Home Pop Culture Olympic Gold Medalist gymnast Gabby Douglas’ hair is deemed offensive.

Olympic Gold Medalist gymnast Gabby Douglas’ hair is deemed offensive.

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Gabby Douglas hair
Gabby Douglas hair

Gabby Douglas gold medal victory mired by NBC ad depicting a monkey doing gymnastics.

Judging a woman on the things that she achieves or the way she looks?

It seems being an athlete exerting oneself for their ultimate best and a chance to win a gold medal at the Olympics is hardly enough for some of us who watch them from the sidelines. Apparently if one is to go by what’s trending on twitter right now (search gabby douglas hair) it’s also about how attractive and well kept they appear as they go about their feat. Which is to say maybe some part of the population has confused the Olympic games as some sort of beauty pageant, but then again anything that appears on our tv sets these days needs to look picture perfect lest some of us are offended….

jezebel: As of yesterday, 16-year-old Gabby Douglas is officially an Olympic gold medalist. But some people watching her compete weren’t focusing on her floor exercise — they were distracted by her hair.

Monisha Randolph, who runs a blog called Sporty Afros, has been dismayed with what she’s seen:

So what’s the big deal about Gabby’s hair? From what I am reading on Facebook and Twitter, many African American women who are SITTING and WATCHING Gabby compete believe her hair is not “kept.”

She needs some gel and a brush…

Someone needs to give her a hair intervention…

She has to “represent”…

Found under twitter

Which opens up the question. Why do these women believe that Gabby Douglas needs to have her hair kept in the first place? Don’t they realize athletes sweat, get tussled and are in perpetual active movement? Or is there something more deeper at play?

Could it have something to do with the fact that a lot of black women choose not to work out for fear of spoiling their straightened kinky hair? Then again what’s the hang up about having straight hair in the first place? Should a black woman who preternaturally has kinky hair (most anyway) feel pressured to hide her ‘blackness’ by adopting a ‘white woman’ hairstyle?

 

Offers jezebel: The point is that hair — black hair, especially — remains a hot-button issue. Hair is political, laden with subtext and meaning. Curly, textured hair — the kind a lot of black people have — is often called “wild.” Straight hair — the kind a lot of white people have — is considered “polished” and “professional.”

Here are some of Gabby’s defenders and detractors. Make what you will of it…

A Black woman slandered Gabby Douglas, claiming ‘she needs to get a perm first’. A 16 yr old repping THE COUNTRY & your focus is her hair?

Talking about Gabby Douglas’ hair? At least it’s hers. You got yours from one of Britain’s Equestrian horses.

Gabby Douglas can fix her hair. Some of yall can fix yourselves and your lack of aspirations/accomplishments at 20 something.

Gabby Douglas is competing on a Gold Winning Team not a hair show. #KnockItOff

Gabby Douglas got real hair and real Olympic. All y’all got is weaves and envy.

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  • I have been tryin grow my hair out for the last 3 years. And was consistently getting breakage. I have black kinky hair. I also use a relaxer which I will NOT give up. Anywho, this past winter I had the most breakage in the crown area, so that if I pull my hair up it looks like a crown. Shallow in the center and long around the hairline. So I bought the Shielo VOLUME Collection out of desperation. And as one last go around before I get the clippers. But the VOLUME Shampoo and VOLUME Conditioner work! My hair less of my hair is falling out. And it just feels better after. Some of their products did not work so good on my hair, like the Shielo HYDRATE Mist. But the VOLUME regimen does work! Loyal customer here.

  • Kimber

    Wow, Seriously? Gabby’s hair is the focus? Not her amazing skills? Not her determined spirit? Not the GOLD that hangs around her neck? Seems to me those that criticize the hair of a gold medalist are simply jealous and small!

  • Emily

    As a former gymnast, I should let ignorant people know that she’s not allowed to have crazy hairstyles in competition. She has to have her hair pulled back off her face into a ponytail, bun or braid. If you touch your hair in competition, you get points taken off your score. You have to use gel and spray and whatever you can to keep your hair away from your face. It’s instintcual for a woman to push her hair out of her eyes and if you do that during competition you lose points. If people educated themselves before running to Twitter, maybe they wouldn’t look like such fools. But asking people to learn something before running their mouths is hoping for too much!

  • Margaret Barksdale

    To all you haters, stop it. Don’t say anything about this beautiful young lady. You should be worrying about those entitlement benefits you get, that you don’t deserve and no more baby daddies.

  • Thedavisgroup4

    Why do we as a people have to tear down one of the most accomplished AA females Olympic Gymnist in the history of the games. She spent her time praying, focusing and practicing on being the best in the world at her gift from God. What are you the best in the world at? Lisa from Texas

  • gwenie16

    I totally agree, we just had this debate about we really as black people have to get our mind right and love ourselves more. how is anyone going to appreciate all the beauty that we have of we can’t even do it? This was a clear example!

  • Dianat49

    It’s really sad how America has just witness history in a making but the Black community is focusing on her hair. And what’s more sad is the fact that these bloggers/ black people/ the one who writes the blogs probably haven’t accomplished NOTHING their entire lives and have the audacity to comment about something as pity as her hair. i am personally ashamed to be black right now because that’s just sad. When these bloggers have actually won a gold medal for gymnastics at the age of 16 and have their name set in stone for history, then that’s when your opinion counts. As for now, shut up and find a hobby. Thank you.

    And congratulations Gabby Douglas you are an inspiration not just for the black community but for America.

  • SADMAN

    VERY, VERY SAD that black PEOPLE criticize our own. BEFORE we cry racism we need to worry how we treat each other.

  • Keyonawiltzius

    Really this young lady hair have any of you ever watched a WNBA GAME. better yet played in a physical sport.

  • Luxynyla

    Sounds like the author is part of the hate as well. Fawk this article and the author and what the hell is that pic about! Die already

  • Allen J.

    ignorant people talking about her hair. ask yourself, what are I doing. yeah thats what i thought, sitting at home. do yourselves a favor and stfu

  • Limner1

    Some of us have unconsciously fallen before the hate-yourself virus, and are ashamed to have their napes exposed. Why should any AA work so hard to cover up their natural hair? I embrace Gabby for letting her dreams out-distance her refuses-to-be-tamed natural hair. Maybe in time she will let go of the faux hair style she sports to fit in with her team mates, and go natural? Only time will tell. Me? I hope she goes for and gets an individual gold medal. How about y’all?

  • Robsgirl030

    Let’s see…Gabby is busy being intelligent, being fierce in the sport arena that she loves, and winning gold medals. She’s as cute as a button, and I’m pretty sure when she’s on the uneven bars, beam, etc. (tired and sweating) the last thing she is thinking about is being aesthetically superficial for some individuals who sound as if they may exhibit some type of self loathing that they are trying to project onto Gabby. If you ignore fools they will go away….This article, peoples unintelligent opinion of Gabby, and the cartoon is disrespectful, childish, and unnecessary.

  • guest

    These people think “Basket Ball Wives” are strong intelligent women..

  • Highwildyoung

    this article and the cartoon are very disrespectful… find something better to do with your time “author”.