Gabby Douglas is in the news again, but this time it’s not about her Olympic feat; rather, how she wore her hair for her first performance at the Olympics. Twitter was abuzz with disgruntled people complaining that Douglas’ hair looked untidy and messy. There was an equal amount of people criticizing how people instead of focusing on her achievement were talking about something insignificant as her hair.
“This little girl just won a gold medal and is representing her country, and people are talking about her edges? Really?” said Demetria L. Lucas in an interview On Friday, according to the Washington Post. Lucas has penned a memoir titled “A Belle in Brooklyn”, which chronicles the life of a single black woman.
Many people took to Twitter and Facebook, commenting on the 16-year-old’s hair critiquing her choice regarding how she wore her hair. The critique largely came from African-American women.
"It makes me absolutely sick to see these comments about Gabby's hair," said, the decorated Team USA forward who is in London for her third Olympics. "What sickens me more is that it's mostly people from our own community. She is a beautiful, talented young lady. I hope she ignores the ignorance because she's an Olympic gold medalist. Enough said."
A vast majority of people came to Douglas’ rescue, supporting her and dissing people for bringing up something that tried to take away the moment of glory from her. Many celebrities and sportsperson congratulated Douglas on her victory and achievement. Among others, Douglas was congratulated on her triumph byand former gymnast , who was the first African-American woman to have gotten the gold medal in gymnastics.
African-American hair is a sensitive topic and considered a taboo subject. Whenmade a documentary “Good Hair”, he was heavily criticized by African-American women as they perceived the movie as demeaning to African-American women, making them look shallow, since he narrated how women tend to spend hundreds and thousands on good hair.
At a time when everything should have been about Douglas’ extraordinary achievement and her moment of glory, this distraction regarding her hair indeed distracted people from what they should have really been talking about. Douglas’ achievement has no parallel. She is the first African-American and first woman of color in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics.