Gabby Douglas Straight Hair Controversy

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US Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, 16, won 2 gold medals at the 2012 Winter Olympics in London, but critics slammed her for her hair and its supposed failure to ‘represent’ the African American community. Her mom Natalie Hawkins told FASHIONISTA: ‘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?’

Douglas’ chemically-straightened hair, pulled into a ponytail with barrettes and gel, matches the coifs of her four Caucasian ‘Fab Five’ teammates Aly Raisman, Mckayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber. Since gymnastics involves flying through the air, strands are bound to fall out of place. The 4-foot-11 teen is an African American rocking straightened not natural hair that is why she is being slammed.

‘It’s really been African American women that have come out and attacked her. They don’t know about gymnastics. She has to keep her hair in a ponytail 28 to 30 hours a week. We grew her hair out because she preferred long hair. I’m not going to make her cut her hair just to please someone else.’

The critics wanted to see Douglas with unprocessed hair in the form of braids, an afro or kinky curls. Douglas and her mom are approaching the controversy with a sense of humor: ‘She said, ‘Really?! I won two gold medals and made history and my hair is trending?’ So we laughed about it.. [Gabby] lives with a white host family.. and there’s no black salons in their area [Iowa[], not one. We had to work really hard to find a stylist to come and do her hair.’

  • adorkabledanni

    Are you fricken kidding me? WHO CARES WHAT HER HAIR LOOKS LIKE?! She’s the first African American to win a gold medal in gymnastics! God, people will look to pick on anything.

  • Anonymous

    Wjo cares? It’s her hair…

  • LexiT93

    The fab-5 is actually not all caucasian- two are Jewish and one is half Asian/African American, and then Gabby is African American-quite diverse so fix your post!! :/ Don’t act so ignorant-the 1 post you have of another race is negative – Gabby’s hair is fine and her gold was better- POST THAT!! and if you want to post about TEAM USA then know the facts about the team such as its more diverse than your blog will ever be!!

  • Anonymous

    Fix your blog- two girls are Jewish and is is Asian/ African American and one is African American!
    Who Are you to ask if her hair should be straightened- way to rise above the “controversy”!

  • Anonymous

    The real controversy is this OceanUp blog- not one post of congrats for Gabby but the first post is negative- GET IT TOGETHER!!!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe she straightens her hair because that way it is easier to put it in a ponytail ? I mean, this has to be a joke…

  • barbiescunt

    They need to fuck off. That girl is perfect. Why isn’t the “African American community” also slamming Rihanna, Beyonce, or Jordin Sparks? People wear their hair however they want, their ethnicity shouldn’t matter.

  • BrokenArrow

    smh

  • crystal

    i have yet to see what’s wrong with her hair… i mean really.

  • crystal

    i have yet to see what’s wrong with her hair… i mean really.

  • Sammy

    Excuse me but… London 2012 WINTER olympics?! Pretty sure it’s summer oceanup.

  • Anonymous

    This is the biggest bunch of bull I have ever heard. Who cares about her hair?! SHE MADE HISTORY. She’s a great gymnast! That is the least of her concern. Gabby, keep doing your thing; screw the haters!

  • Anonymous

    “Excuse me but… London 2012 WINTER olympics?! Pretty sure it’s summer oceanup.”
    __________________________________

    Hahaha I realized that too.

  • Anonymous

    SHE IS NOT REPRESENTING AMERICA… SHE IS REPRESENTING UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
    UNITED STATES –> ISNT AMERICA
    NORTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA AND SOUTH AMERICA–> AMERICA
    just wanted to let you know PEOPLE

  • Anonymous

    “[Gabby] lives with a white host family.. and there’s no black salons in their area [Iowa[], not one. We had to work really hard to find a stylist to come and do her hair.'” lol so in the US there are salons for black people and salons for white people? lol why? can’t they all go to the same salon?
    I can’t believe that people is talking about her hair when she’s only 16 and she has become in the first African American girl to win 2 gold medals!! can’t believe it

  • Anonymous

    SHE IS NOT REPRESENTING AMERICA… SHE IS REPRESENTING UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
    UNITED STATES –> ISNT AMERICA
    NORTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA AND SOUTH AMERICA–> AMERICA
    just wanted to let you know PEOPLE
    ——————————————-

    THIS!!!

