Endorsement deals and red-carpet invites will surely come this Olympian's way. The question is: Is she ready?
Many young athletes and celebs have misstepped. Here's how this adorable 16-year-old can maintain a squeaky-clean image:
Do: Play it Cool Online
It's easy to say what you're really thinking online. We all know it only takes a few strokes of the keyboard. What many neglect to remember is that nothing dies on the Internet. Former Olympian and retired soccer superstar Mia Hamm seems to be well aware of this. Her Twitter bio says she's a mom, coach and founder of a foundation that raises funds for those in need of transplants. Mia also sticks to neutral topics and re-tweets positive and inoffensive messages.
Don't: Overshare Your Personal Life
In an age of social media some celebs still haven't caught on that less is more. We've seen celebs try to delete pictures and tweets only to have them appear days later as screenshots. From leaked sex tapes to naked pictures and illicit drugs, the Internet has few secrets. Rihanna is notorious for racy pics and tweets. She famously sparked controversy when she tweeted pictures of herself using marijuana at Coachella earlier this summer. We love you, Riri. But we don't need to know everything!
Do: Be Polite in Every Situation
When your face is everywhere you never know when someone may be taking note of your behavior. Nothing can destroy a celeb's reputation faster than being rude to the "little guy." Taylor Swift may be the ultimate in well-behaved celebrities. People even named her one of the most well-mannered celebs of 2011. The teen sensation is called "sweet" and "down to earth" wherever she goes. Her genuine and tearful reaction to having potentially destroyed a wedding on the TV show Punk'd further secured her reputation as being an all-around decent girl. Gabby should definitely take note.
Don't: Act Like You're Above the Law
Most famous athletes have accomplished more than the average individual. But even still, no one should have a sense of entitlement. Nothing turns Americans off more than athletes acting as if they are above the rules of politeness or the laws of the land. Case in point: Tonya Harding. Having her competition clubbed during the 1994 Olympic trials didn't exactly win her any sympathy.
Do: Be Accountable for Your Mistakes
No one is perfect, and celebs living in the spotlight are bound to slip up. The unfortunate part is when they do someone will be there to catch the moment. Kristen Stewart learned the hard way when her affair with a married man was captured by a determined photographer. To K-Stew's credit she immediately swallowed the bitter pill and humbly apologized to both her boyfriend and the public. Although the starlet will face a rough few months in the press, her honesty and timely apology have kept a lot of fans loyal.
Don't: Overdo the Partying
Party animal is never a good descriptor for a professional athlete. Being repeatedly snapped stumbling out of clubs at 3:00 a.m. can be a potential career destroyer. When an alleged picture of Serena Williams falling down drunk after losing the U.S. Open hit the Internet she found out that drunken nights don't always stay private. As if that weren't enough, a video of a woman bearing a striking resemblance to the tennis star and dancing as if intoxicated also found its way online. Adding fuel to the fire was the purported location of the video-inside of YMCMB rapper Drake's condo. The pair had been heavily linked at the time.
Young, beautiful and massively accomplished Gabby Douglas is easy to admire. If she sticks to these simple tips she's sure to be America's newest sweetheart.