It seems that social media can really bring out the meanness in people and turn them into the harshest of critics.
It’s something that Simone Biles said she’s tired of, and her fans had a major reaction to it.
On Wednesday, Feb. 12, Biles posted a letter to her Instagram page, where she called the constant critique of others “competition,” and she chooses to no longer be involved.
“Let’s talk about competition,” the letter began. “Specifically, the competition I didn’t sign up for and feel like has become almost a daily challenge for me. And I do not think I’m the only one.
“In gymnastics, as in many other professions, there is a growing competition that has nothing to do with performance itself,” the letter continued. “I’m talking about beauty. I don’t know why but others feel as though they can define your own beauty based on their standards.
“I’ve learned to put on a strong front and let most of it slide,” Biles stated. “But I’d be lying if I told you that what people say about my arms, my legs, my body … of how I look like in a dress, leotard, bathing suit or even in casual pants hasn’t gotten me down at times.”
Biles then wrote that she recognizes that there are many others going through the same thing, and she’s taking a stand against judgment, as well as trying to live up to a certain kind of beauty.
“Today, I say I am done competing VS. beauty standards and the toxic culture of trolling when others feel as though their expectations are not met,” she wrote. “Because nobody should tell you or I what beauty should or should not look like.”
In just two hours, the post received over 88,000 likes and many thanked the 22-year-old gymnast for her words. Some also gave theories as to why people can be so mean on social media.
“First of all good for you!” wrote one of Biles’ followers. “Your strength, dedication, and beauty inside and out are admirable! 🔥 💪 F-ck the negativity. I know as a woman it stings. I would love to be as cut as you! 🙌 Much respect.”
“You’re beautiful and your body is amazing,” another follower commented. “People usually envy what they wish they had. It’s called projecting. Let em hate, who cares. 💪.”
“😍😍😍👌…when people have no skills or talent to show, they tend to find other ways to compete with others just to feel good about themselves 😏,” a third person wrote.
“You are beautiful and you are strong! And you own it,” another comment read.