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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She looks good for planting cotton.........are her parents that cheap that she puts $1.00 clips in her hair???

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I feel sorry for the hair complainers, they seem to be stuck in some funky time-warp. Most of them parade around with fake hair extensions and they not only diminish themselves but look like cloned clowns. They are not satisfied as they are, naturally. I see little girls with those things on their heads and I ask about their feelings of self worth. It's just not there. Gabby is focused on her art and the hair should never have been an issue. But, I feel that if she didn't have her hair straightened and dropped the extension, her true lovliness would shine through, as the Lord intended. I never hesitate to compliment a Black girl or woman for sporting a neat, coifed, lightly textured, or natural hairstyle. Let's get some dignity back and really keep it REAL!

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who cares what her hair looks like? she wasnt out to win a metal for her hair sytle. i can bet that 95% (maybe more) of the haters would never be able to win an Olympic gold metal! way to go Gabby!! look past all of the ignorant and JEALOUS people in this sad world!!

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Amen to what Anne said above. Why are we even giving any attention to what these shallow "haters" have to say? What I have to say is congratulation Gabby, your accomplishments are a lot more important than your hair, and anyway your hair looks just fine. You are an incredible young lady. I want my 8 year old African American daughter to look up to you as a wonderful example.

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Gabby, I am proud of you. Don't be concerned about what anyone says about you or your hair. Keep your focus. We know what's going on w/them. You are great in my eye sight.

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Oh forget the hair! I read far more worst things being said about this lovely child. Things that hurt me as an African American. She is who she is made perfectly in God's Eyes. I am sure Gabby is strong and will see pass all those tiny minded people and pray for them.

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Its really messed up that her hair is an issue she is a beautiful and talented young lady and i am proud for her to represent our country!! You go girl i do my hair like that all the time damn what they say your doing what they cant now african american hair that suckas :)

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You People Need to stop all this hateful hair talk and think of all her hard work. Gabby continue working on your Personal Legend.

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I am shocked that this young lady was criticized for having her hair pulled back and pinned for her competition just like all the rest of the competitors. MOST female athletes keep short, no fuss hair or bind it up to keep it from getting in the way or causing sweat to drip in their eyes. She is American and can wear her hair any way she pleases. Looks like people don't stop being mean after middle school. Gabby, I hope you know for everyone who is criticizing you for your hair style there are 1000 more AMERICANS who are proud of your representation of our country and are so happy for your success and win!

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she is an athlete. you are not worried about your hair when competing in an athletic event. Their is no bigger stage to compete on then the Olympic. Who cares what her hair looks like. Come on people. Maybe after she gets her 2 to 3 million dollars endorsement deal she can get her hair done!!!