  • Anonymous

    Idiot. The united states means the fifty states, puerto rico, and d.c. United together. that is what she is representing. The other americas are completely different & have nothing to do with the u.s…only discovered by the same guy…named america. -_-

  • Anonymous

    im black and pissed about this. like who cares? This is gymnastics not cheerleading no one cares about hair.

  • nownlaterz

    “critics slammed her for her hair and its supposed failure to ‘represent’ the African American community”

    I’m black and I see no problem with her hair, who.cares. how her hair is styled? Those members of the “African American community” who slammed her for her hair are literally ridiculous/borderline insane. It’s an OLYMPIC COMPETITION, not a beauty competition.

  • Anonymous

    She’s beautiful with her hair however she wants it to be. Let’s focus on how she has two gold medals at such a young age. Society wonders why girls are so insecure about themselves.

  • xFireBomb

    “[Gabby] lives with a white host family.. and there’s no black salons in their area [Iowa[], not one. We had to work really hard to find a stylist to come and do her hair.'” lol so in the US there are salons for black people and salons for white people? lol why? can’t they all go to the same salon?
    I can’t believe that people is talking about her hair when she’s only 16 and she has become in the first African American girl to win 2 gold medals!! can’t believe it
    _____________________________________________
    I don’t think white stylist know how to work with natural African American hair (coarse/ afros) Hell, there’s beginning to be a shortage of black stylists who know how to work wwith natural black hair.

  • ayylove

    shes not trying to represent the African Community she is just trying to represent America…because need to calm down

  • Anonymous

    so beyonce, being a great african american artist, shouldn’t have the big old weave on her head either? people are cray.

  • HEy

    im black and i don’t leave my hair curly…it really doesnt mean anything and nobody should make a big deal about it, she isn’t trying to win for Africa she is trying to win for America

  • Anonymous

    Who cares what her hair looks like? She should keep it however she wants. She just made history and she’s only 16, and people care about her HAIR? Wow…

  • Anonymous

    WOW! people nowadays! smfh, she shouldnt let this get to her cuz shes walkking away wit 2 GOLD medals soo screw the critics

  • Gabby rules!

    negro women does nothing but complain (not directed to Gabby, but the haters)

  • Anonymous

    Gabby is pretty with that straight hair anyway

  • jessica effect

    Go talk about how all black people are racist in front of a group of blacks in real life instead of hiding behind a computer. Thanks!

    ———-

    Did I ever say “ALL” black people? I said the majority. You obviously didn’t read my other comment where I said half of my family is black. My mom is married to a black guy, my step siblings are black, my cousin is half black, and my sister is half black. A lot of my friends are black or mixed with black. And I still stand by what I said. Yes, my step siblings may be black and I love them with all my heart, however, when my side of the family gets together with my step-siblings side of the family we are treated differently because we’re white. I went to my family friends baby shower where I was the ONLY white girl there and I got so many racist comments slurred towards me while the girl I was there for wasn’t around. I got so many stares and I constantly got asked why I was there. Ignorance is bliss.

  • Miley_Jonas

    jessica effect said:

    the majority of black people are more racist than any other race

    THIS.

  • Anonymous

    i know

  • Anonymous

    Black people can’t be racist, but they are saying shit about other races all the time

  • Anonymous

    Go talk about how all black people are racist in front of a group of blacks in real life instead of hiding behind a computer. Thanks!

  • AcidPinkLemonade

    jessica effect said:

    Except, they really are. Don’t act it’s the medias fault for me thinking this. Half of my family is black. More than half of my school AND community is black. I live in South Carolina and although there is a lot or racism towards black people coming from white people, there’s a HELL of a lot more racism coming from black people towards white people. You sound really offended and my post wasn’t meant to offend you. But where *I’m* from, that’s how things are. You’ll most likely see a ghetto black person putting down a white person before anything else. Or a black person claiming that a white person is being racist when the white person has done nothing to even be considered racist.

    Note: I know I only mentioned black and white people in my post. I know they’re not the only races, however, where I live it’s about 50% black, 45% white, and 5% other.
    =========================
    I’m from South Carolina too and I agree about the racism toward whites part.

