NEWSFLASH: Gabby Douglas Is MUCH More Than Her Hair

I haven’t watched much of this years Olympics as it’s hard for me to feign interest in events I barely understand, with participants I am hardly familiar with, but for some reason I have been thoroughly plugged into the female gymnastics competition. Maybe it’s because of the fierce competition, the ridiculous pressure an entire country can put on a group of teenage girls, or the fact that this is the stage where I was introduced to my first love, Dominique Dawes. But whatever the reason, I have been tuned in and I’m glad that I’ve been paying attention, namely to see the rise of the amazing 16-year old Black gymnast who is WHOPPING ass right now – Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas. After winning the team all around gold medal, she just became the first African-American to capture the gold in the Individual All Around – yet all some sorry-ass haters could focus on was her hair.

After seeing this absolutely gorgeous young girl take the stage, with all the pressure of the world (literally) on her back, she performed majestically and was CLUTCH as hell in pressure packed situations. Being the only African-American on the team, you would think our community would shower her with love, compliments and praise [which MANY of us did do], but even in a moment of such greatness there HAD to be some clowns in our community to try and ruin it via reckless and stupid tweets:

Now I will save the self-loathing commentary to all the Natural hair sites, but what I want to ask, is why exactly does a teenage female athlete in the Olympics need to be sexy for? Instead of focusing on her incredible balance, strength, muscle definition, stamina, poise and mental toughness, why is anybody focused on her cosmetic appeal? Gabby is a world class athlete performing on the biggest stage of her life – and that stage is NOT on the Bronner Brothers Hair Show.

But as much as we say “people” were hating, let’s keep it real: It was Black women hating on a young Black girl for reasons I can’t understand. Maybe they were just jokes, and many of us bloggers and fans of Gabby are taking this issue too seriously, but for some reason I DON’T think it’s JUST jokes, and I firmly believe that these women actually believe Gabby has as much of a duty to be a great athlete as she does to have sex-appeal – which is disgusting.

But what I REALLY found hilarious this week was the fact that Nicki Minaj, an entertainer who has undergone a LOT of plastic surgery to look palatable to the general public, just released a new video (which I think is actually very good since she’s repping carnival and the West Indies) and the internet was going nuts over it. Funny enough, no one brought up the fact that her lacefront looked like a Pittsburgh Steelers helmet. I think Nicki is absolutely beautiful but I wonder why she felt like rocking the Mickey Mouse hairline in the “Pound The Alarm” video. So Nicki’s above reproach, but a 16-year old world champion is a ripe target?

Gabby is SO much more than her hair, and some of y’all need to get that through your thick skulls.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

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