By: Nycole Hutchens
Two leading ladies in the gymnastics arena are taking #BlackGirlMagic to another level in the recent issue of Teen Vogue. Gold medal Olympian Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles join forces to talk about body image, self-esteem and individual journeys into the Olympics.
Douglas talks about how she was not always confident in her talent and greatness.
“It took a long time for me to see my own potential — a long time,” she told Vogue. “Finally something clicked and I knew I could be one of the best. It was a game changer. Now I’m like, ‘I am going for this. I’m going for it all.’”
At the age of 16, Douglas became the first American female gymnast and woman of color to win the individual all-around title and lead her team to a gold medal back in 2012.
It’s no surprise that Douglas looks up to legendary tennis player Serena Williams, who inspired Douglas to feel confident about her body despite public criticism, according to Natalie Hawkins, Douglas’ mother.
“Gabrielle saw the elegance with which Serena Williams handled all the negative criticism of her own body,” Natalie said. “It was liberating for my daughter to see that. She said, ‘I don’t have to apologize to anyone about my body. My body is beautiful.”
Simone Biles, who is also a rising star at the age of 19, talks about her journey and how the Olympics were never in her plans. She says it’s all about having fun and not looking at what she does as a job.
“If I thought of gymnastics as a job, it would put too much stress on me. At the end of the day if I can say I had fun, it was a good day.”
The two ladies will be competing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to represent the U.S. at the 2016 Olympics.
Good luck ladies, we are proud of you!