  • AcidPinkLemonade

    I can understand why the black community is upset. When black women tend to wear their hair in it’s natural state, especially the darker toned ones and younger girls, they’re always being told they need to do something with it. It’s happened to me. if Gabby Douglas, an important figure, can rock an afro, I guess they assume it’ll boost some girls’ confidence and they won’t feel they need to damage it so much with chemicals and perms. However, if it wasn’t straight, she’d get criticized too. Besides, most “black” salons don’t know how to do natural hair anyway and doing it yourself takes time.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you DARE start that bullshit. I doubt you even know “the majority of black people” to even know if they are racist. The mainstream media LOVES to pick on and put anyone who isn’t white down. I JUST read an article (yesterday) about an abortion doctor saying his work helps get rid of “ugly black babies”. So don’t you f*cking sit there and tell me the “majority of black people are racist.”

    —–
    haha sure
    have you seen the video that’s going around tumblr where black girls talk about how they feel ugly etc etc there was a woman who said that all the hate she was getting when she was younger for being “too dark” came from other blacks while the white kids were telling her that she’s beautiful and has great skin.. it is true that black people are way more racist you probably insult white people all the time but of course no one’s gonna admit it

  • Anonymous

    Go talk about how all black people are racist in front of a group of blacks in real life instead of hiding behind a computer. Thanks!

    ____

    So we can get shot? Isn’t crime what you’re famous with? Oh aids also

  • Anonymous

    THAT AWKWARD MOMENT WHEN NINA IS CANADIAN AND CLAIRE IS AUSTRALIAN SO THEY AREN’T EVEN REALLY ROOTING FOR THE USA…

  • Cami

    It’s ridiculous! She won two medals and people complain about her hair… Can’t believe it!!

  • Cami

    Btw, this is such a nice picture
    http://www.oceanup.com/photogallery?nid=84501&fid=585151
    :)
    hahaha, just saying (?)

  • Anonymous

    ahahaha wow this is the stupidest thing everrrr
    the girl is an olympic champion and people are honestly having controversy over the fact that she straightened her hair? wtf
    i’m pretty sure there are more important things people should be worried about
    and her hair looks great straightened :)

  • xFireBomb

    I’m black, and my hair looks like Gabby’s so the whole “she’s not representing African American women” argument is dumb&irrelevant. This girl is a legend. Can’t we be happy for her?

  • Anonymous

    rofl,well , african american women are the ones who slammed her, what did you expect ? xD

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous said:

    so white athletes shouldn’t be allowed to have super curly hair while they’re competing too then

    ——–

    first best comment here

  • Anonymous

    FUCK THE HATERS GABBY

  • Anonymous

    for those who dont quite understand the reason so many people are so touchy feely over relaxed hair is because coarse is often deemed unprofessional and looked down upon and isnt put into the limelight of beauty. as someone who begged to get relaxed hair the seventh grade because i felt my hair wasnt good enough and no other classmate had hair like my own (everyone was relaxed) i understand however if gabby chose to have her hair relaxed its her choice and they have no right what so ever to critize her over something as little as hair.

  • Anonymous

    Most of the African Americans who go to my school have striaght hair. Why can’t a 16 year old gold medalist.

  • Kyle

    Please with the African American comments, she is an American and EVERYONE LOVES HER !!! No cares about her hair, its all her TALENT AND GRACE! She seems so loving and caring too and very beautiful.
    I am French and no one calls me a French American BTW

  • Anonymous

    the majority of black people are more racist than any other race

    —-*-

    Don’t you DARE start that bullshit. I doubt you even know “the majority of black people” to even know if they are racist. The mainstream media LOVES to pick on and put anyone who isn’t white down. I JUST read an article (yesterday) about an abortion doctor saying his work helps get rid of “ugly black babies”. So don’t you f*cking sit there and tell me the “majority of black people are racist.”

  • Anonymous

    OCEANUP RACIST

  • jessica effect

    Don’t you DARE start that bullshit. I doubt you even know “the majority of black people” to even know if they are racist. The mainstream media LOVES to pick on and put anyone who isn’t white down. I JUST read an article (yesterday) about an abortion doctor saying his work helps get rid of “ugly black babies”. So don’t you f*cking sit there and tell me the “majority of black people are racist.”

