Aly Raisman on Getting Bullied: "It Still Affects Me Sometimes"
It’s been one year since medal winning gymnast Aly Raisman gave it her all at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and now the athlete has a memoir on the way titled Fierce, set to be released on November 14th. The book will be about her journey to the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, but the 23-year-old is also opening up about her personal experiences such as dealing with bullies.
“When I was ten years old, I would get made fun of, and it still affects me sometimes now,” Raisman revealed to People Chica. “[This book] is the most personal I’ve ever been. I think it’s important to be personal because it’ll help people. I talk a lot about body image and body shaming and how that makes me feel.”
Back in May, the Olympian took to Twitter to open up about a body shaming incident that she experienced while at the airport. Raisman says that a female working with airport security asked if she was a gymnast because of her biceps, to which a man nearby responded, “I don’t see any muscles,” while staring at her. The athlete mentioned that she felt judged and that the incident made her uncomfortable.
“I work very hard to be healthy and fit,” she tweeted. “The fact that a man thinks he [can] judge my arms pisses me off. I am so sick of this judgmental generation. If you are a man who can’t compliment a girl’s [arm muscles] you are sexist. Get over yourself. Are you kidding me? It’s 2017. When will this change? ”
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But Raisman is shaking off the haters and focusing on her upcoming book while also helping those in need. She partnered mattress brand Lessa along with Michael Phelps in helping the homeless with their One-Ten program, in which every ten mattresses sold, the brand donates one to a homeless shelter. “I was able to help deliver mattresses with Leesa to Heading Home, a shelter in Boston close to my hometown. It was an incredible experience to see the excitement on their faces and the real impact that Leesa is having among the homeless community, which is something I’m proud to be a part of,” she said.