Gabby Douglas may be a world champ, but life hasn’t always been easy for the Olympic Gold medalist. Before becoming a gymnastic phenomenon, Gabby had her share of her bullying. In a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Gabby opened up about the hard times before finding national glory, including being pressured to go under the knife for a nose job.
Now 18 years old, Gabby was 16 years old when she received the nickname The Flying Squirrel at the London Olympics. As the first African-American to become individual all around champion, Gabby says that she got a lot of racist commentary while training at Excalibur Gymnastics in Virginia Beach prior to the Olympic Games.
Gabby tells the magazine that one staffer at the facility recommend that she have a reconstructive nose job because of the flat appearance of her nose. Other gymnasts would also comment on her appearance, but says that she found the comment about her nose “very hurtful.”
While at the facility, Gabby had other gymnasts and staff members treat her differently than other members of the team, which ultimately led her to seek another coach. During the Olympics, Twitter users commented on Gabby’s hair but the star athlete managed to win big despite the racism surrounding her.
Although Gabby’s mother only learned of the ill treatment her daughter received after the fact, the Excalibur’s Head Coach Dena Walker said that the comments about Gabby needing nose surgery were just “a joke,” according to the Vanity Fair reporter.
In addition to Gabby’s rough treatment during training, she has also had to contend with an absent father who seems to pop up only when there is a promise of money. Thanks to her big win, Gabby has been mentioned in various rap and pop songs and also has some big endorsement deals as well.
Gabby isn’t the only person to eventually find fame even after turning down plastic surgery. In fact, she is in good company with other young women from various ethnic backgrounds to not cave into the pressure to have plastic surgery, even as they step into the fame spotlight.
Glee singer Lea Michelle says that although many people told her she would never make it in the entertainment industry with such a large schnozz, she looked to singer Barbara Streisand for inspiration. Despite not having classically beautiful looks, Babs has definitely managed to have one of the longest and most successful careers in both music and film and Lea does seem to be following in the diva’s footsteps, even without plastic surgery.
And Khloe Kardashian reportedly infuriated her mother, Kris Jenner, when she revealed in an interview that the momager wanted Khloe to have a nose job at the tender age of nine. Since then, Khloe says that she has also had makeup artists tell her to consider rhinoplasty. However the youngest Kardashian sister says that she is happy that she never caved in to outside pressure and now feels that she has grown into her face.