Gabby Douglas is a 16-year-old gymnast who has recently received criticism for both her nose and hair. She isn't just any gymnast, she is in fact the first African-American to win the all-around gold medal in gymnastics.
Douglas recently stated that an employee at her old gym proposed that she get a nose job. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Douglas stated that the apparent suggestions regarding reconstructive surgery were "very hurtful."
Earlier this year, Gabby's hair was also the target of critique. During an interview with The Daily Beast , Latisha Jenkins stated, "I love how she's doing her thing and winning, but I just hate the way her hair looks." She went on to say, "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's representing for black women everywhere.''
This is not "America's Next Top Model"
First of all, This is not a modeling competition such as the television show, "America's Next Top Model." The job of a gymnast is to compete in the sport and aim to win. As a former gymnast, I can tell you that the main goal for hair is to keep it out of your face.
Then we have suggestions of reconstructive nose surgery, really? This is a beautiful, talented teenage girl, not a supermodel or celebrity. Even still, if so many actresses would stop having surgeries and allow others to see their natural beauty than other women wouldn't be expected to live up to an unattainable standard. Makeup, nice clothing and well done hair is one thing, but having surgery to please others is dangerous and unnecessary in my opinion.
Their hair all looks the same
Why is all of the focus on Douglas' hair when the other gymnasts all have their hair pulled back in the same manner? By looking at a picture on the official USA Gymnastics website, we see Gabby pictured with the others and realize everyone's hair looks almost identical. It may be because of reasons regarding to race as some have stated. If that is the case, people need to grow up and and accept everyone. To expect more to be done to Gabby's hair due to her color is racist and immature.
Criticism due to jealousy
When others experience jealousy and low self-esteem they react by criticizing others they feel threatened by. I feel this is the case with Douglas since she stated, "I felt like I was bullied and isolated from the group, and they treated me not how they would treat the other teammates." Gabby also alleged that she was jokingly called a slave and experienced her teammates taking and hiding her clothes. It is obvious to me that the other gymnasts were envious of the success in Gabby's life. I believe she made the right choice by changing gyms and not allowing others to stop her from achieving her dreams.
More from Rebecca Bardelli:
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