Three weeks ago, I didn’t know who Gabrielle Douglas was. I had never heard of the 4 foot 11 inches 16-year-old from Virginia with an infectious smile and a love for the Lord. Now, I know and love Gabby, as if she was a little sister or cousin. I root for that girl’s success and I can’t help but get all verklempt when I see images of her on my TV screen. Even before she won that individual gold medal, I became a HUGE fan of Gabby Douglas.
However, what I’m NOT a fan of is the conversation going on about her hair. In fact, I hate it. So I am here for write a sternly-worded letter to those who have been focusing on her follicles instead of her achievements.
Dear Gabby’s Hair Haters,
Hi haters. You’ve been doing a lot of talking about Gabby Douglas’ hair during these Olympics and I don’t understand why. And I’m a professional hater. I wake up in the morning and roast people for sport and even I’M like “But why?”
Here’s the thing and the truth: Gabby’s hair is perfectly ordinary. When I look at her, it’s the last thing I notice. It’s just there. Nothing about it is superbly cute or superbly messed up. It’s just there. Look at the hair of the other US gymnasts and you’d see they’re all rocking the same slickback style with ponytail. Yes, Gabby’s the only person of color and she’s the only one whose hair grows out her head kinky so she needs extra help to get that sleekness. Hers, no doubt, is permed and gelled back. And her ponytail is phony. The end.
So I ask. What’s the big deal with her hair again? Help me out. As much focus that people have been putting on Gabby’s hair, you’d think it looked like this:
It doesn’t. By the way, that’s Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria. THAT is hair worth talmbout. Because it looks like a two-tone helmet made from pony tail. That hair is everything but a blessing. And I’m mad her teammates and my fellow countrymen let her represent us in this way. But that’s besides my main point here.
A lot of the conversation about her hair has been driven by Black women. We’ve been the ones at the front of the criticism and that puzzles me because most of us have been at this stage with our hair. Before we joined the RAH RAH natural hair movement and wore tshirts saying how natural is everything, a good amount of us went through the gel down phase. Especially at Gabby’s age. You know when you were young and you’d go to sleep with your night scarf on SUPER tight so your hair could lay right when you take it off in the morning. And you’ll have a mark on your forehead from where your scarf left a dent? Remember that? I do.
Or if it didn’t lay down enough, you’d get your tub of brown gel and slather it on and then use a brush to slick it down. And then put your scarf back on so it can set. Yes. I am pretty sure that’s what Gabby’s been doing and I have been there. So I can’t even judge or come for her.
If you’re a Black woman talmbout her hair, I’d love to see what yours looked like at 16. If you’re a Black man talmbout her hair, what did your sister’s look like? If you aren’t Black at all talmbout her hair, you don’t know our struggles. (-___-)
Also, folks have been talmbout how Gabby ain’t got no edges. I see nothing wrong with her edges at all. Y’all are just grasping for straws. Besides, edges are overrated anyway. Maybe NOT having edges is the key to greatness. Look at Naomi Campbell and Stevie Wonder. They’re legends. ICONS. My edges are weak. Does that mean I’m on the cusp of epicness? Lemme go ask Ms. Cleo.
Olympians do NOT need to have edges or nice hair. Their talent trumps alladat. I’d give up MY edges for a medal and you would too so stop acting brand new.
Honestly, Gabby Douglas’ hair should be the last thing we’re talking about right now. We should be giving her ALL the props for leading the USA women’s gymnastics team to gold and then being the first African American woman to win an individual gold medal in the sport. We should be talmbout how she shows more poise than some adults at the tender age of 16.
According to Huffington Post, Gabby said:
“I don’t know where this is coming from. What’s wrong with my hair? I’m like, `I just made history and people are focused on my hair?’ It can be bald or short, it doesn’t matter about (my) hair.”
YOU TELL EM, GABBY!!!
Besides, while folks are talmbout Gabby’s hair, she keeps winning medals.
We should be so proud of this girl for proving she’s a champion among champions during these Olympics. And for also giving a shoutout to the Lord. She is EVERYTHING.
Either way, leave Gabby alone. If your only concern with her is her hair, you’ve earned yourself a seat in the corner. And this letter. Yes, your hair’s probably wayyyy nice than Gabby’s. But I bet you haven’t done as much and she’s half your age. OOP.
What do you think about this Gabby hair issue?