From winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics to her current social-media glory, McKayla Maroney has had quite the ride. The beautiful ex-gymnast revealed to Seventeen magazine that, following her retirement from the sport at 20, she's on track for a career in the music biz.
For the last year, I was just figuring out my sound. I've loved writing songs since I was really young. I thought I was going to be like Sia and sell my songs to people. But after they were done, I was like, 'I'm not going to sell these to anybody! I want to sing them.' I have some demos done and I'm going to be showing them to some bigger people in the industry and we'll see where that takes me. In the next couple of months, I think I'll have a single out, and I'm excited for people to hop on this new journey of mine.
She also told the lady's rag that she's taking inspiration from the best.
"My biggest inspiration is Drake. I love the way that he tells stories. It has a little bit of a Calypso jam vibe," Maroney said. "He's real and always lyrically-driven in all the melodies. If there's one person I want to sound like, it's him."
Maroney also sounded off on those fiery selfies she's been posting to Instagram as of late. Some shots, where she shows off her best pout, have raised speculations of lip injections, but McKayla insists she's an all-natural beauty.
"First of all, that I haven't, she said. "Growing up in the social media world, it's tough. Your face changes, you get older, your face fills out, and you fall into liking makeup and different stuff like that."
As it turns out, she's been beefing up her 'gram game to stay on track in the music industry, which is a lot more image-conscious than gymnastics.
And now I'm just getting into entertainment and really looking at other girls who are wearing makeup. It's a thing now! 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. I can't blame anybody for saying, 'Oh, she changed!' You know, because I have. And that's OK. It's good to keep evolving and growing. I think most people should be accepting with stuff like that, but you know, you can't force anybody into feeling a certain way. So for anybody who's judging it and not liking it, that's fine. Unfollow me. I don't really care.
We would never unfollow her seeing that she frequently hits us with skin-baring gems (see below).
Even better, social media is giving her the tools to discover her new, decidedly sexier identity, now that she's no longer playing "America's Sweetheart" for Olympics viewers.
I mean, with gymnastics, I know I was making some people in that world mad because they thought that I wasn't focused on gymnastics. 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. 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.
It sounds like she's well on her way to becoming a force to be reckoned with behind the mic. We'll stay tuned for when she drops that fire first single but, until then, we'll keep singing the praises of the singer's glorious Instagram account.