EXCLUSIVE: Olympian Meryl Davis Clarifies Tweet About Kylie Jenner and Bella Hadid's Athletic Wear Ads
By Jackie Willis
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Olympic gold medalist Meryl Davis spoke out about models and reality stars being the face of workout gear instead of pro athletes.
The 29-year-old ice dancer -- who won season 18 of Dancing With the Stars -- posted a split pic on Twitter of Kylie Jenner posing for Puma, Bella Hadid wearing Nike and Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman in Reebok gear. "I'll take the one promoted by the athlete please," she wrote.
In an exclusive statement to ET, Meryl explains why she posted the tweet. "As someone who has experienced just how hurtful comments on the internet can be, my intention is to promote the use of a diversified ideal of beauty and support the role I believe female athletes can play in the pursuit of that," she says. "I feel very strongly that all women should be represented in the media for young girls to see and my intention is to encourage inclusiveness. I am about women supporting women and building one another up.”
While Bella is now a professional model, there was a time when she nearly competed in the Olympics. Her mother, Yolanda Hadid, revealed in a blog post for Bravo that her 20-year-old daughter had to give up "her lifelong dream of having a professional riding career and a shot at the Olympics" after she was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2013.
"This was the biggest heartbreak of her life and an extremely sensitive subject for her," Yolanda wrote in January. "She is resilient and focused on a new direction -- she's made a name for herself in the modeling industry while she struggles with symptoms of chronic Lyme every day."
Meryl isn't the first celebrity to call out Kylie's Puma ads. Her brother-in-law, Kanye West, was pretty displeased to learn of the 19-year-old's modeling gig, as she had worked with the rapper on his Yeezy Boost sneaker line for Adidas, and walked the runway in his first two shows.
"It's like if I made a show Sunday night, and didn't tell any of you all about it, but I did a couple shows with y'all [first]," Kanye vented on an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. "So people saw me and were all, 'Ah, he's cool on camera.' And somebody offered me a deal, and I, like, did it and didn't tell none of y'all, and brought all my cool friends."