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Gabby Douglas: More than a hair better

Gabby Douglas:  More than a hair better

Aug 2, 2012

Picture this.

The Summer Olympics, 2012.

London, England.

A young sixteen year old by the name of Gabby Douglas, is a part of the latest uber-talented squad of young female gymnasts, tasked to bring home the gold medal for the US.

This 4’11″ dynamo has affectionately been given the name of, “the Flying Squirrel” do in part to her small stature and amazing ability to propel herself explosively through the air– off any and all apparatuses. The young woman, with a smile that could light up the night’s sky like a fireworks display on the national mall in downtown Washington, DC, appears almost oblivious to any and all pressure–and finds a way to stay in that emotional and mental zone throughout the opening days of these games.

Fast forward to Tuesday, July 31st, where the US women’s Olympic gymnastic team wins the first team gold medal since the “Magnificent 7″ squad at the 1996 games in Atlanta. Gabby who definitely did her part to secure the team’s success, also becoming the most recent known African-American female gymnast since Dominique Dawes in the process; was rewarded for efforts by being talked about negatively…instead of applauded and held up as the next role model or icon, for the next generation of dreamers.

Approximately 3000 miles away in the good old U.S.of.A., random women (and men), unfortunately with the same skin tone as young Gabby, took to social media to ridicule this young starlet over…are you ready?

Her hair. And no that is not a typo, you read that correctly.

An ALL-WORLD level athlete, participating on sports greatest stage…was berated for not having a fresh roller set. I mean because after all, it wasn’t enough for her to run, jump, tumble, swing, flip, and balance her way to a share in a gold medal win.

No, no… IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT SHE BE, FRESH FROM THE BARBERSHOP OR FLY FROM THE BEAUTY SALON, FLY too.

I have to admit, I was beyond taken aback when I noticed a good friend of mines mention this on Facebook. But I paid it no mind initially. Then I started hearing more and more about it, even seeing screen caps of tweets.

- (a female) “I know every black female looked at gabby douglas’s hair and asked Why? Just Why?”
- (a male) “Gabby Douglas is cute and all…but that hair…on camera?”

And that’s just two of the randomly idiotic comments that some made. So, this young woman, sorry… this 16 year old girl. The same one that’s not afraid to dream big. The same one that put in insane amounts of blood, sweat and tears to get where she is today. The very same one, that is actually making her dreams come true… RIGHT NOW, at 16. Because she doesn’t have a fresh set of micro braids in her hair while she’s doing this, that’s the one thing you choose to voice your opinion about?  This Real Housewives Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta generation is truly something else.

Gabby Douglas at the tender age of 16, has reached higher levels in the past week, than many of us will in our whole lives. This young woman from Virginia, has traveled farther than Atlanta and Miami (typical end all to be all “black” vacation locales). She’s in London, with stamps in her passport. Cementing a place in history, as she has since added to her team gold on Tuesday, by becoming the first person of color EVER… to win gold in the All Around competition at the Olympics.

And when she comes home, if her mom allows it, she will make the TV talk show circuit rounds. And be given endorsement deals and who knows whatever else.   And those of us who have cheered her non-stop since we were first introduced to her, will continue to do so.  And I hope she hears and embraces only that energy.

Here’s to young Gabby (whose hair looked perfectly fine by the way) being able to sore as she is in the pic at the top, above this bs. Because she does not deserve to even have to come home and see/hear about this gross foolishness.  But hey, at least it came from people who look like her though right [sarcasm]? It’s good to see an issue the African-American community has dealt with since the beginning of time, is still going strong. Is there a greater crabs in the barrel people than we? I say is there? How tragic. Digression…

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CONGRATULATIONS TEAM USA!!!

CONGRATULATIONS GABBY!!!

May your successes here in these Olympics be a springboard into a life filled full of achievement and happiness.

#RISEABOVE

10 comments

  1. LadyChi /

    This got past me…wow!!! I’m telling you…slavery has done a job on our people!! Still affecting us today…smh!! And they say the Willie Lynch theory is a myth…right. WELL SAID, PL…they should all really feel low right about now. When a person is jealous of you; they will find something…anything to try and tear you down with if they think you are getting too much love, respect and attention. Anyway, congratulations to this beautiful young lady. You are yet another one of our and our nation’s Olympic greats! YES!! I am SO team Gabby!

