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Posted on August 3, 2012

Over the past couple of days, everyone’s been giving praise to 16-year-old gymnast Gabrielle Douglas for doing an outstanding job in the Summer 2012 Olympics. No matter how hard working you are, this situation is the perfect example of why you can’t please everybody and you’ll never be able to. The 16-year-old Virginia native has had to deal with harsh criticism from her own community—the black community. Here we have a talented young lady who trained hard and earned her once in a lifetime chance spot to participate in the Olympics and even after earning a gold medal, people are more concerned with the way her hair looks than her achievements.

Photo Credit: SocialiteLife.com

 I had to speak on this topic because it disgusted me to see grown black women putting down a well-rounded, hard working young lady because of how they think her hair should look. In this day and age, we should encourage kids to do what they love to do and excel at it.  There is so much going on in the world. Teen pregnancy and drug use are at the top of that list, especially in the black community. The very people who complain about black children not being given a chance to excel are the very ones tearing Gabby Douglas down because her hair wasn’t fried, dyed and laid to the side.

This girl just won two gold medals and the only thing some adults can talk about is her appearance? Some of you are worried about the wrong things.

We have allowed society to brainwash us; teenagers especially to think that appearance should be at the top of the priority list. How else do you explain the teen pregnancy, eating disorders and long list of self-esteem issues?

Hair is not everything. Hair won’t get you a college degree. And I’m pretty sure Gabby’s hair isn’t the reason why she was chosen to participate in the Olympics or won two gold medals.

If some of you are criticizing her for how her hair “should” look even after all she’s accomplished, I feel for the children and teenagers you’re related to. If you can tear down a stranger’s child, I wouldn't be surprised if you did it to your own relatives. 

Bottom Line: When it’s all said and done and Gabby will go down in history for being the first African-American all-around Olympic champion and the first US gymnast to win both that title and the team gold, NOT her hair. Her skill and talent is what earned her the gold. I tip my hat off to Gabby. Just like any sane adult with younger relatives, we want to see them excel and be the best they can be. She will serve asan  inspiration to girls who may want to go on to do what she has someday and that’s what counts.

Gabby has everyone from Oprah to President Obama praising her for her hard work and I know her family is extremely proud, as they should be. They’re not worried about her hair, so why are some of you?

If you would like to learn more about Gabby Douglas or just leave some kind words and congratulate her, check out the links below:


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