Monday August 15th 2016
The Beautiful Gabby Douglas
The Beautiful Gabby Douglas by Tamu McPherson
Hey there Pretty Birds,
I know that I may be late in chiming in on the continued absurdity of Gabby Douglas’ hair trolls (the madness returns from the 2012 games), but this weekend’s social media Olympic coverage begs a comment.
While Ms. Douglas is receiving negative comments from all races about her hair, it is especially appalling that she received backlash from fellow black women. When will we learn to love ourselves and accept all aspects of our appearance?
Our hair is beautiful in every shape or form. Whether it be straightened, gathered in a ponytail, braided, or natural in an afro or twists. We are dynamic women living active lives and the state of our hair will reflect whatever we’re doing at the time. If you are as mind-blowingly talented as Ms. Douglas, your hair getting sweaty or tumbling out of place should not be a consideration as you perform gravity-defying flips and take multiple medals home for nailing them. With the racism that Ms. Douglas regularly experiences as an elite African-American athlete, the last thing that she deserves is members of her own race beating her up over a consequential aspect of her appearance.
For the rest of us mere mortals, it’s time that we stop perpetuating negative notions of what constitutes beautiful hair, or what makes us beautiful. It starts for us when we are little girls and warned not to sweat out our presses while jumping double dutch, not to let the wind blow out our Shirley Temple curls while swinging on a swing, or the holy grail of them all: we are warned not to wet our hair in the pool or in the sea at the beach. WTF – what have we been thinking all these years and how much fun have we missed out worrying about our hair going kinky. Tons.
Beauty is skin deep and our beauty should flow from the inside out. We are born with the hair on our heads, and we can later transform it in any manner we choose. That’s fine, but the moment that it is not perfectly coiffed does not render us less beautiful. We are still ourselves and the beauty of us remains intact. Fancy hair styles enhance our natural beauty, but the girl underneath will always be a queen. Appreciate yourself for who you are and support sisters like Ms. Douglas who go after their goals, who grind hard and who make us proud.