On the Gabby Hair Controversy
“talking ‘bout good and bad hair/whether you’re dark or you’re fair/so you can go on and swear/see if I care/good and bad hair” — from the Spike Lee movie “School Daze”So the debate has been raging online and among sister friends about Gabby Douglas’ hair. The tweets or real time conversations usually start with either “I can’t believe her mother let her go on national tv looking like that” / “look at the female track athletes they don’t look like that” to “y’all should be ashamed of yourselves leave that girl alone”This doesnt count the speculation on product usage, perms, weave techniques, and hair clips.
1. Black women’s hair has been a loaded topic since time immemorial, and I do not foresee that changing anytime soon. I mean four years later Michelle Obama’s hair is still a conversation topic. (I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a Michelle Obama Hair Watch blog out there somewhere.)
2. Gabby was not an Olympic superstar a week ago. I would venture to say her family may not have the financial resources to lay her out like Beyonce. I heard Dominique Dawes say the kind of gymnastics training and coaching at this level can run upwards of $1000/month. Most of the black women on the track and basketball teams are established champions with lucrative Nike/Visa/McDonalds endorsement deals who can bring a personal hairstylist along with them to London. Sonya Richards-Ross can probably afford to get her weave redone every day if she wants to.
3. True Gabby is a child, but she is a teenage girl. Her mother may have tried to say something to her, maybe not. What cracks me up is the naysayers act like Gabby’s a 5 year old and her mother should put her on her hip and whisk her into the bathroom and put some Willroot and a brush to that head. Anybody reading this think you can just up and make a 16 year old do something if they don’t want to do it? Go ahead, I’ll wait.
I hope young girls watching Gabby win the Gold saw that superficial things are just that, superficial. What is important is sacrifice, dedication, hard work, and a strong faith in the Lord.
Sound like something us grown folks could take a lesson on too.