08/03/2018 10:34 am ET

Aly Raisman Says She Sometimes Felt Her 'Muscles Weren't Feminine Enough'

The six-time Olympic medalist said her athletic physique used to make her feel insecure while bra shopping.
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman said she used to feel "my muscles weren't feminine enough" when she shopped for bras.
Rich Fury via Getty Images
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman said she used to feel "my muscles weren't feminine enough" when she shopped for bras.

Olympic athletes have body insecurities, too. Yep ― even six-time Olympic medal winner Aly Raisman.  

Raisman and Special Olympics gymnast Chelsea Werner have teamed up with American Eagle’s Aerie for the clothing brand’s new body-positive bra collection. Raisman, 24, told People she’s excited to participate in the advertising campaign because she’s often struggled with finding bras that fit her athletic physique. 

“I remember walking into other stores at a young age and as I am waiting to try on a bra, I was surrounded by all the same body types and I didn’t look like the models,” she said in a Thursday interview. “I was short and muscular and I felt that my muscles weren’t feminine enough.”

Raisman was named one of American Eagle’s #AerieReal role models,  alongside actress Yara Shahidi and model Iskra Lawrence, in January. She said she hopes the new Aerie collection brings a more positive bra shopping experience to women of all ages and sizes. 

“I don’t want any young athlete to ever walk into a store and feel that their body type isn’t feminine,” Raisman said. “No matter what you look like, your body is unique. If we all had the same body type, it would be so boring!”

Raisman reminded people that even as an elite athlete, she sometimes gets insecure about her body ― and that’s OK. 

“It’s important to me that all women and girls know that just because I pose in a bra and underwear, it does not mean I always feel confident about my body,” she said. “Everyone should be proud of their bodies no matter what size they are, period.”

Raisman has long been a feminist advocate who’s used her platform to call out slut-shaming and victim-blaming. Most recently, Raisman has been a powerful voice in the sexual abuse scandal involving Larry Nassar, the now-imprisoned former USA Gymnastics team doctor.