McKayla Maroney is responding to speculation about her “changing face” and rumors of lip injections. The Olympic gold medalist gymnast and former member of the Fierce Five team at the 2012 London Olympics is pushing back against social media critics.
Once again, a woman in the public eye is essentially forced to react to social media uproar over her physical appearance and the chattering masses who believe she’s undergone some sort of cosmetic procedure. Yes, it’s equal opportunity for insults and being a gold medalist at the Olympics doesn’t shield you. You’re fair game so to speak, as if you were an actress or a model. Frankly, it happens to the non-famous, too.
Pushing back against all this negativity, the now 20-year-old McKayla Maroney said in an interview with Seventeen, “”First of all, I haven’t [had injections].” Noting that “it freaks people out to see somebody change just a little bit” she added, “I don’t mean to freak anybody out. At the end of the day, I have changed.”
Continuing, she said, “And I’ve posted a picture on Instagram last night that was like, ‘How do I make my face look like I didn’t do anything to my face when I literally have not done anything to my face?'”
And in fact, that’s just what she said in the caption — as you can see below — of the photo from the 2012 Olympics when she was just 16 years old — “me thinking about how to get my face to look like i’ve never done anything to my face when i’ve never done anything to my face.”
In this day and age, plastic surgery shaming is only getting worse. A woman can’t win. Get work done on your face and you’re talked about, dare to show a wrinkle or two and, well, once again, you’re the target of cyberbullies.
Maroney has been in the public spotlight for years; she was just 16 years old, after all, at the London Summer Olympics when she and her “Fierce Five” teammates won countless medals. Of course she’s not going to look the way she did as a teenager.
That’s precisely the point she makes as she tells the teen publication, “Growing up in the social media world, it’s tough. Your face changes, you get older, your face fills out, and you fall into liking makeup and different stuff like that. And for people saying that, for the most part — it would kind of hurt my feelings when you haven’t done anything.” She went on to say, “You just kind of have to keep being yourself and move forward with what you love.”
Later, she took to Instagram to reflect and told her followers, “I totally understand why people are upset about me ‘changing,’ I get it.”
She elaborated, saying, “But if I can promise you one thing, it’s that I will never stop changing. Life is all about growing, evolving and becoming more and more yourself, and these last couple years I’ve done nothing but that!”
To think that at 20 someone is already having to confront “changing face” slamming. It’s the dark side of social media that’s given us a world that sometimes seems like we’re all trapped in a “Mean Girls” world. Unknown bullies and trolls who hide behind pseudonyms do as trolls do, seize far too much of the public’s attention even as they inflict hurt and harm on the famous and non-famous alike. McKayla Maroney is just the latest such target.
Pictures: PR Photos