It’s embarrassing when we decide to hate on a black female role model whom our children (of both genders) should aspire to be like.
After Gabby won her gold medal, us, African-Americans, took to twitter to talk shit about her hair.
Really? If you look at the other gymnasts, they have the same hair-do. In a ponytail and slicked back.
But who cares. Why must we talk down about a positive black role model? She is the first AFRICAN AMERICAN to win a gold medal in gymnastics and we’re talking about her looks. It’s sexist, it’s trifling and it makes others continue to believe that the problem with the black community is ourselves, and not something that’s very complex.
Guess what? We do cause a lot of our problems in our community, and the reaction to Gabby is an example.
If you hated on a 16-year old girl after achieving something you’ll never do, shame on you. Re-evaluate your life.
Fashionista caught up with Gabby’s mom, Natalie Hawkins, in the Olympic Village, and askedher how Gabby felt about it:
She said,”Really?! I won two gold medals and made history and my hair is trending?” So we laughed about it. We made a huge joke out of it and I was quick to try to diffuse that situation. Because I thought, “How ignorant is it of people to comment on her hair and she still has more competitions to go. Are you TRYING to ruin her self confidence? She has to go out there and feel good about herself, and if she feels good about herself on that floor, who are YOU to criticize her? What have YOU done to help contribute to her dream, that you felt it necessary to put it out there so that she could see it.”
But it’s clear that Hawkins, with whom Gabby does not live much of the time, is incredibly (and rightfully) frustrated that her daughter’s hair has sparked discussion:
She gets relaxer but we try not to relax it too much. It’s really been African American women that have come out and attacked her. They don’t know about gymnastics. She has to keep her hair in a ponytail 28-30 hours a week. In gymnastics you’re tumbling around on your hair. You’re falling backwards on it. You’re doing “timers” and your hair is constantly snagging on the mat, and for our hair that’s very detrimental. You’re going into foam pits–and any hair stylist will tell you that foam on African American hair is destructive. It breaks the hair horribly. We had to come up with creative ways to keep [Gabby's] hair looking good. We’ve tried the short hair style, we’ve tried long. We grew her hair out because she preferred long hair. I’m not going to make her cut her hair just to please someone else.