Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice has taken to Instagram to share a heartfelt letter with her fans.
The former Olympian champ took to her social media account to reminisce on her biggest achievements in life to date.
"Real Talk: Tonight I pulled out these 2 doona covers from the London 2012 Olympics & Melbourne 2006 Commos," she began.
"It was a symbolic reminder of all the hard word that was put into achieving those results. What really grinds me is the word “influencer.” It rubs me when I hear young girls say they want to become an 'influencer' because they think it’s cool to get some free product and have lots of followers," she continued.
Before questioning her 103K followers: "That’s nice and all, but what skills do you want to have? What goals do you aspire to achieve or accomplish? What kind of person do you want to become? How do you want to give back to the world?"
"What’s incredible about sport (and the reminder that these doonas gave me) was that you can’t buy yourself a ticket onto the Olympic Team, the Olympic Team isn’t selected by how many people (fake or real) follow you & you don’t win a gold medal based on how many likes you get. You achieve those goals from learning to be resilient, staying committed to your goals and working super hard," she advised.
Still, the model and brand ambassador shared even heavier sentiments about what she hopes future generations will aim for as they grow older. "I wish that’s what we were teaching children to aspire to. I wish we were rewarding deep inner qualities like hard work and commitment vs looks and other superficial qualities."
The 30-year-old also touched on a problem that touches the youth of today, body image.
"The social media bubble is all about comparing your worthiness against someone else’s. We all get trapped doing it. 'How great is their body, How amazing does their life look, my relationships so boring compared to theirs' ... and it generally leaves you feeling less or not as good as someone else."
"I want all the little girls (and parents) reading this to know that your worth isn’t determined by how popular you are or how many followers you have... it’s determined by you character & values, and what’s most import is that you value yourself. Also, that you will automatically become “influential” if you can add value to someone else’s life. ***please note I do love social media as a tool, I just don’t want to see people lose themselves in it***," she completed the lengthy post.
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