“People would say mean things at the time,” she reveals
If you’ve ever watched Simone Biles nail a floor routine, you know that the Olympic gymnast is as fierce as they come.
Her strong body can do incredible things, but it actually took her a long time to learn to love it.
“I love my body because it helps with gymnastics, and it teaches younger girls to love their bodies as well,” she explains. “I’ve learned to love my muscles a lot more than when I was younger, because I got made fun of a lot for them. People would say mean things at the time. They used to call me a ‘swoldier,’ which didn’t make me feel the best. I wore sweaters or jackets all year long to cover my arms.”
“I wish I could tell my younger self to be positive about my body, because when you learn to love your body, you learn to fall in love with yourself,” she added, explaining that her teammates’ support has been a huge help. “As gymnasts, we look similar to each other, so we’ve helped each love our bodies because it helps us with what we do. Everybody looked the same, had the same muscular build and we could all do things that other athletes couldn’t do.”
Simone credits her teammate Aly Raisman for helping her with her body confidence.
“Aly Raisman helped me a lot with my body-confidence issues and helped me learn to love how I look. She’s taught me a lot along the way, but most of the time it’s just the same message: love yourself. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to wear makeup that day, if you don’t want to do your hair that day or anything else. You’re human, too, so do what you like,” she explained. “People can be so quick to judge, but you never know what someone else is going through. And for us (as athletes), our lifestyle is kind of always on the go, so we try to do as much as we can. To me, healthy body image is when you feel confident with yourself — inside and out. If you love your body, then that’s all you can do. It doesn’t matter what anybody else says.”
YES! We love you, Simone! You’re so beautiful now!