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Why Are People Criticizing Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast Gabby Douglas’ Hair? (Discussion)


The internet and social media networks have been buzzing over the last 8 hours with comments about Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas. Some comments were very positive and some were negative.

After scanning through some of the negative comments, we noticed that many were coming from African-American women criticizing Gabby’s hair.

Why would anyone especially African American women criticize the second female African- American U.S. gymnast to ever make the Olympic team, and the first African-American Olympic gymnast (male or female) to win gold in gymnastics’ biggest prize, the women’s all-around title?

In defense of Douglas, Yahoo!Shine’s Senior Editor Lylah M. Alphonse wrote:

Seriously? Douglas is an incredible athlete. When you’re doing something like this on a 3.9-inch wide wooden beam set four feet above the ground, the last thing you’re worrying about is your hair.

Some critics insist that Douglas needs to properly represent the African American community, and how her hair looks is part of that. And yet, most of the negative comments about her hair are coming from other African Americans.

Monisha Randolph from wrote:

“I find it sad that I have seen more Black women post criticizing comments about Gabby’s hair than I have comments of praise about her athleticism or adding color to USA Gymnastics since Dominique Dawes.”

Many African American women choose not to work out in order to protect their hairstyle, Randolph points out.

“The last time I checked when you play a sport, you sweat. I know I do. And when a Black woman who has chosen to wear her hair straight begins to sweat, her hair will (not might) begin to revert back to its natural coily, curly, or kinky state,” she writes.

“Some of us are sitting up right now with our hair done but suffering from high blood pressure, borderline diabetes, obesity, and/or a lack of energy. Oh, but the hair is on point.”

Lylah M. Alphonse concludes:

Instead of worrying about whether her hair is perfect, Douglas is focused on making history and winning Olympic gold.

She is representing all Americans, not just one single group. She’s achieved more by age 16 than most of us do in a lifetime.

Shouldn’t we be cheering her on instead of tearing her down?

We should all (black,white, brown, yellow, and any other color) take this time out to congratulate Gabby Douglas’ history making accomplishments and stop worrying about petty, insignificant, negative things.

Our congratulations go out to you Gabby for representing our country and being such an inspiration.

Do your thing girl, don’t worry about the haters.

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