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!