There’s a reason why Shawn Johnson is still one of America’s most beloved gymnasts.
Sure, the 23-year-old — who’s twice won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Female Athlete — brought us to tears when she took home a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But it’s her charisma and love for her fans that’s hooked her millions of social media followers, eager for glimpses into her daily life.
There’s no doubt Johnson’s been busy lately: She’s in the throes of wedding planning, and has partnered with wedding-planning site WeddingWire on its #JustSaidYes campaign, helping couples to celebrate and share their own engagement stories. (Johnson’s own engagement moment? Totally adorable.)
She’s also been busy running her healthy living website, The Body Department. On the surface, it may seem obvious that Johnson, who inspired a legion of young girls to follow in her springy footsteps, would be passionate about helping people live healthy lives. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll see that her passion is rooted in something more serious — her own struggles to stay healthy through an incredibly public struggle with her weight and confidence.
The site has been live for about a year, and provides informative — and fun — tips for staying active and living a fit life. “I felt like every site you went to, there was a fad, or a trend, or a diet, or ‘look like this girl on the red carpet,’ or ‘the only way you could become good enough is if you do this,’” Johnson tells Yahoo Health. “For me, it was kind of like, what if I could build a place for these girls to go that was just as cool, but there is no negative association? It was health, and beauty, and fun, and ‘you’re perfect the way you are — but here are some workouts.’ And it kind of took off.”
View all content of this post »