Gabby Douglas, the women's all around Olympic gymnastics champ, made history as the first African American woman to win the top honors. But some people want to talk about her hair. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at midnight on Friday, August 3, 2012
History-Making Gabby Douglas Becomes Role Model for Young Gymnasts
Local gymnasts say Gabby Douglas – the first African-American woman to win gold in the Olympics gymnastics all-around – is their role model. We found our own Fab 5 of SoCal gymnasts who say Gabby’s history-making win inspires them to set their sights on the Games. Michelle Valles reports from Signal Hill for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on August 3, 2012.
Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas is the first African-American woman to win the all-around individual competition. But as she waved to a crowd of screaming fans with the gold medal draped around her neck, some people were more interested in her hair.
"It was her heart and soul and her skills that won," said Julie Cox. "Obviously that’s a petty way to look at it. I'm just proud for her."
Criticism of her hair was trending Thursday and Friday in social media. However, her many fans were eager to defend.
"Do we stop our girls from doing things because we're concerned about, is their hair going to look African American?" said Cheryl Duffy, owner of Coiffures Salon. "It has regrowth, the roots have come back. I got an issue with that. It's not just about the hair."
"Doing the hair is lovely," Duffy said. "It's glamorizing us. But it doesn't make who you are."
Supporters say forget the hair. They're thrilled the 16 year old made history, including some famous names.
Actor George Takei took to Twitter to express his disappointment in Douglas’ hair critics.
"Gabby Douglas wins TWO gold medals in gymnastics, and people focus on her HAIR? Shameful," he wrote.
To the delight of fans, Douglas spoke of hard work and not her hair on The Today Show Friday.
"Gold medals are made of sweat blood and tears," Douglas said, “and your efforts in the gym every day."