Gabby Douglas made history with her gold medal winning performance at the women's gymnastics all-around competition, but Douglas' hair seemed to get more attention than her high flying skills.
Douglas is only 16 years old. She's only the fourth American to win the women's gymnastics all-around. She's the first African American woman to ever win the competition. However, none of that mattered to some people on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. All they could talk about was her hair.
According to some users, her hair was far from worthy of a gold medal. Tweets like these took over the Twittersphere, causing discussion and outrage.
Many of the commenters didn't like that Douglas used hair pins and gel to keep her hair intact while performing. The Daily Beast noted that Douglas seems to have chemically relaxed hair which she covers in gel and uses pins to keep it in place during her routines. She also adds a hair piece to the end of her pony tail for extra length.
"I love how she's doing her thing and winning,'' 22-year-old Latisha Jenkins of Detroit told The Daily Beast. "But I just hate the way her hair looks with all those pins and gel. I wish someone could have helped her make it look better since she's being seen all over the world. She representing for black women everywhere.''
Others fought back at the inconsiderate Twitter users who made Douglas' hair the main focus, despite all of her accomplishments during the Games.
"I find it sad that I have seen more Black women post criticizing comments about Gabby's hair than I have comments of praise about her athleticism or adding color to USA Gymnastics since Dominique Dawes," writes Monisha Randolph at SportyAfros.com.
@SPmusik tweeted, "People busy talking about Gabby Douglas not having her hair done?? She's busy sweating & WINNING GOLD MEDALS.. you're on TWITTER. Right."
@theQueenParks pointed out, "Gabby Douglas The First African American to Win the Gold Olympic Medal in the Women's All-Around, & all y'all can talk about is her hair -_-"
Hair serves special significance within the African American community. Comedian Chris Rock went as far as to create a documentary called "Good Hair," about his quest to find out why black women care so much about it.
"There's always this sort of pressure within the black community like, if you have good hair, you're prettier or better than the brown-skinned girl that wears the Afro or the dreads or the natural hairstyle," said actress Nia Long when she was interviewed in the film.
Former Olympian Dominique Dawes, the first African American gymnast to win Olympic Gold, also spoke about how serious the issue is to African American women, some going as far as to not work out.
"I am so passionate about this issue because it is negatively affecting us black women," 1996 Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes told Fox Sports. "Many don't work out or learn to swim because of their relaxed hair. It's something that needs to be talked about because it really is costing us our health."
"I advise black women to go natural and stop relaxing your children's hair, too," Dawes explained. "At 35 years old I finally embraced my natural locks. It was liberating and empowering for me. I wish I would have done it sooner."