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by Maria Lloyd
As if it wasn’t already shameful enough for a 16 year-old Olympic Gold Medalist to waste time responding to her hair critics, her mother, Natalie Hawkins, has also decided to turn to the media to address her daughter’s hair critics. As opposed to telling them to ‘kick rocks’ like her history-making daughter did, Natalie decided to give critics an explanation for her daughter’s “hair flop.”
Here’s what Hawkins told her daughter’s hair critics: “She lives with a white host family and they don’t know anything about taking care of her hair. And there’s no black salons in their area [in Iowa] –- not one. We had to work really hard to find a stylist to come and do her hair.”
She also criticized the hair critics for potentially ruining her daughter’s self-esteem: “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.”
One must wonder if little Gabby has succumbed to the scrutiny of becoming an overnight sensation, as she finished last in the uneven bars final yesterday. This is one instance in which Hawkins would’ve served her daughter justice by not responding to her critics as opposed to giving them an explanation for her daughter’s hair. Instead of treating her daughter’s hair with relaxers, she should strongly consider allowing Gabby to be natural. Gabby’s hair wouldn’t suffer nearly half of the damage from sweat and ponytails if she were natural.