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Gabby Douglas’ Mom Responds to Hair Critics



Gabby Douglas is riding high after a stellar gold medal Olympic performance that is sure to garner her many endorsements in weeks to come.

Douglas won gold medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions. The 16-year-old Virginia Beach native became the first African American woman to win an Olympic all-around title and fourth American woman to do so.

Despite winning two gold medals in The Olympics, the teenage gymnast phenom is facing a bit of controversy.

She didn’t fail a drug exam nor is she accused of cheating. She is, however, facing criticism for not sporting the right hairdo.

Douglas logged onto her computer to Google her name following her amazing Olympic performance and was surprised to find a lot of negative comments discussing her hair.

“What’s wrong with my hair,” she said in an interview with AP. “I’m like, “I just made history and people are focused on my hair?’ It can be bald or short, it doesn’t matter about (my) hair.”

Gabby’s mother Natalie Hawkins has now jumped into the trenches to defend her daughter’s hair choice.

In an interview with Fashionista, Hawkins revealed she “started hearing about [Gabby’s] hair earlier this year.”

Hawkins said she tried to be “proactive about her hair before all of that happened.”

“What is funny is I had someone come to do her hair before the Olympics,” she said. “We put all this effort into getting her hair done and they still don’t like it!”

The issue, she said, was her daughter Gabby didn’t have “flyaways” in her hair.

“When you look at pictures it’s tied back just like everyone else’s, and all of the girls had the messy ponytails which is just their generation,” Hawkins said, according to Fashionista. “Most of the women who were commenting I think are a little bit older.”

Hawkins revealed she and her daughter joked about her hair trending on the Twitter. But she was troubled because didn’t know whether people were trying to “ruin” her daughter’s “self confidence.”

Hawkins also wasn’t pleased with people’s decision to criticize Gabby when she had more competitions left to compete in.

“She has to go out there and feel good about herself, and if she feels good about herself on that floor, who are you to criticize her,” she said. “What have you done to help contribute to her dream, that you felt it necessary to put it out there so that she could see it.”

Hawkins revealed her daughter usually gets a relaxer, but usually opts not to relax it much.

Her daughter, she said, has to keep her hair in a ponytail 28-30 hours a week.

“In gymnastics, you’re tumbling around on your hair,” she said. “You’re falling backwards on it. You’re doing “timers” and your hair is constantly snagging on the mat, and for our hair that’s very detrimental. It breaks the hair horribly.”

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