“They Focused on How Big My Legs Were”- Simone Biles Once Made a Heartbreaking Confession

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Society has always obsessed over the topic of beauty standards. However, it has become even more prevalent in today’s world. A lot of athletes had to suffer as a result of the unrealistic ideals harbored by it. And being the most decorated gymnast did not ease things for Simone Biles.

Although social media platforms played a role, other factors, including the entertainment industry and advertisement, contributed to it.

Simone Biles addresses issues concerning beauty standards in society

Biles is quite active on her social media handles. As such, she keeps posting her views and opinions on these platforms from time to time. The athlete is also vocal about issues that she feels strongly against.

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But her persona has also made her prone to online attacks from trolls. The kind of comments the gymnast receives from these trolls are chiefly along the lines of her appearance. However, she has experienced these attacks from others as well.
The fixation with beauty standards is deep-rooted in our society. And it shuns people outside the norms created by unrealistic beauty ideals in movies, series, and ad campaigns.

Simone Biles experienced this first-hand, not only through the harsh words of online trolls but also from the crowd and her opponent. To address this problem, the seven-time Olympic medalist collaborated with cosmetics brand SK-II before the Tokyo Olympics.

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In March 2020, Biles attended an event to promote the release of her video in collaboration with the brand and EGOT-winning singer-songwriter John Legend. The video is titled SK-II STUDIO Presents: “VS Trolls,” and it addresses the issues of cyberbullying, body shaming, and stereotyping.

Addressing a crowd composed mainly of young fans, the two-time Olympian said, “No matter how good you are in your sport, in life, in work, the number one thing people talk about is how you look.”

“You’re still going to thrive. You’re going to become somebody amazing and great. You guys are all beautiful, inside and out,” Biles continued.

When a girl asked if the gymnast faced rude remarks during the beginning of her career, Biles added, “They focused on my hair. They focused on how big my legs were.”

Biles has always been picky about her sponsors. Moreover, she left her most significant sponsor, Nike, to join Athleta. She did so because she felt the brand reflected her values better.

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 14: Simone Biles of the United States looks on prior to the Women’s Vault Final on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
People unfamiliar with the brand may be confused over her decision. But the athlete had good reasons to work with the brand. For one, the Japanese-based multinational skincare brand endorses a “no competition” stance on beauty.

This stance also became the name of the campaign, #NoCompetition, to spread awareness regarding body positivity and positive self-image.

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