Gabby Douglas’ hair? Really?!

Gabby Douglas! You’ve just won an Olympic Gold medal as All-Around Gymnast! What are you going to do now?!

Fend off criticism about her hair, evidently.

Seriously?! That’s the first thing that comes to people’s minds: Gee, her hair looks messy?! My apologies. I can see how you might mistake the Olympics for the Miss America pageant. NOT! Here’s a dollar; go buy yourself a life and a finger-shot of sense. She’s a gymnast, not the Breck Girl.

Oh, you can bet that when she’s doing photo- and video-shoots for her endorsement deals her hair will look immaculate. But when she’s competing–or even afterward on the medal stand–she’s covered in sweat, chalk, and perhaps even some blood, and you’re worried about her hair? How shallow a society have we become.

Based on the article above and others it appears the bulk of the conflict is among the black community, in which case I’m not qualified to comment, of course. But it would be rather ironic if white Americans watch Douglas at the Olympics and think “Wow, she’s a great gymnast! Way to represent our country, and congrats on being the first black all-around winner*!”, while black Americans look at her and think “Bad hair!”.  (* Which never occurred to me until the announcers brought it up–it never entered my mind that she might NOT be a great gymnast. She was on the team, no? She qualified, no? Her race makes no more difference than the design on their leotards.)

Was it something else? Was it because she gave credit to God in her interview right after she won? There are certainly groups in America who might find that offensive, but I suspect the vast majority of them could set that aside for a young woman who just achieved a major accomplishment like that. Let her thank her cat for all it matters. She won! Celebrate with the girl!

It’s really, really sad that there are people out there for whom anyone else’s success is somehow their failure. Did Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. have it right when he wrote “Harrison Bergeron”? Have we truly turned into a society where everyone HAS to be equal in every way, and must be handicapped down to the lowest common denominator if they’re not? Are there people for whom their automatic response to someone else’s susccess is “Let’s look for faults! Quick!”?

I want no part of that world. Gabby Douglas, you worked your butt off and made us all proud. Fly as high as you want, young lady. I hope the future holds nothing but good for you.

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