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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I'm not black, and I much prefer Gabby's hair to Destinee Hooker's. It looks real and natural, whereas Destinee's looks like a drag queen. I have known one black lady that wears her hair natural, and comes to work with a new fun do just about everyday. It was so inventive since her black hair could be molded or twisted into many shapes. I wish I took photos because she look so chic and could have been mistaken for a model. I wish more black women would embrace their uniqueness and work with it.

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honestly this is one of the stupidist thing ever she's 16 years old making history and her hair is a topic. I am a black woman and i wear my hair natural sometimes i even have those hair pins in it when i put it up and some dont reach but its my natural hair whoever have a problem with my $1.00 hair pins thats their issue. Some of these comments on here is downright rude and unnecessary. I'm PROUD OF YOU GABBY YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED MORE THAN MOST BLACKS IN THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. its too bad that some STUPID black females have to make comments about something petty like your hair. you're the smart one not wasting money on weave or braids cause they are not cheap so rock your hair and those GOLD MEDALS that you won.

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How ignorant is this woman?Gabby's hair is irrevelant,she is on the usa olympic team.How dare anyone be so silly to worry about if she uses to much gel,or a piece."really" lady.This young lady jus won gold,she is the best of the best.

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Gabby U HAVE HATERS..... PLENTY! NOT ONE OF THEM CAN SAY THEY HAVE ACCOMPLISHED WHAT YOU HAVE, BESIDES, U RICH SO " SLANG YA HAIR AND HIT THEM BROKE H**S WITH IT". ahhhhhhhh HATERS EAT A PENIS

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I think you guys are sick. You should just leave Gabby alone!!!!!

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I beg to differ with the reporter . . . Gabby is NOT representing Afro-American women world wide - didn't you see her uniforms? She is representing THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA every day of her life. That card can't work both ways people. "I 'm just like you." one day and "Where's the race card?". the next? Doesn't work!!!! I have horrible frizzy, unruley hair and get comments from strangers ALL the time. I just laugh it off. With our world full of crazy people, crazy groups of people, murde, rape, cancer, let's celebrate this beautiful, peppy, loving teen for who she is, where she's come from, her fantastic talent, her beautiful soul aand where she's going!
Just help support our country and the good people in it. Don't look for negatives in a young precious teen like this. Talk aboutt her hard work and success. who is a darl Look at mine.

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What is the big thing about "the hair", why can't we just celebrate this young lady!! Trust me with the money she's getting ready to make she can have her hair done every hour!! We should let go of all the hang-ups and learn to love, respect and be proud of each other, instead of putting each other down!!

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Hmmmm.... U'knw... I must sheepishly admit tht whn I first saw Gabby before da strt of da games... I did for a quik sec at first glimpse think to myslf "watz going on wit her hair".... I let it go becuz I was be'n CRITICAL and quite PETTY... Puttn dat foolishness aside, I nail 'bittingly', edge of chair 'clentchingly' cheered her on from day one like most of USA.... She's a sweet young lady... SUPER DUPER JOB GABBY!

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I am so inspired by you Gabby, you have made my day and through hard work and determination ,you are a champion. Congrats!!!

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that is so stupid,,this girl did a amazing job,,wtf does her hair have to do with anything,,has society become that bad where looks have to matter 24/7...im a athlete an let me tell you when your competing dealing with all ur nerves trying to focus most of the time ur hair is the last thing on ur mind,an it get messed up amyway so what the hell is the big deal leave the girl alone,,smdh!