Criticism of Gabby’s Hair Shows How Much We Hate Ourselves

Today was supposed to be a day of celebration – for all Americans and particularly black Americans.

Not only did Gabby Douglas become the the third straight American to win gymnastics’ biggest prize, she became the first African-American to do so. We as black Americans – and one could argue people of African descent worldwide – should have been celebrating all over: from Twitter to Facebook, from the beauty parlors to the barber shops.

Unfortunately, we black folk seemed to be all too focused on what is the equivalent of a wet blanket: Gabby’s hair.

That’s right white America and the rest of the world. We black folks did not like the way Gabby’s hair looked while putting on a stellar athletic performance in the women’s individual all-around gymnastics competition – and took to Twitter and Facebook to let the rest of the world know.

You are probably asking yourselves (and some black people) the following: why do black folks care so much about how Gabby’s hair looked instead of her winning the gold medal? The answer is quite simple.

Black folks hate themselves – and each other.

Whether it’s the constant rise in black-on-black crime in this country, or as something as inconsequential as how someone’s hair looks. It’s the same reason we brothers parade ourselves in rap videos as wanna-be gangstas and thugs while objectifying our women as nothing but two-bit hoes. It’s the same reason why some brothers think it’s cool spread our seed all around leaving scores of father-less children behind. It’s also the same reason why some brothers – not all, but too many – think it’s cool to wear our pants halfway off our asses.

Blacks just flat out hate themselves. Now of course I am speaking in general terms – not all black people are that stupid. It’s just that too many of us are.

If you don’t believe me, take a nice stroll into the world of Twitter and see for yourselves. I cannot believe the number of black folks who clowned this young sista’s hair instead of being happy to see one of us becoming the first to accomplish something in Olympic history.

Here’s one instance where some tweets were displayed in a Yahoo! Sports column. It’s just sad, and that’s too bad.

In the meantime, I’m going to celebrate this young sista’s historic achievement the best way I know. Congratulations to you, Gabby Douglas. I hope this is the start of something big…

Categories: Olympics, sports story, women's sports

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25 replies

  1. Even the ‘blind’ Olympic archery champion can see your BULLSEYE on this very significant insight.
    There are two reasons I’m commenting…a.) THIS POST is referenced on ‘my weblog: thnq’ (“GHAUCH Fascion”) b.) the title’s just the tip of an Iceberg to the disgust of how well we’ve edge-UHHH-mah-cated this next generation.
    The saddest part of your unspoken truth is that WE are being blamed,( ourselves / OTHERS), for some things that WE didn’t start, ( pants off the ‘Ass’ was started by a Country singer named “STRINGBEAN” , on stage at the “Grand Ol’ Opry”.)
    Well Said.
    “D” / omegetymon

  2. Exactly. It’s a sad commentary.
    Remember when Don Imus got in hot water for his “nappy headed hoes” remark? He was probably shocked that it caused any trouble. He probably picked up the line from hearing black folks talk about each other that way many, many times.

  3. Wow, I am a white woman who was shocked to read that Gabby Douglas’ has been being criticized for her hair. Her hair was pulled up and styled like ALL of the other athletes competing in gymnastics for team USA and for all of the other teams. I watched all of the women’s gymnastics competitions including the qualifying, the team competition, and the all around. I was very moved to hear Gabby speaking about going away from home to train and being home sick and her mother discussing how difficult it was to see her daughter have to leave home to train and missing her and the financial strain of providing the expensive traning for her daughter (which I can only imagine how much that is considering how ridiculously high it is for competitive cheerleading). My husband and I watched and we’re thrilled to see the entire team win and especially thrilled for her individual win. We both hope she gets picked up by some major sponsors to make up for all of the very very hard work and money that she and her family have put into making her the first class athlete that she is so obviously is. As I mentioned I am white. Nothing stood out about her hair to me. She looked like all of the other girls competing. As a white woman have I used relaxers, no obviously not. But, I’ve curled, permed, straightened (yes straightened otherwise it will frizz and knot and tangle up), dyed, highlighed,etc.., etc.., etc… You name it and I’ve probably done it to my hair. Were any of the white girls’ hair curled or fixed up? No, of course not. They were competing. All of the girls’ hair was pulled up. The only girl’s hair that I did notice was the star’s of the Russian team’s hair and that’s only because she had a lot of glitter slicked into it. Gabby and the other girls were competing in a sport. They weren’t there to participate in a beauty competition. No one’s hair, white, black, Asian, pink, purple, whatever color the girl’s sink was, none of them had really done up their hair as they very well shouldn’t have. The only thing I noticed about Gabby was that she has a lot of skill and a very charming smile. It was heartwarming to hear her give praise to God for winning. She is a gorgeous girl inside and out and the fact that anyone, ANYONE, white, black, whatever, would criticize her is horrible. This isn’t a black thing or a white thing. This is a woman thing and the fact that a young teenager should be criticzed for not trying to look like a runway model in middle of sweating bullets and trying and succeeding in bringing home not one, but two gold medals for her country is awful. Why is it always women who are being criticized for their looks? For her to be the first African American to win the gold in gymnastics like that just makes it even that much more special which makes it even that much more awful for her hair to be the target of criticism. As I noted, how was her hair any different from the other girls’ who were competing? And, honestly, I don’t do the body perms or the waves anymore because of all of the chemicals and the fact that it really damages your hair. A little moose, a blow dry out with a volumnizing round brush and a spritz of hair spray. I do color once a month to keep away the grey hairs and that’s it. I wish that more women of all colors would lay off of the chemicals and go for a more natural look with their hair. You can certainly style your hair and make it look good and well cared for without being fake, fake, fake with it.

