As I watched it I wondered a few things. Is Gabby’s hair permanently straightened or does she iron it straight. I also wondered if she would be the first African-American to win the all-around gold. The commentators didn’t mention the fact that she was black. It didn’t bother me, it was actually refreshing that race wasn’t the topic of discussion, the sport was. Of course while watching I spent more time amazing and wowed by her skill and talent. She flies effortlessly. She is a super star.
Hitting the blogosphere early this morning (I actually have nowhere to go today!) the world is full of congrats for Gabby as it should be. A NPR blog caught my eye. Apparently there is an uproar in some of the black community that her hair isn’t as it should be. I think her hair looked great for an athlete who has to have it out-of-the-way. I would love it if she unleashed it and showed some beautiful curls after the olympics is over so my girls can see how awesome curls are. If she doesn’t, however, I will not think less of her. Reading the comments to said article some people were incredulous that people where talking hair. I wasn’t surprised. Hair is always discussed in the black community. Of course I am not really apart of that community, I’m more on the fringe trying to make it easier on Mita and Enu to be apart of that community while being raised in a primarily white family in a primarily white community.
There was also a few comments on the fact that race wasn’t being mentioned at all. Some were mad about it and some were happy. Others were wondering about what the big deal is. Here is the thing. When you are apart of a minority community, there is not only pride (just like in majority communities) there is as need to really represent, to make an impact to show how awesome your community is. This is not a bad thing, it just is. Personally I was happy that every other word wasn’t about Gabby being black, but I did make sure my kids knew of her achievement for the black community. It is important for all of our kids to know when history is being made. It is inspiring. It is history.
All of that to say, we are so pleased for Gabby Douglas and her family. She is talented. She is strong. She is beautiful and full of life with a smile that rocks the world. Whatever her hair style, whatever her race she is champion!