    • “And they say the Willie Lynch theory is a myth…”

      ^^ PREACH!

      This mindset is engraved so deeply into a vastly disproportionate percentage of “black” people that it borders on frightening to be quite honest. I mean if her hair was short and natural, she would have caught flack from the National Perm Lovers of America. And if it was fried, dyed and laid to the side oh… and blonde, she would have caught flack from the Sisterhood of the Happy to Nappy contingent of South Dakota.

      She is 16. Doing amazing things, historical things and this is how she is treated. Unbelievable. Chris Rock put it best. “I love black people, but I hate …..” You know how that statement ends.

  2. PERFECT way to describe this disgustingly ignorant display that’s been in progress for the past several days. I couldn’t believe it either! I had a ton to say on the matter but you took the words right out of my mouth so all I’m going to say is THANK YOU! And man do I hope she sees this post. Can we get this up on Twitter? Is it already up? lol Man!

    • It’s already up. Thanks for replying. You know the crazy thing is, I have already gotten over the shock of this whole situation. Because I see/hear about this kind of misguided stupidity everyday. I can not stress enough that she is 16. And although she appears to come off on screen and in interviews as a very confident and self-assured young woman, when you’re dealing with that age range, you just never know how something like this could affect her.

      Oh and then there’s the fact that what she accomplished this week, is greater than what those goofs will ever hope to achieve in their EN-TIRE lives. So um… yeah. Losers!

  3. ‘The amount of time any athlete, nevermind an Olympian, spends practicing, training and recoverying …. Hair is about the last thing on this list of which begins w/food, rest and recovery. Gabby Douglas is an Olympian and better yet the best in the world! That’s something that most people in the world, whether you are a weave wearer, bleached blond, a natural girl, partakers of the perm crack, Indian in yo family, my grandfather is Italian, etc., etc., etc. will never know, myself included. Society has made mediocre (at best) the new standard, so that’s why people look for other things to talk about. People who worry about an athlete’s appearance, while she is f-ing performing, are the same type who worried about MJ’s love of animals rather than his talent, Obama’s race rather than his efforts to bring the country back from “depression” and Anderson Cooper’s sexuality rather than his effort to keep America honest. Go get a gold medal or something of that caliber and see what people pick out about you.’ *drops the mic and walks off* #dead

    • Well damn. Tell’em why you mad J. I appreciate the comment and frankly don’t think there is anything I can add to that. Well said.

  4. Her Prophecy /

    I never saw or heard anyone bashing her hair with my own eyes and/or ears (thankfully, for them), mainly because I keep a pretty positive and intelligent group of people around me, and even those I know who some would define as “Hood” didn’t stoop that LOW…. with this said, I’ve seen all of the people I know talking about how they witnessed the hair bashing and were appalled by how ridiculously ignorant it is. Had I seen it I probably would’ve had to tell somebody bout theyself! I agree with the blog, and all of the comments thus far. I especially agree with this line: “This Real Housewives Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta generation is truly something else.” Enough said. :-)

    • Agreed. You know what was even more odd though? The number of people who I witnessed with my own eyes, damning those individuals who chose to speak out against the ignorance. I mean on one hand, I was mildly conflicted over even mentioning it on my blog, for the sake of playing a role in extending the life span of this unfortunate bs. However, I saw people on FB and twitter talking negatively about those individuals who were taking offense, on behalf of Gabby if you will. Ridiculous IMO. That said, I’m glad the entire situation has blown over. Eventhough when things were at their height, that’s when she had two more events to compete in at the Olympic games. And she did not do well in either. Now of course I can’t say, this was the reason why. Yet, you can not compete at a high level with the type of focus necessary to succeed… if your mind isn’t clear. And of course, I don’t know that young girl personally, so this is all speculative. But at the end of the day, she’s only 16. Why even give her more to think about than I’m sure she already was.

      Thanks for reading and replying.

  5. Seriously why are people complaining? First, hair was not good enough, now it’s too good. What next? Stuff like this drives people to go to extremes like suicide.

  6. I can’t believe they are still messing with this young lady about her hair. Seriously people grow up. She represented your country!

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