McKayla Maroney is not impressed
-- with rumors that she's gotten lip injections, that is!
The Olympic gymnast has been posting a series of selfies via Instagram as of late, in which she pouts her lips and bats her eyelashes. The sassy pics have caused many users to slam her in the comments section, suggesting the gold medalist has gotten some type of enhancements. Now, Maroney is setting the record straight.
"First of all, I haven't [had injections]," she tells Seventeen
magazine. "And I've posted a picture on Instagram last night that was like, 'How do I make my face look like I didn't do anything to my face when I literally have not done anything to my face?'"
Maroney was only 16 years old when she competed with the "Fierce Five" at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She explains that it's normal for her appearance to look a little more mature four years later.
"I was so young and I was not focused on what I looked like," the now 20-year-old athlete admits. "I was focused on the gold medal. I'm getting into fashion and I really enjoy it. I think it freaks people out to see somebody change just a little bit. I don't mean to freak anybody out. At the end of the day, I have changed."
"Growing up in the social media world, it's tough," she continues. "Your face changes, you get older, your face fills out, and you fall into liking makeup and different stuff like that. And for people saying that, for the most part -- it would kind of hurt my feelings when you haven't done anything."
Despite the negative reaction her latest snaps have received, Maroney says she tries to remain positive.
"You just kind of have to keep being yourself and move forward with what you love," she says. "I just haven't had anything to give to people, so they're almost just picking at anything that they can to find something to talk about me for. It's just one of those things right now and you just have to keep moving forward."
Maroney credits one of her best friends, YouTube beauty guru Alexa Losey, for teaching her how to properly apply makeup.
"She got me into the makeup and all the tutorials," she explains. "And Halsey, she's one of my favorite singers, I love her makeup. She wears the BECCA Champagne Pop highlighter, which is so in right now. And she over-lines her lips. People are used to her doing that, and they're not used to me doing that, so when I started, they freaked out. But it's OK."
"Makeup and a camera can really make you look like a different person," Maroney adds.
Life has changed tremendously for Maroney post-Olympics, as she has been working hard on her acting and music skills, a journey she is ecstatic about.
"With gymnastics, I know I was making some people in that world mad because they thought that I wasn't focused on gymnastics," she reveals. "They were like, 'Ugh, she won't get off social media, she's always tweeting.' They wanted me to be America's sweetheart. And I think I've never fit into that cookie cutter person."
"I've always loved so many different things about social media and music and art and fashion," she gushes. "I always loved it. But I've been too scared to jump into it, knowing that people would be upset about it. So that's why I hid from it. And now, I'm not afraid to be myself."
Maroney isn't the only celebrity who's been slammed for potentially making changes to her appearance, however. Kylie Jenner constantly made headlines for her voluptuous lips before finally admitting she had gotten temporary fillers.
Earlier this month, the 18-year-old reality star admitted that she regretted making her lips "a little too big at one point" during an interview with Allure
magazine. Hear more in the video below.