As if being the first American to win a Gold medal in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics isn’t enough to talk about, it seems like Gabby Douglas’s hair began to upstage her victorious accomplishments; an issue Gabby stated was “stupid.”
In a time where natural hair is widely celebrated and embraced, why is everyone coming down on 16-year-old Gaby for gelling back her edges and keeping her tresses tamed with a ponytail holder while she gracefully flips through the air in a way many of us can not? Gabby’s mother, Natalie Hawkins, responded to the issue by saying:
I’m extremely protective of my children, so my first instinct was to take to my blog. But now I’m in the public view — people are publishing articles about me and my finances and my personal life — I want to handle this in an elegant fashion. I don’t want to bring any negativity towards Gabrielle, but I am going to be protective of her. I thought her hair looked great, I thought she looked beautiful on that floor. I thought she was a wonderful representation for our country and for African-American women.
Although Gabby says to get over the way her hair looks, she was overjoyed last week when celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson transformed her for the cover of ESSENCE Magazine’s October Issue.
Gibson says working with Gabby was one of the highlights of his career and says the day was about change and making her feel the most comfortable in front of the camera.
Does her having to deal with the criticism of being beautiful while in the public eye, taint her views of what natural beauty is? While most agree that their was nothing wrong with Gabby’s appearance, does the makeover somehow preclude that she doesn’t meet society’s standards of beauty; and to be accepted she’ll need to amplify her look?
Video Credit: ESSENCE