Aug 8, 2012

DISCUSSION: Olympic Gold Medalist Gabrielle Douglas' hair

Photo Courtesy of Gabrielle's Twitter
So... in case you haven't been watching the Olympics, the smiling face above belongs to Gabrielle Douglas. She made history as the first American to take home a gold medal in the team and all-around gymnastic competitions. She is also the first Black American to to win the gold in the all-around competition. That's major! I watched her win both and I was very proud, and slightly sad that I missed my time to break into gymnastics. So... why is she the center of controversy? Here's why:


I like twitter during major events because everyone is commenting in real time about what the masses are watching. I didn't see anyone say anything about Gabrielle's hair. But apparently someone on some internet news site did, and thus began the largely unnecessary conversation. WHY are people allegedly focused on her hair? She's 16 and has made history! It's a shame if all you can see is her er... pony er... ball?

So here are Gabby's teammates during the Olympics. Why is Gabrielle's hair getting attention?
I'm confused.
On one hand, there are some who say that Gabrielle is a role model and she should do her hair in a way that represents all  black women well. Really? I think if you are concerned about her hair as a black woman more than her talent, you should probably not be too concerned about the Olympics altogether. I think you should be watching one of the 35 bazillion reality shows that feature black women with great hair and little to no talent. Perhaps, you would rather Miss Douglas fit the image of the reports that say, "Black women are more unfit than our white counterparts because we are too concerned about messing up our hair and less concerned about being healthy and exercising. (source)" 


Gabrielle is a hero to so many girls. If women are really talking about this 16 year old star and her gelled back, clipped down ponytail hump ball dangle-bob hair... I suggest you focus on something else. Sidenote: I didn't know of any backlash until AFTER reporters began reporting on the story which could be the reason it's been blown out of proportion. I cannot come up with any sound logic for her hair getting attention of news networks, web publications, or other women.

P.S. Gabrielle has heard that the streets were talking about her hair. She responded. 
"I just made history and people are focused on my hair?... Nothing is going to change. I’m going to wear my hair like this... You might as well just stop talking about it.”
I guess she told you all. You don't get to make history at 16 by being a follower or easily distracted from your goals.

How do you feel about Gabrielle's hair? Does it offend you? Let us know in the comment section.
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