The Summer Olympics, 2012.
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…
CONGRATULATIONS TEAM USA!!!
May your successes here in these Olympics be a springboard into a life filled full of achievement and happiness.