    ———

    Except, they really are. Don’t act it’s the medias fault for me thinking this. Half of my family is black. More than half of my school AND community is black. I live in South Carolina and although there is a lot or racism towards black people coming from white people, there’s a HELL of a lot more racism coming from black people towards white people. You sound really offended and my post wasn’t meant to offend you. But where *I’m* from, that’s how things are. You’ll most likely see a ghetto black person putting down a white person before anything else. Or a black person claiming that a white person is being racist when the white person has done nothing to even be considered racist.

    Note: I know I only mentioned black and white people in my post. I know they’re not the only races, however, where I live it’s about 50% black, 45% white, and 5% other.

  • Anonymous

    This is why I hate people, because instead of focusing on the two OLYMPIC medals she won, they focus on her hair.

    This world is full of conceited fucks.

  • The Truth

    This is SO STUPID!! she won 2 gold medals and they’re worried about her hair? Like people grow up,i’m like ¿Really bitch, really?.

  • realistgangsta

    Don’t you DARE start that bullshit. I doubt you even know “the majority of black people” to even know if they are racist. The mainstream media LOVES to pick on and put anyone who isn’t white down. I JUST read an article (yesterday) about an abortion doctor saying his work helps get rid of “ugly black babies”. So don’t you f*cking sit there and tell me the “majority of black people are racist.”

    ——————-
    preach

  • Anonymous

    Also I’m pretty sure these are the Summer olympics, and only 3 of her teammates are caucasian.

  • AnonASS

    Except, they really are. Don’t act it’s the medias fault for me thinking this. Half of my family is black. More than half of my school AND community is black. I live in South Carolina and although there is a lot or racism towards black people coming from white people, there’s a HELL of a lot more racism coming from black people towards white people. You sound really offended and my post wasn’t meant to offend you. But where *I’m* from, that’s how things are. You’ll most likely see a ghetto black person putting down a white person before anything else. Or a black person claiming that a white person is being racist when the white person has done nothing to even be considered racist.

    Note: I know I only mentioned black and white people in my post. I know they’re not the only races, however, where I live it’s about 50% black, 45% white, and 5% other.

    ———

    STFU. You sound DUMB.

  • Miley_Jonas

    This is a legit joke. This girl just won 2 Olympic gold medals at her age, she’s an amazing role model, and they’re insulting her because she straightens her hair??? Yep, this is the end.

  • Anonymous

    This is a legit joke. This girl just won 2 Olympic gold medals at her age, she’s an amazing role model, and they’re insulting her because she straightens her hair??? Yep, this is the end.
    __
    I know its ridiculous.

    It looks like she has long thick healthy hair and she’s wearing it in a bun. That’s it. Now please turn your attention to the olympic champion winning gold not her hair.

    I can’t find it but there was this icon with Willy Wonka’s face that said “Oh so you think Gabby should fix her hair? Tell me again what your hair looked like on the day you made history?” Lmao

  • xxxsingxxx

    This is the stupidest crap I have ever heard. If she wants long straight hair why can’t she have it. It shouldn’t matter if she is African American. The way she has it done obviously makes sense for gymnastics. The people who are criticizing her need to shut up.

  • Anonymous

    aren’t blacks supposed to support each other

  • NandaFizzy

    Who cares about her hair? It’s not her hair that is going to ‘represent the African American community’, it’s her talent.

    God, some people are so dumb nowadays.

  • jessica effect

    the majority of black people are more racist than any other race

  • ayylove

    not necessarily…..i go to a very racist school and none of the racism towards black people is done by black people

  • Anonymous

    not necessarily…..i go to a very racist school and none of the racism towards anyone is actually done by anyone black…

  • Jinxx.

    lol, what the hell? she can straighten her hair if she wants to.
    some people… -.-

  • Anonymous

    so white athletes shouldn’t be allowed to have super curly hair while they’re competing too then.

  • niiilaaa

    wow how stupid and ignorent thing to say leave the poor girl alone she looks cute :) and she have one great smilee, btw im latin and i have natural curly hair but sometimes i wanna change looks so i go for straight hair he reasons can be so many gosh? maybe she wanted her hair out of the way!!! grow up people we all do our hair some timess geez!!