “I’m talking about beauty,” she explained. “I don’t know why but others feel as though they can define your own beauty based on their standards.”
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She shared how much these standards have taken a toll on her mental state throughout her life.
I’ve learned to put on a strong front and let most of it slide. But I’d be lying if I told you that what people say about my arms, my legs, my body … of how I look like in a dress, leotard, bathing suit or even in casual pants hasn’t gotten me down at times.”
The gymnast, who has been open in the past about being a victim of body shaming, said she believes many young women are affected by constant critiques of their physical appearance.
“I don’t have to look very far to see how common this judgement has become,” she wrote. “I’m tired of everything in life being turned into competition, so I am standing up for myself and for everyone else that has gone through the same.”