Gabby Douglas is not her hair

Gabby Douglas is not her hair but ignorance is bliss.

Chew on that for a moment.

Gabby Douglas, member of the 2012 US Women’s Gymnastic’s team, and all-around ray of sunshine, has been on the receiving end of unkind comments about her hair.

Yes, you read it correctly. Her. Hair.

For my readers who may not know, hair debates within the Black community have raged on for ages. The fact that the vast majority of us have hair that grows coarsely from our roots is somehow a bone of contention, and looked upon as something ghastly. And, as a result, the mere sight of a “nap” or a “kink” sends many of us (both men and women) into a frenzy. Go figure.

But, back to Princess Gabby. The inference that she should “get a perm” or handle her “edges” is vile and reeks of self-hatred, ignorance, and a lack of respect for someone’s feelings.

Gabby Douglas is a champion. Her website indicates that she is an “International Elite Athlete.” She has traveled the world and had experiences that most of us can only dream of. She is dedicated to her craft and must be commended for it, not condemned because the texture of her hair does not please the masses.

This week she laid it all on the line for the sake of country, a country mind you, that in many ways still looks upon her people with disdain, and all she gets in return is a suggestion that she get a box of Mizani.

Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, a young lady named Monisha contributed a story to fitness website Sporty Afros and she breaks down just how ridiculous this hair controversy is. For example, some sisters are running around suffering from obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease for lack of commitment to overall health, yet remain committed to the beauty supply store and a pack Remi — all while Gabby is slaying floor exercises and uneven bar routines.

Never mind the fact that Gabby and her family sacrificed her childhood and their togetherness for her to move away to train and ultimately achieve greatness. Never mind the fact that she is a CHILD and these criticisms about her appearance are inappropriate and unwarranted.

She is a gold-medal Olympian. President Obama gave she and her teammates a congratulatory phone call. How many of her hair haters can say THAT?

I reiterate, Gabby Douglas is NOT her hair. India Arie done already told y’all, so knock it off!


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  1. Karen

    Right on, Lady GM. Thank you for posting this story and bringing it to folks’ attention. While we are not going to cure self-hatred within the race overnight, I can only hope that our continued diligence about putting this kind of insipid, sick, misguided and pathological madness on blast will ultimately make us all take a closer look at our attitudes about ourselves and others. Gabby Douglas is excellence personified. She certainly doesn’t deserve to suffer these insults. No one does. 

    1. Rob

      You are spot on, KC. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this madness. Sadly, these misconceptions of our beauty and appropriate aesthetic are deeply ingrained. It will take a revolution to change this.

  2. Tammy

    I think people should learn to think first before they utter or write a comment  about someone.People can be so unkind and unthoughtful. What a ridiculous way to undermine a glorious and once in life time moment with B*%$S*^T( sorry Lady GM). 

    Somethings you need to consider before you say or write a word is: is what I am saying positive? Will it add value? Will it bring enlightment and clarity?Will it solve a problem? Will it be said in love? Is this the right time and place to say what I need to say? 

    If your comments can not pass the litmus test stated above than you should practice the golden rule – SAY NOTHING AT ALL. I guess some folks just didn’t get that lesson in their upbringing.

    1. Rob

      TB, using the litmus test is a great idea! Those questions are very valid to ask of oneself before blurting out insults.

  3. Scooterz1

    I find it interesting how so many African Americans focus on hair and not health. How many photos do we see of women with long flowing weave and rolls of fat tucked in every piece of fabric or worse hanging out. This obsession with hair must end. If only our people would lift each other up rather than find ways to tear each other down. Gabby is a champion, her body is tight and her attitude is positive. What more could anyone want from a girl so young?

    1. Rob


      “This obsession with hair must end.”

      You said it all right there!

  4. don

    Good read. Yes, it does appear as if African Americans are mostly focused on Gabby’s hair, first and foremost. But why?

    1. Rob

      Thanks, Don. I wish I knew why. Its such a waste of energy! – TLGM

  5. Nslforbes

    I thought her hair was nicely kept actually… I guess I wasn’t seeing what the mass was looking it! ( who has time to check for smooth hair when you’re about to make HISTORY!!!  I was busy getting blown away by those awesome routines!!!!!! I’m not American but as a black woman I am hyena happy and peacock proud of Gabby AKA Flying squirrel AKA Champion!!!

    1. Rob

      Hyena happy? I LOVE THAT! LOL!

  6. Tim Howard

    She is and all ways will be simply beautiful.

  7. Rufusmack4

    she is the VERY BEST hair and all!!!!!!hair or no hair!!

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