I sit here seething at the utterly misguided and feeble comments criticizing Olympian Gabby Douglas’ hair. WTF, people?!!! So much about these negative and smart ass comments infuriate me, it’s difficult to know where to begin.
First and foremost, the Olympics is about athletic prowess and the incredible will of the human spirit. It ain’t no damn hair show. The fact that people would even think to pay her hair any mind is a sad testament to the self-hatred that so many Blacks still feel. That her outward appearance has to align itself with what is considered acceptable (straight, smooth, White) in order for her astounding achievement to be validated is fucking hogwash. Shame on whoever has the unmitigated gall to call her hair into question. Before she even secured her win, this young lady has faced unfounded and needless criticism, unfavorable and skewed media coverage, and sub-par commentary which she has handled with poise and grace. She has shown unwavering focus and maturity beyond her 16 years.
Gabby has trained countless hours and demonstrated dedication and fortitude to represent not just her race, but her country. The physical, mental, and emotional toll this champion has endured was finally vindicated as she took home the gold.
She’s the first African-American to win gold in the women’s gymnastics all-around. Recognize.
She’s the second African-American to be on Team USA in this event. Olympic great Dominique Dawes is singing Gabby’s praises.
She has secured multi-million dollar endorsements as a result of her success.
And these dumb asses are asserting her ponytail wasn’t smooth enough? This criticism posted on social media for the world to watch Black people hate on our most accomplished; for those who already mock Black people/culture to obtain additional fodder for their white supremacist rhetoric? That’s just great.
Go to hell, you short-sighted joy suckers. This girl is a magnificent testament to commitment, and a role model to young girls (not just black girls) everywhere.
Soledad O’Brien weighed in on a great Get Real! panel discussion asking why Gabby’s success is being overshadowed by comments on her appearance. I so appreciated those people of color publicly shutting down the ugly commentary and plugging affirmation, pride, and love in its place.
Proctor and Gamble, Gabby’s first endorsement, certainly finds no fault with her in this inspiring video about her journey to gold:
Gabby, play on, playa. Your victory feeds my fire and makes me proud. Your beauty is undeniable, your integrity soars.