Gabby Douglas Speaks Out About Her Cyberbullies During Rio Olympics

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By: Krystle Crossman

Gabby Douglas is an accomplished Olympic medalist. She is one of only three women who have won three gold medals. She has style, class, and grace. Unfortunately Douglas has had her share of bullying even though she is successful and stays out of trouble. Douglas recently opened up about the cyber bullying that she has been subjected to as a result of being in the spotlight. She said that she is a human and people tear her down no matter what she does. Sometimes it is hurtful but she tries not to let it get to her.

In the 2016 Rio Olympics Douglas faced criticism from social media about how her hair was styled. Some people felt that her hair was styled too “white” and that somebody needed to fix it. She faced criticism about standing at attention during the national anthem as opposed to placing her hand over her heart. People said that she needed to respect the country that she lived in and that she was representing during the Olympics instead of being disrespectful. She faced criticism about the look on her face because it wasn’t cheerful enough for some people. They said that she looked mean and unhappy. Some said that she needed to cheer up even though they didn’t win the all-around gold and that she was being spoiled. Douglas said that she saw all of this after competing and was extremely hurt by the words that people said about her. She tried to stay away from social media so she didn’t have to see all of the comments from people who had no idea what she went through on a day-to-day basis and wouldn’t be able to handle half of the things that she could handle in her young life.

Celebrities such as Leslie Jones came to Douglas’s defense on social media and told people that they needed to stop and respect the woman that she was. Other people on social media came to Douglas’s aid after seeing Jones’s tweet and said that most of the people who are criticizing her couldn’t even do a single thing that she did on the mat and they were just jealous of her talent and success. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Gabby Douglas stated that she’s a very happy and bubbly person but in 2014 she decided that she was a little older and more mature so she was going to act as such. She didn’t realize that acting more professional and more mature was going to foster such hate and criticism against her. She ended with a message for everyone who has dealt with cyber bullying and stated that you can overcome anything if you are strong no matter what people are saying about you.

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