It is shameful that many people in the African American community have overshadowed Gabby’s success by criticizing her hair. Yes, she was on television for the entire world to see, but people there is more to life than hair and there is definitely more to life than appearances. All this chatter around “Gabby Douglas gotta do something with this hair! These clips and this brown gel residue aint it” and “Gabby Douglas needs to tame the beady beads in the back of her hair.” is unnecessary and just highlights how shallow and superficial many of us are.
How about focusing more on fitness than hair. There are thousands of African Americans suffering from illnesses brought on my poor diets and lack of exercise. Many women are constricted by their hair refusing to swim or exercise because of the effect it may have on their hair. What were you doing when Gabby was practicing for the Olympics? Sitting on the couch eating a bag of Cheetos, while looking up the latest natural hair YouTube video? Your hair looks great, but your dying from poor lifestyle choices? You don’t want to exercise because you don’t want to sweat out your perm or wear a headscarf to the gym?Would you prefer to be in shape like Gabby Douglas or have a killer blow out or twist out?
For decades we have forgone extracurricular activities like swimming, camping and hiking because we just can’t get our hair messed up. Although many of us have joined #teamnatural, we still have a defeatist attitude where what we do is controlled by our hair. If Gabby were like the average woman she may not have won two gold metals because she would be too concerned that all that flipping, jumping and sweating may interfere with her hair. Many Olympic female athletes wear their hair in ponytails with clips. Why are we only focusing on Gabby?
We praise those crazy Basketball Wives and Love & Hip Hop reality stars because they wear Louboutins with weaves down to their backsides-paid for by laying on their back. But we criticize a woman who is magnificent and made her country proud because of her passion for a sport? Not every woman is going to be a glamour girl, we just need to accept that. It is OK to be who you are, flaws and all. Let’s stop all this negativity and give Gabby the praise and recognition she deserves.
In the words of Gabby: “What’s wrong with my hair? I’m like, ‘I just made history and people are focused on my hair?’ It can be bald or short; it doesn’t matter about [my] hair.”