Gabby Douglas makes me proud

Aside from watching the Opening Ceremonies live, I haven’t been watching the Olympics. When I’m at home, the TV is either turned to baseball (thanks Trinity) or Disney Channel, and beyond that, I’m usually too tired to seek anything new out. So, I’ve mostly been keeping up with Olympics news that’s gone viral — which includes a Yahoo news item about how Gabby Douglas hair has come under fire.

Gabby Douglas’ hair (AP)

From the Yahoo article:

Some critics insist that Douglas needs to properly represent the African American community, and how her hair looks is part of that. And yet, most of the negative comments about her hair are coming from other African Americans.

When I told Trinity about this, he shook his head and said, “crabs in a bucket.” That phrase, which I’ve also heard used in the Filipino community, refers to the crabs at the bottom of a bucket pulling down one of their hardier fellows who managed to nearly climb out.

I was, of course, outraged for all the usual reasons — she is going for gold, who cares about her hair, when you’re competing in an athletic contest, you can’t worry about your hair, yaddah yaddah yaddah. But here’s what really makes me most mad/disappointed.

Consider that the two tweets referenced represent, say, 50 tweets. Say those 100 tweets represent another couple of hundred of women across the country saying the same thing in their homes, with their friends, and in front of their daughters. All those daughters are hearing their mothers and mothers’ friends reduce this amazing young woman’s landmark athletic accomplishments to a discussion about….her hair.


Let’s take a look at one of those accomplishments again, shall we?

U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas performs on the balance beam during the artistic gymnastics women’s individual all-around competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London. (Gregory Bull/AP)