You may know her best as a member of the Magnificent 7, the gold medal winning gymnastics team that stole all our hearts at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games; but Shannon Miller is quite the standout gymnast – and woman – all on her own. As a two time Olympic gold medalist, 7 time Olympic Medalist and 9 time World Medalist, she remains The Most Decorated American Gymnast, male or female, in history and is the only woman, in any sport, to be inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame twice, both as an individual and with her team.
Still not impressed? After retiring from the sport, Miller, now a proud mom and multi-book author, went on to earn her law degree from Boston College Law School and has since dedicated her life both to fighting childhood obesity through The Shannon Miller Foundation and to empowering women to live a healthy and more balanced lifestyle via Shannon Miller Lifestyle: Health and Fitness for Women. Quite a role model and Real Beauty, huh?
So, we sat down with Shannon Miller and asked her to weigh in on Real Beauty.
What do you think makes someone beautiful?
Nothing beats confidence and a smile. If you have a piece of clothing or lipstick that makes you feel a little more confident, put it on. Soon you’ll get in the habit of carrying that confidence with you no matter what you’re wearing.
How do you deal with the pressure for body perfection in our culture?
It’s difficult. I see the magazines in the check-out line just like every other woman. We all want to look and feel fabulous. As a new mom, I realized that beauty is less about the number on the scale and more about being healthy and fit so that I can be there for my family. We can enjoy the magazines and TV coverage without getting sucked into thinking we have to look exactly like that. I try to focus on real women and the beauty within.
If you could give your younger self advice about beauty, what would it be?
Stop worrying about what people think or if you’re wearing the right clothes and makeup. If you like it, go for it. You can laugh at the photos later.
What is your one, can’t-live-without-it beauty product?
My lotion. Not only does it help my skin but it smells soooo good!