Gabby Douglas has achieved what most people only dream of, winning a gold medal at the young age of 16. And all some people can focus on is her hair. Twitter comments came pouring in yesterday with criticism about her gelled-up ponytail, hair clips and frizzy edges. Here is a sampling via Jezebel:
“Gabby Douglas needs to tame the beady beads in the back of her hair.”
“on another note, Gabby Douglas gotta do something with this hair! these clips and that brown gel residue ain’t it.”
“lmfao Gabby Douglas shouldn’t be the standout in these commercials until she get her hair done.”
Really? Gabby represented our country at the Olympic games and won the highest honor in her sport, all before her 17th birthday, and we’re focusing on edges.
Is our culture really that superficial and mean? Gabby shouldn’t have to worry about edges that might frizz up as she competes on the world stage and brings home first place. Her priority isn’t the hair salon; it’s living out her dreams, which she has done successfully. How many of her hair critics can say that?
As a collective, we complain about the prevalence of superficial reality shows (i.e. “Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta”) and stars who are famous for no reason (like Kim Kardashian) yet when a woman who has worked tirelessly to pursue her passion hits our TV screens, folks fixate on her hair.
Since Gabby is a world champion competing at the Olympic games, a few hair clips, gel buildup and frizzy edges are a non-issue. What really needs fixing is our value system.