Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin didn't receive the best feedback as she ditched the gymnast vibes for ballerina ones on Instagram. The 32-year-old former athlete and 2008 all-around champion is known for dressing it up for her 1.1 million followers - in this particular photo, Nastia went for a "Black Swan" finish as she donned a jet-black tutu and matching pointe shoes for a themed shoot.
Posting en pointe as she braved the toe shoes, Liukin received the thumbs-up for creativity, but ballet fans were quick to shade the Russian-born star as they claimed her technique was making them squirm. Liukin, who has five Olympic medals to her name, was raised by Russian gymnast parents, but she is not balletically trained.
The photos, below, showed the APL collaborator posing indoors, by a vase, and in a glittery and dramatic tutu, one paired with satin pointe shoes. Nastia also donned stage makeup and her hair in a bun, writing:
"The only person standing in your way is you 🦢🖤."
"And every ballet dancer cringes at a non dancer being en pointe," one use grumbled. Another, meanwhile, replied: "PSA for all non Pointe dancers: please stop doing this! It's awful to look at and disrespects all of us who dedicated their lives to Pointe professionally."
Nastia, who has not addressed the comments, is, however, known for her social media clapbacks. In 2020, she fired back in a high-profile anorexia storm as she defended "My body." Fortunately, users did jump to the gymnast's defense - one stated:
"Thank goodness all these people on here slamming you for not being properly trained to wear a Halloween costume have never tried to do your sport without being trained properly."
Nastia was also told: "I genuinely want to see her train in ballet, she has the perfect Russian lines for it." Liukin retired back in 2012, but remains known for her boxing, Pilates, and running.