Gabrielle Douglas‘ journey in the 2012 Olympic games, is an inspiring story that she will one day tell her children who will one day tell their children. In 2012, Gabby “Flying Squirrel” Douglas achieved what no American gymnast in over a decade could, the gold! She became the first woman of color and African-American gymnast to ever do so! It seemed that nothing could tarnish her squeaky clean image and good girl persona. But, some found a way to criticize the soaring 4′ 11 star. Her hair and style became the crux of foolish jokes and discussions about black hair. It’s all too familiar. First Willow, then Gabby and now Blue Ivy Carter!
Little black girls aren’t safe in the media. But, Gabby stayed triumphant through it all. Now, 17, and the author of two books “Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith” and her most currently promoted literature “Raising The Bar” which she calls “fun,” Gabby has advice for Blue Ivy, her 13-year-old self, and an interest in a certain “Vampire”!
Check out our interview with the gold medalist, below:
HelloBeautiful: Why did you write “Raising The Bar”?
Gabby Douglas: I wanted to write this because a lot of people wanted to know what Gabby Douglas has been doing. Also, I have a lot of fun facts about me, pictures from the Olympics, my family quotes and thoughts, motivational scriptures–things I live by.
HB: If you had to tell your 13-year-old self something. What would it be?
GD: I would just tell her to be strong and confident. When I was 13-years-old I didn’t believe in myself, so I’d just tell myself to stay strong and really confident.
HB: What do you hope to accomplish in the 2016 Olympics?
GD: I just hope to bring back more gold and go to more gymnastics competitions.
HB: What advice do you have for girls who are following in your footsteps?
GD: Work really hard. Have fun. Listen to your coaches. And, chase your dreams.
HB: What is the most difficult part about being a gymnast?
GD: You have to get over the injuries, the sores and competing under pressure. You have learn how to deal with the stress. The thing that is most difficult about being a gymnast is competing.
HB: How do you deal with the stress?
GD: I am training to handle it. Just go out there and have fun!
HB: How do you stay so grounded in your faith, with your new-found fame?
GD: My mom keeps me grounded. I love to laugh and have fun. I’m still a teenager.
HB: You’ve done a lot more red carpets lately. What are some of your favorite designers?
GD: I’ve gotten into fashion a lot and I love DKNY, BCBG… I think my fashion has definitely kicked in after the Olympics. Before it was like sweatpants, now I’m getting dolled up.
HB: What piece of makeup can’t you leave the house without?
HB: You were once scrutinized over your hair, what advice do you have for Blue Ivy Carter, who is currently going through the same thing?
GD: She is adorable. And, I love Beyonce. I love them both. I actually met Beyonce at the All-Star game during All-Star Weekend. She’s so nice. She’s amazing. I love what she does. She is so talented. I would tell Blue Ivy she’s beautiful inside and out and don’t worry about all the negative comments. Go out there and shine. She’s great just the way she is.
HB: Celeb crush?
GD: Ian Somerhalder. He’s on “Vampire Diaries.”
HB: It’s prom season. Will you be attending any?
GD: I started treating the red carpet like prom.
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