The adorable gold medalist had enough pressure trying to win medal, and then came the vicious criticism about her competition hair! Here’s what the fiery gymnast had to say about it!
“They have no idea what they’re talking about,” Gabby Douglas, 16, told Us Weekly at the P&G Family Home about the ridiculous controversy. “You sweat and all the gel and hairspray comes out. Even if we did fix our hair, our coach would be like, ‘This is not a beauty pageant! Leave it alone.”
Gabby explained (as if she needed to!) there isn’t time or room to get glam at a gymnastics competition. “There’s no bathroom,” Douglas said. “We rotate from event to event so there’s no time for them to say ‘Representing the USA, Gabrielle Douglas’ and me to say ‘Yeah, thanks!’ as I’m brushing my hair. It’s like, come on.”
The surprising thing about the controversy, was that most of the backlash came from within the African American community, who felt her chemically-straightened hair, pulled into a ponytail with barrettes and gel, wasn’t representative of her culture. “It’s so disrespectful! I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about bringing a gold medal home,” says Gabby. “I use great Pantene products in my hair. They make my hair silky, shiny and healthy.”
Gabby credits her USA Olympics teammates and her mom as her biggest support system.
“You have to have a momma bear like I do! She’s doing a good job!” says Gabby of her mom, Natalie Hawkins, who defended her daughter, saying, “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?”
The confident champion offers advice for girls facing similar criticism. “Focus on the positive stuff. Short, long, curly, bald, blonde — it’s really no different. You’re beautiful inside and out, just like the Selena Gomez song, ‘Who Says?'” the champ mused. “You can’t change it, and people don’t realize how much that can impact someone. You don’t want to joke around about something like that because that can really hurt a person and impact their lives.”
Gabby, you go girl! You have absolutely nothing to defend. Keep on giving the world that winning attitude!
— Jennifer Tzeses
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- Gabby Douglas’ Mom Natalie Hawkins On Sacrificing For Her Daughter