"When we're looking spot-on nobody even notices. They just say, 'Oh, she looks good,' but when you look horrible then everyone is like, 'Whoosh.'
"You just handle it and be yourself. You don't want to let people tear you down. You just kind of make a joke out of it, laugh at it.
"There's always the next time, always another awards show red carpet that we can look fabulous at. You've just got to learn from it and be yourself; don't focus on the negative comments. I want to just focus on the positive."
The gold medals soon silenced those trolling Douglas online, with her achievements transforming her from a potential star to a global superstar.
But her journey to the very top was a long and often arduous route, taking Douglas away from the comforts of home and family.
From the age of eight, she trained at Excalibur Gymnastics in Virginia Beach -- a club which had provided the U.S. national team with 10 members since 1995.
So intense was her schedule that she was forced to undergo home schooling while her mother worked nights to provide extra funds for the tuition.
It was there that she began to blossom, winning national titles and competing on the international stage as she began to show glimpses of what was to come. But Douglas' relationship with her coaches began to deteriorate following a wrist injury in 2009.
It was a tough time for the teenager, who in the past has spoken about how she was mercilessly mocked both for her appearance and her race by fellow teammates.
The combination proved too much for both Douglas and Hawkins, who decided that the future lay away from Virginia and in Des Moines, Iowa.
For the first time, Douglas would be away from the woman who had inspired her and fought for her opportunity to pursue her dream.
It was a difficult time for the youngster, who moved in with a host family in Iowa -- the Partons.
"At first I was really excited," Douglas recalled. "I was ready to take on the journey but my mom and sister came with me for a week and when they left I was just miserable.
"I was so sad leaving my family. I had a time where I said that I needed to suck it up and put on my big girl pants.
"This was my decision. I knew I had to go to the gym and work very hard, because I think in the gym I was kind of giving up a little too. I decided to push myself."
And push she did -- both mentally and physically, Douglas began to reach the heights of which she had only dreamed years earlier.
Working under the gaze of Chinese coach Liang Chow, the man who helped Shawn Johnson win gold at Beijing in 2008, Douglas spent four to five hours in the gym every day.
It was a grueling workload, with Douglas adapting to the Chinese method of coaching rather than the technique she picked up in her formative years in Virginia.
"It is a bit different, but I love Chow's style," she said.
"He corrected my technique and the quality of my gymnastics, and him and his wife Li have shaped me up into this amazing gymnast in a year and a half."
The hard work has certainly paid off.
Gold on the uneven bars at the 2010 Pan American Championships catapulted Douglas into the limelight before she took silver in the beam at the U.S. Junior nationals.