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Hula hoop star says she gets rape and death threats on social media


A hula hooper with nearly one million TikTok followers has revealed the horrifying abuse she receives from bullies online – having even received rape threats.

Deven Zimmer, 23, from San Antonio, Texas, first caught people’s attention a few years ago, showing off her insane hula hooping skills on Instagram, and she has since gone on to find fame on TikTok – where she boasts more than 830,000 fans. 

But the fame has come at a price, Deven says, revealing that she is often the victim of cruel messages from people commenting on her weight and appearance, and sending violent threats.

Horrifying: A hula hoop star who boasts close to one million social media followers has opened up about the devastating downside to online fame 

Upset: Deven Zimmer, 23, from Texas, says she regularly receives violent threats from trolls, and has been told she should be 'dead'

Upset: Deven Zimmer, 23, from Texas, says she regularly receives violent threats from trolls, and has been told she should be ‘dead’ 

‘I’ve gotten many negative comments based on my appearance, face, weight, body and even ethnicity,’ Deven told Jam Press.

‘Some of them were extreme and very vulgar, saying that I should be dead or even raped.

‘I went viral once at a very young age, which I think was very unsettling now that I look back to it.

‘When I was 17, I weighed 110 pounds and cried so much about my weight.

‘I was getting comments from people three times my age saying ‘I’ve never seen a whale dance’ and things like that.

‘I also get very passive-aggressive comments such as ‘this is just proof cardio doesn’t work’.

‘A lot of the hateful messages I have received have been from older men.

‘Other comments have been aimed at my skin color, such as I was a “waste of tax dollars and American air”, and I “need to go back to Mexico”.

‘I was deleting these messages and comments in the mornings before getting on the bus to school. 

‘It was an unusual position at my age and even though back then I would have said it didn’t affect me, it truly did shape a lot of bad mental habits for me. 

Heartbreaking: 'I've gotten many negative comments based on my appearance, face, weight, body and even ethnicity,' Deven revealed

Heartbreaking: ‘I’ve gotten many negative comments based on my appearance, face, weight, body and even ethnicity,’ Deven revealed 

Fighting back: Deven admits that the online hatred used to leave her devastated, but she has slowly learned not to let it get to her

Fighting back: Deven admits that the online hatred used to leave her devastated, but she has slowly learned not to let it get to her 

‘So many people told me to ignore bullies when I was younger but as a teenager it was hard to ignore and I let it eat me up.’

Deven recalls one particular incident which was closer to home, where a manager of a local restaurant commented on her weight online.

She said: ‘The manager of a nice restaurant made a comment about my weight, not knowing I’d see it nor that I lived in the area.

‘I ask to speak with him every time I go into that restaurant and he is always “on a break.”‘

Despite the cruel treatment online, Deven no longer lets bullies get to her and is proud of her achievements.

She said: ‘I decided I wasn’t going to let other people control my mentality and I was going to love myself the way I deserved to be.

‘Now I get hateful comments and I think wow, they took the time out of their day to comment on my life and it’s their opinion, not a fact. 

Awkward! Deven revealed that she once received a vile comment from the manager of a local restaurant and has since tried to confront him about it - but he refuses to see her

Awkward! Deven revealed that she once received a vile comment from the manager of a local restaurant and has since tried to confront him about it – but he refuses to see her 

Rude: 'I ask to speak with him every time I go into that restaurant and he is always "on a break,"' she revealed

Rude: 'I ask to speak with him every time I go into that restaurant and he is always "on a break,"' she revealed

Rude: ‘I ask to speak with him every time I go into that restaurant and he is always “on a break,”‘ she revealed

‘I think I look unique, I think I’m beautiful, and I think I’m very intelligent and skilled.

‘I always thought that saying things like that meant you have an ego, but I’m finally just proud and happy to be me and no one can take that from me.’

Deven first picked up hula hooping seven years ago, at the tender age of 16, after seeing a viral video of a girl hula hopping with an LED hoop.

She has since launched her own company, Cerceau Sisters, teaching the art to others.

Deven herself hula hoops every day for roughly one to two hours, practicing for gigs, prepping for lessons or filming content for social media.

She said: ‘My most popular tricks are one-legged hula hooping, isolations and chest rolls.

‘I love hooping so much because it’s a unique way to express yourself in the form of dance and body movement.

‘It’s also amazing cardio!’

And for anyone thinking of getting into hula hooping, Deven says the most important thing is to have fun with it.

She added: ‘Get a hula hoop and find people who inspire you to dance and move.

‘It’s also so helpful to record yourself and practice in a mirror so you can see your progress!’





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