Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hair-troversy



First and foremost, a HUGE Congratulations is due to Gabby Douglas.  Today she became the First African American to win the women's Olympic "All Around" competition.  She is also the very first woman to win Gold in the "All Around" and in the Gymnastics team competition.  Coming into the competition, Gabby wasn't the one who was expected to win Gold for the U.S.  After the world record holder, Jordan Weiber failed to make the women's "All Around" competition, the door opened up for Gabby to bring it home.  And, that is exactly what she did.

However, unfortunately the "lack luster" media coverage of Gabby throughout the Olympics and the odd nickname of "Flying Squirrel", both have taken a back seat to social media comments on Gabby's hair.  Today I was even likened to a "crab in a barrel" because I tweeted "Gabby's hair hurts my feelings they would send her out like that".  It was shortly after that, I realized how sensitive a lot of people on my TL were being about Gabby's hair.  Throughout the gymnastics coverage I noticed others speak on her hair, some going so far as to calling her hair "nappy".

I personally don't see her hair as being nappy.  To me if someone's hair is nappy it is obvious they took no steps towards its maintenance (comb/brush), but I'm sure everyone has their own definition of "nappy".  As a blogger who tries to ignite conversation via my blog posts, I feel everyone is definitely entitled to their own opinion.  However, I do believe there is a time, place, and a tactful way to discuss things (hence this forum).  As a black woman, a former athlete, and a woman with natural hair, I did not like Gabby's hair.  My disdain comes from the belief that there definitely could have been better ways to manage her hair.  My wish is for her to be presented as beautifully as her teammates and the rest of the athletes.  I'm sure her hair was the last thing on her mind.(or maybe it wasn't)  However, throughout the Olympics commentators stress how big of a WORLD STAGE the Olympics is, and this is true.  Gabby made history tonight.  Little girls throughout the world now have a new role model.  Not saying vanity over talent, but why can't we present Gabby as perfectly as we present the others.  I don't think her hair is nappy but I think it could have had more attention just like the media could've given her accomplishments more attention.  Basically, I think overlooking her hair the way that it was, was a slight ploy to "dumb her down", I felt it was worth mentioning and I won't apologize for that.  Either way I'm glad her smile and her talents ROSE to the Occasion and she is bringing home the GOLD!

However, I know Gabby is "NOT HER HAIR", just like the rest of the world.  My disdain for her hair does not make me think anything less of her character and her talents as a Gymnast.  I think it becomes an issue if negative is all you ever speak on, for instance if anything I ever said about Gabby was in reference to her hair.  As stated earlier, (and always on this blog) its GREAT to have an opinion.  Even better if you think before you speak and have some relative reasoning behind your opinions.  Sometimes the obvious should be discussed, even if it steps on some toes.  Nothing wrong with a healthy debate.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and everyone has one.  You may find your opinion on the "wrong" side, but OWN IT! With that being said, let's dialogue.  Leave your comments here.  Should Gabby's hair be totally off limits?  Does speaking about her hair totally distract from her achievements?  With achievements so BIG and so POSITIVE should we never mention any of the negative?

TalkStillCheap.com Salutes you Gabby Douglas, you have a beautiful spirit that I'm sure won't be overshadowed by controversy!


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2 comments:

  1. I believe that commenting on her hair in this way distracts from her MAJOR accomplishments. The reason we are watching is because she is skilled in gymnastics. We love to pick on people who are the limelight because it is easy. SMH- I just think we need to give her a break, let her win and allow her to bask in her accomplishments without getting the negativity. It's really unnecessary.

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  2. First of all, I must say that I feel as though most people who've stated that they didn't like Gabby's do at the Olympic Games didn't do so in the intent of malice. For the most part from what I've seen on blogs, they didn't even speak so much on the texture of her hair as they did the style, or lack there of. I think it's somewhat unfair to accuse people (black our otherwise) of being against her simply because of the topic being such a sensitive subject in the black community. Nowhere have I seen anyone discredit this young woman's athletic abilities or passion for her craft. That being said, I feel it irresponsible to ignore the fact that not only are African American viewers commenting about her public appearance, but so are the viewers of these other countries. I admit that at times I've found myself wondering as I watched her interview after a routine what the correspondent as well as viewers outside myself felt as a seemingly disheveled young woman represented the face of Team USA! knowing that the Olympics are where anything could happen, Gabby should have known that she very well could hadn't potentially been in the exact same position she's in now where she'd go on the make numerous appearances on TV guest spots and endorsement ads.
    Her face as a young black woman, like it or not is going to do what Halle Berry did for acting, what Beyonce did for singing and what Oprah did for business and what Michelle Obama did for politics as far as for people outside our community is concerned. Which is display a pretty podium to which we wanted our message to be received. Let's be honest, as sad as it is,
    people are more likely to want to hear what someone who appears to have it together has to say over someone who looks with and torn. I'm not saying that she needed a weave or a perm but her look had no direction which read as she just didn't care. She could have pin curled it at night to avoid using extra heat or beside the front. I would have been fine with a simple bun or chignon at the to of her head or at the rr side for sass .


















































































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