    • Well said.

      As I said earlier, last night should have been a celebration of mammoth proportions. Unfortunately there are people out there who tend to focus and pick on the miniscule things. In this case, folks aw to it to pick at Gabby’s hair. It baffles me why our own people tend to do anything to pull down our own. Again, not all of us share that sentiment, but too many of us do.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Natalie, You are like the others. “A little moose, a blow dry out with a volumnizing round brush and a spritz of hair spray. I do color once a month to keep away the grey hairs and that’s it. I wish that more women of all colors would lay off of the chemicals and go for a more natural look with their hair. You can certainly style your hair and make it look good and well cared for without being fake, fake, fake with it.” A lot of women are ok with gray hair, so they don’t color it, they wear it natural. A lot of women don’t use moose, nor blow dry.

  4. Who gives a flip about Gabby’s hair? How dumb! She’s a young, gifted athlete who deserves a bunch of praise…

  5. Since when did three tweets represent all black women or the black community? At a critical point in the history of black women when we should all be basking in the reflected glory of Gabby’s amazing accomplishment some media pundits are garnering ‘clicks’ by reverting to one of their old tried and true stances — wagging their disapproving fingers in the faces of black women.

    IMHO, the ones who are guilty of ‘hating’ on Gabby are the ones publishing this hackneyed story and rewarding three nit wits who made some criticism of her hairstyle.

    • Well first of all, it was more than three “nit wits”. Waaaay more. Those were just three tweets the were picked up in Yahoo. There were plenty other brothers and sisters who SAID so. Hell I have relatives who said so.

      And by the way, no one is rewarding those nit-wits (I love that word!) by running this story. It’s just pointing out what’s been obvious about the black community for a least 100 years and counting…

    • I was listening to the Michael Baisden show a while back, and the topic was “black women and exercise”. The question came up would a sista forgo frequent visits to the hairstylist in an effort to improve the way their body looks. About 7 out of 10 sistas who called in said “no”. I think too many of us (black folk) have our priorities out of order. The Woody Harrelson said it best in White Man Can’t Jump: too many of us “would rather look good and lose, than look bad and win”. I don’t care about her hair, her smile, how light or how dark when it comes to competition. All I want to see is her win and win with class. That BEAUTIFUL young sista did both.

  6. Why do we as people continue to waste valuable time and social resources on stupid, non-productive, trivial matters such as the “hairstyle” of a young, aspiring African American girl living out her Olympic dream?

    This young lady’s overall accomplishments since pursuing her Olympic dream far exceeds her sweating out her “natural” hair!

    So to all of Gabby’s haters out there, please take a moment to notice:

    This young lady won two gold medals, and the (cash) prize money for every gold medal won in this years Olympics is worth $25,000, which mean’s that Gabby has already earned at least $50,000 before taxes.

    Add to that the new 5 year, $10 million dollars endorsement Gabby just signed with Kelloggs Corn Flakes, and there’s NOT a hairstylist in the world this young lady can’t afford!

    If people (namely Gabby’s haters) would focused more on the ignorance “INSIDE” of their own heads instead of what’s on top of Gabby’s head….this wouldn’t even be a topic!

    As a proud African American man, I salute this brave young lady immensely for helping to open doors of hope, and windows of opportunity for many other young, aspiring, African girls, NOT only in the United States, but throughout the entire world.

    “Congratulations Gabby!

    We are very proud of you!”


    • Well said my brother…

    • Gabrielle is an American. She was born, raised and educated in the U.S. She did not migrate to this country from Africa, take a citizenship test, and become a “Naturalized Citizen”. She may very well have other blood in addition to the African. She is an outstanding athlete, beautiful both inside and out, a winning smile, and a personality that draws you in. It is her success as an athlete and her personality that draws people, not the color of her skin. I am not white, Asian, Mexican or Middle Eastern.

  7. I found this post while considering a post of my own on the same subject. Of course, being an old (68), (very) white guy, I probably wouldn’t have said what you did but it is an interesting take on the subject. I’ve commented frequently on the vehemence and bigotry of what gets posted on various message boards, that relative anonymity brings out the worst people and the worst in people. Twitter has many of the same qualities … and the ability to hit and run in a few words also encourages the, shall we say, not very bright. Message boards and tweets tend to make all of us …. white and black … look worse than we are. Great post.

  8. People are so dumb. They might not have noticed that Gabby was wearing the same hairstyle that all the other USA gymnasts were wearing – it was like part of the USA uniform, typical gymnast-hair circa 2012.

    I don’t know if any of you have followed the sport long enough to remember Dominique Dawes with her scrunchied-bun and glitter-hairspray and tiny barrettes? It was typical mid-1990s gymnast-hair.

    These are athletes. They’re mainly trying to secure their hair in a streamlined way so it stays out of their faces and doesn’t fly into their eyes and blind them as they’re tumbling or swinging bars. Hair fashion is a complete afterthought for these athletes.

    • Oh I remember Dawes well – so much that I had a huge crush on her lol. On a serious note, you made some good points. Why focus on Gabby when her fellow competitors had the same the of hair bun or whatever? Who cares?

    • Gabrielle is a breath of fresh air. There is nothing wrong with her hair, so the explanations, excuses and justifications are not necessary. She will be successful what ever way she chooses to wear her hair. Love her the way she is.


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