While two-time gold medal winner Gabby Douglas should be celebrating and focusing on her next events- some people are coming down on her hard for her choice of hairstyle!
The 16-year-old’s hair is under major for for its appearance and supposed failure to “represent” the African American community, critics say.
Douglas’ hair is chemically-straightened and pulled into a ponytail with barrettes and gel. Since gymnastics involves a lot of motion (obviously) the ponytail is tight and the hair held down by product. Gabby’s hair matches the coifs of her four Caucasian “Fab Five” teammates Aly Raisman, Mckayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber. It’s not just the style, though- many African-American women are bashing her for her hair being straightened, and would prefer her hair to be in curls, free-flowing, or in braids.
Of course Gabby’s awesome mom, Natalie Hawkins, quickly came to the defense of her champion daughter.
“It’s really been African American women that have come out and attacked her,” claimed Hawkins of the tweeters who criticized Douglas. “They don’t know about gymnastics. She has to keep her hair in a ponytail 28 to 30 hours a week. We grew her hair out because she preferred long hair. I’m not going to make her cut her hair just to please someone else.”
Nor should she! I get that the African-American community wants Gabby to represent them, but she’s just a teenager who wants to do well in gymnastics! Can’t she wear her hair the way she prefers it, and it not get interpreted as some grandiose statement about race? Sheesh!