On August 2, Gabby Douglas became the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. She also became the first African-American in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion. So why are we still focusing on her hair?
"I don't know where this is coming from. What's wrong with my hair?" Douglas said. "I'm like, 'I just made history and people are focused on my hair?'"
After winning her second medal, the sixteen-year-old "Flying Squirrel" got online and was surprised to find so many people criticizing her hairstyle. "Nothing is going to change," she says. "I'm going to wear my hair like this during beam and bar finals. You might as well just stop talking about it."
I think Gabby’s hairstyle is just perfect for it’s purpose — it stays up and out of her face when she’s competing. Besides, this is the Olympics, not a beauty pageant or the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA)! As one of our readers so eloquently put it, "I wouldn't care if she was bald or had lime green hair. She is a tremendous athlete and role model for young women in this country. I am proud of her."
Gabby's response shows incredible maturity and strength. Despite the harsh criticism, she has stayed focused on what is important. At NaturallyCurly, we are all about hair, but we recognize that, as India Arie put it in "I Am Not My Hair," "It's not what's on your head, it's about what's underneath." We strive to empower and encourage our readers with connections and knowledge, allowing them to embrace their natural curls as a part of something bigger.
Keep rockin' it, Gabby! And from all of us at NaturallyCurly, good luck on the beam final!