Target: Gabby Douglas
Goal: Combat rude remarks about this Olympic gymnast’s hair and tell Gabby Douglas that she is beautiful.
When a young 16-year-old is talented enough to claim a spot in this year’s London Olympics, the last thing she should receive public attention for is her hairstyle. Sadly, some Twitter users decided it would be beneficial to share their opinions about the athlete’s updo. They surely received enough backlash to silence them for a short while, but their comments have already received enough media attention that it is likely Douglas has heard the incident. Instead of focusing on her competition, these tweets have the possibility to distract her in destructive ways.
For this young athlete, the age of 16 is a vulnerable enough place to be without the world’s critical eye upon her. She has made millions of Americans proud with her work ethic, talent, and unique style of performance. Millions of young girls suffer from depression at this age from media pressure to fit the mold of a beautiful woman, an image impossible to attain. This is wrong not only in our culture, but certainly when it comes from fans who should be supportive of her abilities rather than her appearance. She deserves more than such impulsive displays of ignorance. These tweets addressed everything about her hair from its texture to its style, and sadly some them were made by black women who were upset that Douglas was not representing them well. “Why hasn’t anyone tried to fix Gabby Douglas’ hair?” one said, while others claimed that she needed gel and a brush to fix its unkempt look. Many of these posts stem from racism, sexism, and a warped perception of female beauty. If Twitter users were unable to post such comments before they had time to think, then it is unlikely so many of these tweets would exist today. Unfortunately, many do not think before they tweet, and so it is probable that Twitter will continue to be an outlet for ignorance.
Affirm this athlete and combat rude remarks by telling Gabby Douglas that her hair is beautiful, no matter what impulsive tweeters may claim. There is no way to undo what has been said in the past, but there is a way to make a change in the future by speaking out in an supportive and encouraging way. Gabby Douglas is not only talented, but beautiful, and she deserves to hear it.
Dear Gabby Douglas,
I am outraged by the recent Twitter comments made about you. While the tweets never should have received so much attention, I wish to tell you that I denounce such posts and affirm you in every way. You are not only beautiful and talented, but I am proud to have you as a representative of my country in this year’s London Olympics.
I hope that these ridiculous and purposeless comments have only served to show you that there are ignorant people in this world. Thank you for representing my country and for working so hard to achieve your dreams. You are an inspiration for all young women and I look forward to watching your career progress.
[Your Name Here]