Gabby Douglas was bullied in the past, the gymnast has revealed in a new interview with Oprah Winfrey. The Olympic gold medalist won the hearts of Americans by becoming the first African-American women's all-round gold medalist in Olympic history, however, she was surprisingly the target of criticism in the aftermath of her historic achievement.
Douglas was rebuked by a number in the African-American community for her hair despite winning gold medals in the individual and team events. However, she has now revealed she has experienced malicious comments before, and was bullied earlier in her life.
Douglas was speaking with Oprah in an interview for the next episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter" for her OWN network, when she revealed she had a difficult childhood and was the victim of bullies. She explained that she felt isolated by the situation and that she was treated differently from others in some respects.
The U.S. gymnast recently hired celebrity hairstylist, Ted Gibson, following the criticism about her hair during the Olympics. She is set to earn millions in endorsement deals and interviews in the coming year, and she has now sought to silence her critics.
Although the 16-year-old gold medalist insisted that she has been unfazed by the shallow rebuke and talk about her locks, she has reportedly booked several appointments with the New York-based hair stylist. Gibson has allegedly worked with various celebrities including actresses Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway and Ashley Greene.
Gibson has expressed his shock at the criticism his new client had received for her previous hair: "I couldn't believe it and still can't. You have this young girl doing amazing things, and the conversation becomes about her hair? It was ridiculous and shameful. I believe all that talk had to take a toll on her ... you've worked so hard for something and then people tear you apart for little or nothing."
With regards to what kind of hairstyle he plans on giving Douglas, Gibson explained that it is all about making his clients feel good about themselves.
"I hope to create something that makes her feel good about herself as well," he said. "That's so important and a big part of what I do for all the women I work with."