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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday Talk: Crabs in a barrel...Even at the Olympics?

It’s been a little while since our last Thursday Love, and while it has been a while, know that I’ll always come back to you.

This week we’re not going to address the issues between men and women and their romantic relationships; we’re going to address another issue that rears its ugly head far too often!

In this past week a young 16 year old black girl from Virginia Beach by way of Des Moines Iowa made history by becoming the first African American girl to win a gold medal in both the team gymnastics competition and the individual all-around competition. I’m speaking about Gabby Douglas, and despite her historic accomplishment at the 2012 Summer Olympics, many people took to twitter to make comments about her. Not applauding her meteoric rise to fame, her skill, her poise through the pressure filled competition, but making disparaging comments about her hair. Yes, you heard right…her hair!

You would think that Americans in general would have been so proud to see such a performance on such a grand stage. Even more so you’d think that fellow African-Americans would admire, and hold Gabby Douglas with such great esteem after proving her to be the best all-around gymnast in the world! Especially since no other black woman has ever won the individual all-around gold medal.

I saw more people than I’d cared to see making some form of negative remark, not about her performance or being “sudden gymnastics enthusiasts” but criticizing her for “not having her hair done because she’s representing black women all around the world”. I think that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I mean what were they expecting, her to have an 18-inch weave in her hair during a physical competition which involves jumping, flipping, spinning, etc.! I mean come on….had she gone that route and went overboard with extra hair and makeup, then people (particularly black women) would have been criticizing her saying that she was still misrepresenting black women!
Enough is enough people; we have got to stop it with this crab in a barrel mentality! Why is it that every single time a black person, be they male or female, accomplishes something huge, other black people feel the need to tarnish their accomplishment with scathing remarks? Do we feel so threatened by others successes and so unimportant in our own lives that we feel the need to downgrade everything others do? It’s unfortunate that people felt the need to criticize Gabby’s hair especially while they were sitting at home not making history, and generally underachieving compared to the 16 year old gymnastics phenom. Jealousy is an ugly mistress and over the last few days, she’s had many disillusioned partners! Until we learn to celebrate our successes as a people, they’ll always be few and far between!

I applaud Gabby Douglas for what she’s accomplished and the sacrifices both her and her family have made for her to reach this level in her career. And to the women who had something negative to say about her hair, she’s about to be on the cover of a Wheaties box, and is about to sign some other endorsement deals, all because of her performance and it had nothing to do with whether her hair was done or not! Let me ask the Gabby hair haters out there a question…would you rather be at home watching the Olympics with your hair done, or competing in them, winning two gold medals and very soon being worth a few million dollars if not more?


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