Gymnast Nastia Liukin Faces Backlash In Upside-Down Splits


Rebecca Cukier

Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin is getting the thumbs-down after a mind-blowing upside-down splits snap came with her promoting prescription drugs. The 31-year-old former athlete, followed by 1 million on Instagram, is fresh from her latest promo, one that adds to her existing influencing portfolio as she shouts out brands from Facebook App and Dove skincare to her high-profile Pottery Brand partnership.

Fans, impressed by the flexibility as Nastia revealed being a former migraine sufferer, were less-than-enthused by the post's agenda. See why below.

Migraine Promo


Scroll for the photo, one seeing Liukin join the pile of celebrities slammed for their prescription drug promos - Khloe Kardashian and Jessica Simpson are just two.

The snap showed Nastia powerfully balancing in a perfect and pointed-toe split while on a high gym beam. The 2008 all-around champion, wearing cute, candy-pink leggings and a matching sports bra, showed off her muscle machine of a body, with the caption opening with a reference to her having retired back in 2012 and aged just 22.

See The Photo Below

Addressing her fans, Nastia wrote: "STILL GOT IT, kind of! Training looks a lot different these days than it once did. What some of you might not know is that I struggled with frequent #migraines leading up to some very special moments in my life."

Nastia, who called her migraines "debilitating," added that she had no "solution." The one she found was quickly mentioned, though. "After years of migraines, I discovered Nurtec® ODT (rimegepant) 75 mg, which alleviates pain quickly and lets me get back to the important things in life," she added.

See the response after the photo.

Fans Aren't Feeling It


Nastia, who confirmed the post was a paid one and included full regulatory disclaimers as she encouraged fans to name-drop the drug to their doctor, was told:

"What's up with all the ads for pharmaceuticals. First Laurie, now Nastia. I get that influencers need to advertise for stuff in order to earn their income, but why pharmaceuticals?"

"Pharmaceutical ad. Yiiiikes," another wrote, with a third fan saying: "Ads for medications should be illegal. This is embarrassing." Nastia does not appear to have addressed the backlash. More photos below.

What's The Pay?

Nastia, whose influencing gigs have also seen her shout out Olay, Revolve, and Bondi Boost, is in a decent position to profit from IG promos thanks to her 1 million followers. Per Vox, the pay is decent once the following is healthy.

"Influencers with up to 1 million followers can get $10,000 [per post], depending on the platform, and 1 million followers and up, you’re getting into territory where they can charge $100,000. Some can even get $250,000 for a post!" they state.