People on the internet seem to have a lot to say about the way Nastia Liukin looks. The Olympic dancer recently went on Instagram to share a rude direct message (DM) she got that made fun of her for being “too skinny.”
The message, which was sent to Liukin in answer to a mirror selfie she took after a pilates workout, asked her if she thought she was “promoting borderline anorexia-looking bodies.”
Liukin didn’t answer the troll personally. Instead, she posted a screenshot of the DM to her Instagram feed and wrote about how this kind of scrutiny can be bad for a person’s mental health.
“This week I got a DM that really triggered me in so many ways,” the gold winner wrote next to the post. “It made me feel: defeated, pissed, sad, annoyed, confused, shocked, and many other feelings.
If taking pictures of my OWN body — a body that won me many Olympic medals, a body that I push each day to get stronger, a body that God gave me — is inherently promoting anorexia, then honestly, we’ve gotten to a place in the world where just BEING is offensive.”
Liukin said that she knows that her body type could be “triggering” for some people, especially those with eating problems. Still, she shouldn’t have to hide what she looks like naturally, she went on. She wrote, “I don’t believe that I should have to cover it up for fear of being offensive. I promote real, I promote raw, and I promote truth.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Liukin has had to shut down trolls who were being mean about her body. When she stopped doing gymnastics in 2012, she added 25 pounds, and people quickly started calling her “fat.” Then, a few years later, she started getting texts that made her feel bad about herself because she was “too skinny” and “unhealthy.”
The 30-year-old player told Stylecaster at the time, “No matter what, you’re never going to be what people want,”
Liukin is still fighting the same war after all these years.
“This is ME,” she wrote in her Instagram post. “This is my body. While I’ve always been thin, I’ve not always been strong. I’m proud to say that I am truly stronger now than I’ve ever been.”
Nastia Liukin Instagram Post:
Like Liukin, Olympic dancers have always been criticized for the way they look. In 2016, Simone Biles responded to a troll who called her “ugly” after she shared a picture of herself on vacation wearing a cute outfit. “You can judge my body all you want, but at the end of the day, it’s MY body,” she wrote on Twitter at the time. “I love it & I’m comfortable in my skin.”
In another case after the 2016 Rio Olympics, Biles and her teammates Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian were made fun of for their muscles after Biles shared a picture of them in bikinis on the beach. Since then, Raisman has become a strong supporter of body positivity. She has teamed up with forward-thinking brands like Aerie to help women feel good about themselves.
Together, these badass women have shown how important it is to stand up for yourself and stop people from putting you down about your body. “Every BODY should be loved — and why shouldn’t my body fall into that, too?” Before she talked to her troll directly, Liukin wrote in her post.
“I’m sorry for whatever you’re going through that made you think writing this note to me was in any way OK,” she said. “I hope you heal from your traumas just as I have healed from mine and continue to.”