“Shoutout to all the boys from 5th-9th grade who made fun of me for being ‘too strong.’” That's how Aly Raisman started a recent Insta post that's gone viral (248K likes and counting). The two-time captain of the U.S. women's Olympics gymnastics team went on to thank those bullies for forcing her "to learn to love myself and my body." And the post just gets better from there.
Raisman's caption accompanies two side-by-side shots of her from Reebok’s #PerfectNever campaign, which challenges women to embrace their so-called imperfections, ignore their critics, and keep on pushing boundaries. The 22-year-old gymnast, who looks so strong and fierce in the photos, says she wasn't always seen that way: “My muscular arms that were considered weird and gross when I was younger have made me one of the best gymnasts on the planet,” Raisman wrote.
(This isn't the first time Raisman has had the perfect comeback for critics. Last month she eloquently responded to anyone who worried she was "too old" to compete.)
The second-most decorated American gymnast of all time summed up her post with this: “Don't ever let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn't look. There is no such thing as a perfect body type.”
We couldn't be more on board with Raisman's message that what your body can do for you is far more important than how it looks to anyone else.