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.


This is another sad day in the progressive movement of Blacks. This is nothing more than those who still have a slave mentality. Instead of celebrating this young woman's success, some want to pull her down. SHAME!!! I guess for a few the word did not get out that slavery ended a long time ago and we can stop acting as such.


@Jeff Owens....Fake Butt? I don't think so!!!! I find it unbelievable that so much attention is focused on this amazing young women's hair!!
She has just made history by being the first African American to win women's all around.
There is nothing absolutely nothing wrong with her hair.


Her image isn't as great as her determination, guts, and courage. She brought her game and she is making it. So, to everyone that is being so critical, can we ask, where is your gold? What were your accomplishments, dreams and aspirations at 16, and did you succeed in getting them at that age? Because right now this young lady it doing exactly what she went there to do, and there is nothing more admirable than that.


Let me wrap my mind around this...she's a 16 yr old who just won a gold her first olympics...and black women (not to include myself) are pissed about her hair?! Excuse my language but WHAT IN THE SAM HELL IS WRONG WITH BLACK PEOPLE THESE DAYS?! We should be watching her and cheering. Hell I don't know her but I feel like she's winning for me (I was too tall for gymnastics :( ) I almost wonder if all this is some made up crap just to dig into a teenager and thats petty and wrong. And if she ever sees this comment. GABBY THANKS FOR WINNING SWEET HEART...everytime you win I pretend it's me since I was too damn tall to do gymnastics! If you're complaining about that baby's hair you need to get your life together and do something with all that free ass time!


Are you kidding me. Her hair. This person has her hair that way for competition, nothing else. She is a beautiful person and if her hair needs gel or more pins so be it. Leave the race out of this and let her be herself. If she had her hair all over the place you'd have people condemning her for that. Bunch of losers!


As a teacher of young adolescents, there is enough pressure for girls her age in this world about the way they look. Gabby is at an age where most feel awkward and not in control of their bodies. The fact that she is confident and represents our country with the grace and poise that she has makes me applaud her. Who cares what her hair looks like. Every gymnast wears their hair that way and shame on anyone who chastises her because of it. I have never heard anyone do the same for any other gymnastic competitor, so there is no reason for this now.


Of course it had to be someone of her own race to point out the little girls hair. Never mind that she's at the Olympics, winning medals and a real accomplishment. No let's focus on the fact that she's not wearing a weave to look good during her competitions. Come on, this completely ridiculous!


You've got 2 b kidding!!!!!! R they really forgetting this girl won GOLD?????!!!!!!! Another example of how WE are our own worse critics!!!!!!


Black women are so fake keep it natural
Fake hair
Fake nails
Fake toe nails
Fake eye lashes
Fake butts
Fake eye brows
Keep it real


As a white woman, I'm not even sure why they are dissing her hair. As a teen gymnast, I think it is very appropriate and completely adorable. If they are going to discuss her personally, they should say how beautiful and well spoken she is. But seriously, let's keep it about why she is famous...she's in the Olympics and she won GOLD. Let's be proud of ALL of our Olmpians. They bust their butts their whole life for this moment, and we owe them our support. Shame on people for dissing them! When did the Olympics become about looks? You people are TRASH!

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