'Good Hair' Better Than A Gold Medal?

'Good Hair' Better Than A Gold Medal?
Good hair or gold medal? At least Gabrielle Douglas, the first African-American gymnastics gold medalist, will never have to decide. Some of her Twitter fans are less kind.

It was something out of the movie "Beauty Shop," the Queen Latifah comedy where she develops a magic conditioner ('Hair Crack') and educates her wannabe wild niece, beauty operators and clients (Alicia Silverstone, Andie McDowell, Alfre Woodard, Keshia Knight-Pulliam, Della Reese, a pre-View Sherri Shepherd, etc.) on the art of living and good hairstyling, while battling the evil Kevin Bacon (and Mena Suvari). Sorry, ladies, forgot to mention the goodness of Djimon Hounsou as her boyfriend.

Or "Good Hair," the Chris Rock documentary on the importance of hairstyle in African-American women's culture. 

Some folks just weren't satisfied after Gabrielle "Gabby" Douglas became the United States' first African-American all-around gold medalist in gymnastics.

Wasn't it enough that Douglas made history, leading all the way through four events, scoring 62.232 points, and culminating with her powerful, yet playful floor exercise illuminating brilliant, aerobatic arials. Not to mention the most luminous smile since Mary Lou Retton in 1984 Los Angeles?

Let's not forget that she became just the fourth American woman to win the all-around, following Retton, Carly Patterson in 2004 and Nastia Liukin in 2008. 

After she won, the Twitterverse was abuzz. Not with congratulations, but with comments...from other African-American ladies, mind you, about, of all things...her hair.

Look at these quotes, just a smattering of what the Twitterverse had to offer:

Am ‏@TheFlyShyGirl @VintageNegro Gaby Douglas. I want our little black American gymnastic princess and her hair to be great.

Cynthia Williams † ‏@abeautifulCYN  But why didn't Gaby Douglas get her hair done properly. I'm pretty sure people would of hooked her up for free. LOL

Nina Mosley ‏@OriginalGaPeach Gaby Douglas.....work on your interviewing skills boo. And who's doing your hair while in London?

What does a 17-year-old have to do for some respect, anyway?

Well, some people get it. Kudos to actress Gabrielle Union, who invented a whole new word in her tweet, "Gabulous!:"

Gabrielle Union ‏@itsgabrielleu@gabrielledoug is a winner... I am proud of her...all of her. She is beautiful exactly the way she is. Shes #Gabulous #byehaters

 Showtime ‏@showtimesays Gaby Douglas is such an inspiration. A great role model for all little girls across the world.

That says what I'm thinking....along with NBA Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, previous gold medalist Nastia Luikin, and thousands more.

The main focus of "Good Hair," according to Wikipedia, is in the film is the extreme lengths that black women are willing to go through in order to look a certain way. Because of how strongly society connects a black woman’s hair to her identity, it is understandable why black hair care has developed into a 9 billion dollar business.

In relationships, Rock explained that when dating African-American women, "...You are conditioned not to even go there. When I was a dating guy, I dated women from different races. Anytime I was with an Asian or a Puerto Rican girl or a white girl, my hands would constantly be in their hair. Like my hands were thirsty.”

Cheatin' hair, that's what that is....

Frankly, after the workout Douglas went through, I'm amazed that her hair wasn't plastered to her scalp, rivulets running down the back of her neck and dampening the short hairs at the nape of her neck. That's how I left sweaty ballet performances. Douglas had no makeup out of place, and no hair in her ponytail/bunwas inappropriately placed.

According to the New York Times, Douglas said she had forgotten that a victory would make her the first black Olympic champion in the all-around. But in June, after the national championships, she explained exactly how much that would mean to her.

“I have an advantage because I’m the underdog and I’m black and no one thinks I’d ever win,” she said. “Well, I’m going to inspire so many people. Everybody will be talking about, how did she come up so fast? But I’m ready to shine.”

Like gold, she shone. Very brightly. And everyone is talking about it. Especially after Mrs. Bela Karolyi, the wife of the legendary gymnastics coach, said publicly just five months ago that she doubted Douglas would be ready for the competition. Douglas' lack of focus bothered Mrs. Karolyi.

No matter what, Douglas has accomplished something that the Tweeters will likely never accomplish...immortality in Olympic folklore. Now, that's something to aspire (and perspire) to achieve.

Next up, Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Virginia, who left home at 14 to pursue her dreams and achieved them three years later, will be posing for a corn flakes box cover. And no doubt, many magazine covers as well. With the help of a professional stylist, I'm sure.

And while she's posing and smiling, I suggest she use, as motivational music, maybe the theme from "Beauty Shop:"

Jill Scott's "(Living My Life Like It's) Golden."

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