Are We Really Talking About GOLD MEDAL Winner Gabby Douglas' Hair?
So here I am watching Gabby Douglas compete for a medal in the uneven bar finals and all I can think of when I look at her is how disciplined, focused and self possessed this 16 year old appears to be. If she 's feeling the pressure, her calm and confident exterior does not reflect it and her athletic performance is simply breathtaking. And while she didn't qualify for a medal in this particular portion of the competition she exhibited graceful team sportsmanship, extolling the talents of her fellow athletes and speaking with the optimism and drive reserved for seasoned athletes, a group she is now a card carrying member of, having snagged the gold medal in the gymnastics individual all-around at the 2012 Olympic games.
If she was even mildly fazed by the preposterous and inane chatter on the internet, in regards to the style in which she chooses to wear her hair, dealing with off color comments like-“Gabby Douglas gotta do something with this hair! these clips and this brown gel residue aint it?” her demeanor exuded no signs of stress about it.
But if I can I just get on my soapbox for a minute I'd like to offer my opinion on this debate over Gabby Douglas's hair...namely, how or why in the year 2012 do we care about a woman's hair? Why aren't male athletes subjected to the same scrutiny; as there are many whose appearance could easily be picked apart, yet we only focus on their skill and leave their personal appearance out of the equation. So why do we not afford our female athletes the same level of respect for their athletic prowess as opposed to their physical appearance? I am not alone in my disgust over this outpouring of vitriol for this beautiful and talented athlete..here's what some other women had to say about the hair issue, the race card, bad manners and how the Olympics have brought up some unsavory truths about our society's beliefs and behavior.
Danielle Ann Michaud-Elwood Honestly? I think it is just another example of Americans and their backhanded racism. It is sad this is a subject at all! We should be PROUD of this girl for bringing our country an amazing gold metal. Instead we judge because she isn't perfect or blond. It is shit like this that makes me SO disgusted to be an American sometimes. And SHAME on whoever brought it up to begin with. Welcome back to 1950!
Nirasha Jaganath This is another display of how brazen people have become about their rudeness. Keep filing it under "right to have an opinion" people, it is nothing more but blatantly pathetic. Statements like these make the people fought for equality want to weep.
Elizabeth Bakulski Peterson From what I can "see" this seems to be a topic of importance to African-American women. They appear to be the ones on twitter commenting on her hair, products and maintenance of it. I don't see this as a racism issue, from what I can see. It seems to be a cultural issue. I even saw a couple of articles that said white people don't understand what everyone is talking about re: Gabby's hair.
Jennifer Santiago What we should be discussing is the disgraceful behavior of McKayla Maroney, who took silver in the vaulting event and acted like she'd been made to swallow poison. She refused to even hug the Russian bronze medalist who came over to offer congratulations. I was really ashamed of her unsportsmanlike behavior, and I've been rather appalled throughout the Olympics by American athletes who act like any medal other than gold is an insult. Aside from the Chinese athletes, who seem to share that attitude with the US athletes, competitors from other nations are thrilled to get on the medal stand at any level.
Carolina Pichardo What's sad is that our young girls struggle to identify with their hair. It's taken me years - and she's only 10 - to show my daughter the beauty of having curly, frizzy hair. It's part of her African roots as a Dominican. So when I read and hear comments like the one on Gabby's hair, it's just a hyper kick to the stomach. Because it looks like - unfortunately - the future doesn't look as bright for my kid.
Jessica Rubin Cohen This fabulous, dynamic, gracious young woman has sacrificed so much. She is bringing home an Olympic gold medal in our country's honor and we the general public/media are talking about her hair? I can't think of many things more absurd than that.
What is your take on this?