At just 16-years-old, Gabby Douglas is the first African American female Olympic gymnast to win all around gold. So why is the world so worried about her hair?
The teenage Olympic champion has been criticized for her less than glamorous hairstyles she has been sporting at the games. Douglas wears her hair gelled back into a ponytail secured with several clips. After winning her medals, strongly-opinionated critics took to Twitter to rip the young champ about her hair. Hateful tweets including, "a hot mess", "her hair should have been better," and "She couldnt use some of that sponsorship money to get a perm?" flooded the Twitter feed.
According to the Associated Press, Douglas fired back at her haters. "I don't know where this is coming from. What's wrong with my hair? I'm like, 'I just made history and people are focused on my hair?" said the champ. "It can be bald or short, it doesn't matter about (my) hair. Nothing is going to change. I'm going to wear my hair like this during beam and bar finals. You might as well just stop talking about it. I don't think people should be worried about that. We're all champions and we're all winners. I just say that it's kind of, a stupid and crazy thought to think about my hair."
Douglas brushed off the critics with ease. The gold medalist is expected to rake in about $100 million in endorsements by next year. With the endless success Douglas is receiving, her critics may have to find another way to get her attention.
Supporters of the Olympian have glorified her skill and dismissed the criticism. YouTuber, Tyler Oakley tweeted, "Gabby Douglas had to reply to criticism of her HAIR?! She made Olympic history and people have the audacity to question her hair? F**k off!" Russell Simmons also came to her defense and Beyoncé even blogged about her.
Fashionista caught up with Douglas' mother, Natalie Hawkins and asked her how she felt about her daughter's hair hoopla. When she first heard of the negative comments about her teenage daughter, Hawkins was furious. "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'," said Hawkins. She continued saying, "At this level in her career, hair is somewhat secondary." Douglas' mom was also appreciative of the support of many, "To see that the number of people supporting her is much greater than the number of people speaking out against her really gave us a lot of comfort and it really comforted my daughter to see that it was only a small number of those women who for whatever reason thought it was OK to comment. Gabrielle Union and Serena Williams both tweeted and supported Gabby. She hasn't given it another moment's thought."
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