Olympian Lindsey Vonn has defended herself from body shamers with an honest message about body positivity.
Over the weekend, the gold-medallist skier shared a series of photos of herself in a bathing suit to Instagram, as well as screenshots of some of the negative comments she’s received from her followers.
“I’ve posted quite a few swimsuit pics lately, which is scarier than it seems. Even as an athlete there are ruthless comments and media stories that tear apart my body and I admit it sometimes hurts me,” the 36-year-old wrote. “I’m a normal person and sometimes I slouch, my stomach folds over, my cellulite shows on my butt, or I don’t fill out my swimsuit top just right … But, I always remember how my body has helped me achieve amazing things in my life and I am proud of how strong I am.
“’I’m not a size zero and that’s perfectly fine with me.”
The athlete then explained to her more than 2 million followers that she does not use Photoshop nor has she had any plastic surgery, and that her appearance is “100 per cent natural” and “100 per cent Lindsey”.
Vonn concluded the statement encouraging her fans and followers to love themselves even if they feel self conscious.
“So to anyone who is feeling self conscious or down about their appearance; stay strong, stay healthy and love yourself no matter what the haters say,” she wrote. “Special thanks to all of you who have been positive and supportive ... Let's keep the culture of body positivity going!”
The Olympian’s post was met with support, with many of the more than 20,000 comments applauding Vonn for the transparency and for the body-positive reminder.
“Thank you for continuing to support and inspire women and girls in athletics and life,” one person wrote.
Another said: “This is so inspiring. Thank you.”
This is not the first time Vonn has been open about body positivity and learning to love herself. In 2016, the ski champion told ABC News: "I definitely had a moment there after I won the gold medal in 2010, where I was very self-conscious. It was my first time being on red carpets and stuff like that. I was not confident in myself and the way that I looked."
However, she later learned to “love” herself and ignore any negativity.
"I've just gotten to the point that I love where I am, I'm not the same size as everyone else ... I'm comfortable with what I got," she said. "I think it shows in my attitude and the way I present myself. Now when I walk the red carpet, I don’t care what everyone else thinks."