Gabby Douglas' Hair Sparks Debate: Why?

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American teenager Gabby Douglas has been wowing the world with grace, style, and of course, the women's all-around gymnastics gold medal.

Nevertheless, much of the chatter on social media and online platforms has been about the upkeep of her hair, and not all feedback is positive.

Douglas, one of the few African-American gymnasts ever to compete in the Olympics and the first to win all-around gold, is an inspiring story.

Time and Sports Illustrated have her on their covers. President Barack Obama called to congratulate her. So why do people care about Gabby Douglas' hair?!

Gabby Douglas Hair

“I love how she’s doing her thing and winning,’’ says 22-year-old Latisha Jenkins of Detroit told The Daily Beast. “But I just hate the way her hair looks."

"With all those pins and gel ... I wish someone could have helped her make it look better since she’s being seen all over the world."

"She representing for black women everywhere.’’

According to reports, the 4'11" Douglas appears to have chemically relaxed natural hair, to which she adds a human-hair ponytail for height.

The Olympic champ then apparently slicks it all back with a heavy layer of gel to help it stay in place during her high-energy performances.

Gabby Douglas Ponytail

Hair has always been something of a hot button issue for African-American women culturally, but in the case of Douglas, isn't the criticism a little much?

Douglas’ accomplishments speak for themselves ... for the conversation to turn to a teenager’s physical appearance and upkeep seems a bit unfair.

Do you like her hair? Does it matter? Tell us what you think.

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First, before ANYONE post something negative about this GOLD MEDALIST Olympic athlete. I want you to post your pictures doing gymnastics with your hair (and body) looking fresh as $h!t!!! Otherwise, get a freakin' life! She is on the path to becoming a very rich and awarded Black woman...WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

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when i heard about this 'hair debate' i thought, hmm maybe she did something really controversial with it to course such a spark, but when i actually saw for my self i thought...whats the issue im confused?? Why are some people trying to find problems were there is not one. Shes a beautiful young lady, a gold medial olympian at that, and she is living her dreams.
Even if she did do something crazy to her hair, so what, hair is just hair,i wish people would have their priorities straight, there is more important issues to talk about than gelled up hair.

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The criticism of Gabby's hair is simply a reflection of some people's insecurity & pettiness. I don't know how else she is supposed to wear it to compete. It looks fine & she is awesome!

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With all the negative issues that is going on in this out of control world - some feel the need to criticise Gabby's hair. As an American and not just a Black American I am so proud of her. When we have kids with talent(s) and trying to do positive things in life - lets give them words of encouragement rather than try to tear them down with such ugly and negatve words. We have more important issues to deal with.

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Zartan please post a picture of yourself. lets see what you need help with. My guess is priorities. Focus on a hair-do is ok if the large part of your day revolves around texting and posting on face book. If you are out in the world, enjoying sports and living life then running your fingers through your wet hair or wearing gel and clips is a sign of a person having a great time. Try it!

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She looks beautiful as she is, JUST BEAUTIFUL!!!

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Gabby is not Caucasian. There is no reason why she should be targeted for having "black hair". There is nothing wrong with her hair. Black people need to stop being obsessed about straight hair and noses and get obsessed about inner beauty. Stop being ashamed of what you look like and just be real....

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From an African-American Woman: First, Gabby has a time and place appropriate hair style. Second:: Gabby has not allowed her "do" keep her from participating in the sport she loves. Third: What is more important, clips and gel or the Gold Medal? Anyone criticizing this wonderful young lady has there head up their ...

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Her hair, really? I hadn't even noticed her hair, honestly. I was a fan from the first moment I saw her brilliant smile and her kind eyes. They are a window into her soul and I could see there was a lovely person in there! Her talent, grace and focus are what she's about and got her the gold. Hair? Puleez!!! People in this country, black, white or purple need to stop being so obsessed with what's on the outside! Gabby, you go girl!

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Omg no way, she is representing black woman everywhere. So having a weave is the real black woman?! She is beautiful and natural and looks like a real person. Why make her fake? Is that what most of these black woman want? To be known as fake Barbie dolls? We have enough white girls trying to do this!....
She won 2 gold medals and some black woman are also accomplished and pushing for their other dreams while the other high percentage is gettin fat or having babies before they are even 16 years old yea that sounds like better and far greater accomplishments. Pathetic
Leave this beauty alone cause she just did something wonderful. She is too amazing to receive this kind of stupidity!