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Does the Criticism of Gabby’s Hair Reflect Self-Hatred?

Like countless other people across the globe, I love the Olympic Games.  There is just something about cheering on my fellow Americans to their quest for gold that makes me proud. As an African-American, it is one of the few times in my life where my race fades to the background and my nationality–my Americanness–becomes most important.  Yet, as I was watching the coverage of the women’s gymnastics competition, I was quickly reminded why my blackness is so much more salient.

Sixteen-year-old Gabby Douglas made history as she twirled her way to being the first African-American to win gold in the individual all-around competition.  As a black woman and mother, I was so proud of our beautiful “flying squirrel.”  Yet, I am ashamed to admit that as a sociologist and race scholar, one of my first thoughts as I watched Gabby sing the national anthem on the winner’s podium was, “Too bad there was no one in London who could do her hair…”


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21 Responses to Does the Criticism of Gabby’s Hair Reflect Self-Hatred?

  1. Junior Reply

    August 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Damn right it does, and I am sick it. That is another reason why other cultures do not take us seriously anymore. If the same idiots critizing her were doing what she does, by the time the finished her routine, their hair would be a little eskewed too. Stop the Crab-Barrel mentality B.S.. Just because you can’t do what she has accomplished, as the old saying goes “don’t hate the Player, hate the Game”, only in this case, don’t hate the Game, hate your own selfish ass for not sacrificing like she did, and I will bet you the “haters” are probably older than she.

  2. Marv Robinson Reply

    August 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    The funny thing about the black race as a whole. When on black individual set out in front of all others. The attitude that the majority of black folks turn to is that I hope that individual represents us like we want to see!
    Now the Truth and Reality of this whole matter of hair. Please leave this child and there family alone. Look back into your Bible where it says, judge not by appearance, but judge by using good judgement. I do not see Oprah’s stylist Andre Walker flying there to help Gabby’s hair style nor any other well to do black folks, VIP’s professional athletes, celebs, entertainers, etc.
    Please do not be foolish. God blessed that kid with a special skills and talent and has done what no one else of her race has never accomplished and or come close to accomplish as Gabby did for her country. Let this child learn do not attack the thought of who allowed this kids hair. That has nothing to do with the way she performed in the eyes of the beholder. Personally, I find that your ignorance’s is distasteful and disrespectful and all that has taken side to dislike something about this child need to get on your hands and needs and ask the Almighty to help you get your values in order! What we should be saying is Gabby how much will it take to sponsor your career, and we as a race will be there for your support so that you can and will continue your quest to be the best!

  3. shield Reply

    August 7, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    STFU you personify a house nigger at it’s best. If you don’t like yourself go soak yourself in a tub of bleach, or if you prefer, kill yourself since you hate yourself so much. Directed to the author with much malice and hate

  4. Toni Reply

    August 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    It is so ignorant to even acknowledge the remarks. You have to ignore it as if it is not been said. Too much time spent talking about it.

  5. Eurice Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 8:27 am

    This child is an athlete of the highest order..She is not in a beauty pageant..She is in a world-class competition. A competition where she has attained the highest honor. I think this child is an excellent example of drive, determination and focus..Focusing on what is/was important.. and to all you horse-hair wearing, fake A.. people that can’t see the beauty in this child’s accomplishments… MYODB…

  6. marcus davis Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Its very annoying that type of mentality how can progressive blacks advance up the ladder when we,re trying to tear each other down at the same time.Its a good thing that Gabby has a good head on her shoulders and can,t be bothered with all that stupidness as well she should.

  7. Udosed Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 10:17 am

    hummmmm, guess i’m missing the point – I STLL DON’T SEE WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER HAIR…I’m sure it is impossible to keep each hair in place while doing her routines. duhhhhh!!!!!!!!

  8. Mz Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Its sad. That there are mountains of Cosco beauty supply stores throughout the gutted Black communities that make a fortune! Weaves are even on the heads of little girls along with false overdone eyelashes and fake nails. Black Women have the lowest confidence levels ever. After all of the love our previous generations promoted how can we have so much self hate?

    • wealthylady Reply

      August 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      You are so right, it is mind boggling to say the least. Asian/Oriental don’t like us nor respect us, yet black women are in these businesses making them rich. Buying hair that they can’t afford to keep up thats matted, greasy & unkept, fake nails,eyelashes that are now causing eye diseases Money spent that could be saved toward a better future. I cut my hair off, I work out, I get a manicure if I have a special event to attend. (manicure not fake nails)

      It’s said that we have such self hatred as a race.

  9. anonymous Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I wonder if the criticism was real or just a stunt by blog owners to drive up more ratings and make money.

    On the other hand I know that there are lots of black folks ignorant enough to make fun of the girls hair, but would they actually stoop so low as to do it?

  10. Frank TALKER Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Yes, of course it does.

  11. Toni Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 11:01 am

    It most certainly does show self hatred….People fail to look at themselves to see things going on in their own lives and then they start focusing on someone else. I am so proud of Gabby and her accomplshments.

    All I can say is YOU GO GIRL

  12. Len Bryant Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 11:32 am

    You are wonderful gabby. Keep up the good work. God bless you.

  13. Neville T Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 11:37 am

    As a sociologist and race scholar, you certainly have adopted much of your teachers’ mentalities, which is not too surprising… However, you should use your education and re-teach yourself to appreciate, if not, love yourself!!!

  14. Edwardo Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    It is sad and stupid that people think like they do about the young ladies hair. She accomplished something no one else of the African American race has accomplished. As was said though, their are those haters out there, but it seems more ignorance than anything. Let us get on the band wagon of love instead of hate.

  15. Deborah Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    As a Nigerian, perhaps I can bring some sense to the multitude of angry African Americans.

  16. hambone Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    U know what, I get this SHI* every day and I ain’t changin my hair style 4no D body!! 4GET U Haters! If Y’ALL WON’T SO D DUMB, you would see she has a pretty good grade of hair cause she was able to pull it back with gel. Real tight curlly hair is hard 2do this with. I don’t care how much water & pins you use. You can also tell that some1 was lookin out 4 her cause how the HELL you think she got those clips in so straight. Y’all need 2b mindful of the details!! I know cause I am always doing something different to my hair, but it is always by chance I have a good-hair-day!! SO THERE YOU GO

  17. hambone Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I have 1last thing 2write. This 16year old YOUNG LADY has done something NO OTHER BLACK FEMALE HAS DONE and ONLY 3WHITE FEMALES HAVE DONE IN THE ENTIRE USA!! WOW

  18. hambone Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    We can only count out of the ones that tried!!

  19. Sandra Dee Reply

    August 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    It is because we have been told we are ugly for long that we start to believe it, especially seeing that we are the only race with our hair. Another problem is that since Madam C.J. Walker invented the straightening comb we have been changing our hair with hot combs and now perms or jerry curl like chemicals that we cannot do our own her. Another problem is that when we make films many of the so-called pretty girls have straight hair and weave, so that is who our girls look up to and think are beautiful and want to be like.

  20. patricia Reply

    August 9, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Haters and dream robbers.

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