Simone Biles has slammed the “toxic” culture of beauty competition.
The US gymnast has hit out at beauty standards and admits there were many times where she felt criticized for the way she looks or what she wears.
In an open letter posted on her Instagram account, she shared: “Let’s talk about competition. 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. There is a growing competition that has nothing to do with performance itself. I’m talking about beauty. I don’t know why but others feel as though they can define your own beauty based on their standards. 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. Today, I say I am done competing vs. beauty standards and the toxic culture of trolling when others feel as though their expectations are not met … because nobody should tell you or I what beauty should or should not look like. Beauty is #NoCompetition. ”
In an interview with Vogue Magazine, Biles said, ” “There are times when I’ve gotten upset because I’m not what everyone likes to look at, but without my muscles, I wouldn’t be able to do gymnastics the way I do, so at the end of the day, I can’t be mad. This is how I was built and I need this body for gymnastics. Not looking at comments on social media helps. I also like to make fun of myself and that takes the pressure off of everything.”
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old sportswoman previously revealed her personal style is very “basic” for the time being and she is still trying to “establish” her own look.
Speaking about her fashion choices, she said: “My personal style is very basic just because I’m in the gym a lot. So it’s athletic, sporty, but still fun. I like dressing up but I feel like it’s also very basic. I haven’t established my style yet, or what I like. I kind of do whatever. But I also feel like living in Houston, it’s a little bit different. I can be more out there if I go to Los Angeles or New York because things are more acceptable.”