Gabrielle Douglas’ Hair Is Beautiful
Gabrielle Douglas is now a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the first Black woman to win gold in an all-around event. First and foremost, congratulations to you Gabby. Regardless of those amazing feats, some in the African-American community, mainly black women, took to social media to display their ridiculousness.
On Twitter and Facebook, black women shared their disapproval of Douglas’ ponytail, the same hairstyle all of her teammates sported. It appeared unkempt to some, didn’t have enough gel for others and a few demanded a chance to make over her style. – NPR.com “If Gabby’s Got The Gold, Why Flip Over Her Hair?”
My sistahs, my sistahs. SMH. My personal brush (see what I did there) with this nonsense was an encounter with a friend
on a telephone call. She, my friend, said that something needed to be done with Gabby’s hair much like the rest of those who spoke about it. Let’s be clear Black women, and any others that apply, there is nothing wrong with Gabrielle Douglas’ hair.
This young woman has accomplished what only the elite in her craft have. The training, dedication, talent, and work ethic necessary to reach that point is tremendous. She’s also made history in doing so. These are the things that should stand out to you. This is the type of girl you should aspire to be like or show as a role model to your daughters.
Black people and hair are a sensitive topic and serious issue. Even more so among black women. Chris Rock’s 2009 documentary/movie “Good Hair” addressed this topic. On The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)”, Lauryn Hill rapped to the women, “It’s silly when girls sell their souls because it’s in, Look at where you be in, hair weaves like Europeans” Growing up, natural Black hair is considered bad among many in the Black community. If you are mixed or your hair is straight you are said to have “good hair”. It’s a mentality that is impressed upon us young. It is an unconscious form of self hate and brings about self-esteem issues. This ideology has its roots in slavery and also in just being in a primarily ‘white’ dominated culture where the ideal identity and example of feminine beauty, more often than not, has been the attributes associated with white women.
Dodai Stewart, editor at Jezebel says it well:
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.”
Whether it’s readily admitted or not, this image is attempted to be recreated with wigs, hair weaves, chemical relaxers and extensions. This is expensive and actually in some cases, specifically in those involving relaxers, dangerous. Aside from the burning and damage to hair, chemical relaxers have been linked to high uterine fibroid risk in black women. On top of that, this image conscious society that we live in has everyone thinking they need some sort of exterior enhancement just to feel like they look normal.
Ladies, give Gabby Douglas a break. While you’re at it, give yourself one. Stop looking at your hair as anything other than good hair. If anything Gabrielle should be praised for being her and going on world-wide television with her own natural hair.
WOW such an AMAZING experience! Thank you all for your support, love and prayers love you all!!! #oncloud9 <3
— Gabrielle Douglas (@gabrielledoug) August 2, 2012
And, Thank you Gabrielle for setting such a good example by giving young black girls an exemplary image of strength, courage, talent and perseverance who looks like them. It’s important.