Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson has partnered up with Dove to create a discussion on the growing issue female athletes face in comparison to males. The #MyBeautyMyWay campaign's goal is to spread light on the way media negatively criticize female athletes' appearances, rather than focusing on their performances, and Shawn's involvement in the campaign is so inspiring.
To further get the message across, Dove recently revealed a truly beautiful billboard in New York City's Times Square and its message will reach girls everywhere. "I hope it just reaches them in a way that let’s them feel comfortable with being themselves," Shawn tells TWIST in an exclusive interview.
When we sat down with her, the former gymnast and 2008 Olympics gold medalist opened up about body-shaming and criticism she has received and how she learned to accept herself for who she is.
According to Shawn, her mom is the person she always goes to for advice. "You’re supposed to be different. You look how you look for a reason. Embrace it," Shawn says, which is some of the advice her mom always gave her. "I feel like when girls are struggling with self-esteem, it’s because they’re feeling pressured to look different than they do, and as soon as you truly embrace who you are and what you look like, how you feel, the world will have to respect that," she also added. What a powerful message!
This is definitely an important issue that needs to be resolved, and it's so nice to see people like Shawn getting actively involved. "It was an immediate yes, just because it does hit so close to home and it’s something that I went through and I feel like I see so many young girls going through," she says about getting asked to be a part of this campaign. "It’s just a perfect fit, I thought. It’s something that needs to be done, and it’s exciting to see it start."
We're just as excited as Shawn is for this campaign and we love the message it promotes amongst girls everywhere!
What do you think of Shawn's powerful words? Let us know in the comments section below!