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.

What are your thoughts on the Gabby Douglas hair slander, Clutchettes?

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  1. Armenians are white. Armenian is not a race. It’s a nationality. People from Armenia are Armenians.

  2. Sarah

    I don’t understand why people are talking about Gabby’s hair. Who cares about her hair! The girl is like 16 years old and was focusing on her gymnastics.

  3. Jae Bee

    This whole discussion is just sad and embarrassing! As usual, the mainstream media has picked up on it, and instead of choosing to highlight Gabby’s gold medal success, they’d rather highlight the ignorant comments people have made about this young lady’s hair. SMDH…When I google “Gabby Douglas” predictive typing gives me “Gabby Douglas Hair” as the first result. “Gabby Douglas wins gold” is the fourth result. To quote the title of this article, “Really?”.

    Just another example of AA’s allowing mainstream media/America to make us look foolish and superficial. If we didn’t spend so much time talkin about somebody’s dayum hair, maybe they’d spend more time highlighting the success of this accomplished young woman rather than discussing the failure of her “community” to focus on something so trivial.

  4. Sometimes I get sick to death of the mess that’s associated with being black. And I don’t mean that in a ohh, woe is it’s so hard being black sort of way but more in a damn, so this is how we do way. it’s deeper than that child’s hair and everyone who wants to play this off like it ain’t is in denial. Of all the criticisms that could be thrown her way the main point of contention is her hair. Wow. Really? Yahoo even ran this story and in it they featured one tweet that said “I know every black woman who looked at Gaby’s hair said why? just why?” Notice this tweeter was sure to be specific about what type of woman would have that reaction. Yahoo also made sure to include that most of the negative comments about Gabby’s hair are coming from other african americans. Hmmm. Whether they did the research to solidify that statement as a fact is another matter but the fact remains the statement was even made. The fact remains this story, this debate even exists and is actually being covered by other media sources thus perpetuating characterizations of us as shallow and ignorant. Our issues run so deep that we don’t even know where they begin or end.