She is tall, slim, blonde, super successful, intelligent and nice to boot. Yet Olympic medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington OBE still felt insecure about her appearance – so much so that it is rumoured she has gone under the knife to have her nose reduced in size. Recently, she’s been spotted around and about with a new, straighter nose.
According to media reports, the retired swimming star had suffered taunts about the size of her nose for years. Since her gold medal success in China in 2008 they have increasingly played out in the public eye. What is most shocking, though, is that these hurtful comments aren’t only made by internet trolls on social media sites. No, other public figures, such as comedian Frankie Boyle, who likened the Olympian’s face to that of a dolphins, have joined in. Making fun of someone’s appearance is not funny, only cheap.
Sadly, Adlington is not the only female athlete to suffer in this way. A Twitter Q&A with Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle organised by Sky Sports News in January attracted the most offensive abuse.
It’s a sad indictment of our society that instead of being proud of our sportswomen and all they have achieved, a minority of under-educated idiots with internet access feel it is okay to undermine everything these great athletes stand for. But what is most disappointing is that the decent members of society – the responsible Twitter – had nothing to say. Why did they stand back instead of joining Tweddle’s Q&A to drown out the trolls with acceptable questions?
Although not everyone has supported Adlington in her reported decision to have a nose job, saying it’s a ‘sell-out to celeb culture’, most have supported her, especially as she had the courage to go after what makes her happy and to stand by it. Well done, Rebecca.