Gabby Douglass, London Olympics, & Hair Politics

I write this journal entry particularly to the black women who thought Gabby Douglas’ hair was inappropriate or “unkempt.”

While the rest of the U.S. are celebrating a newly minted American hero, some Negroes are fuming over something as petty as her hair. I guess this is what happens when the emphasis for black women has become how one looks in the eyes of others, even if it is to her own detriment.

It is like we have inherited the psyche of a stripper. Forever behold to the gaze of others, especially when we provide the eyes for the spectacle; we must always look like how they think we should look, so money and attention can be thrown our way, objectifying our existence.

Tis true, we are the first to attack our own about our coily tresses. If you are a black woman, you know the first tormentor regarding your kinky aesthetic looks just like you.

But since a good portion of black women in the United States have been locked into years of relaxers, flat irons, extensions and weaves, we don’t even know what our natural hair really looks like anymore, nor how to care for it.

I am sure most of these critics look in the mirror and see their thinning or disintegrated edges, male-patterned baldness at the crown, severe breakage and empty patches where hair used to reside, and still think Gabby’s hair is a mess.

But this time, as you attempt to project your self-deprecation, something I understand is not all of your own-doing, I am telling all of you to step the fuck off.

Keep your ‘Buckwheat’ images tucked into the orifice of your arse. And don’t come crying and yelling “racism” or wanting help when a non-black person calls you a nappy-headed ho.

Our tresses do not wisp about in the wind. They roll and wine in spirals like a Trini Calypso song during Carnival. We are not Snow White, no matter how biracial and octoroonish you may think you are, our edges will forever puff up in resistance like a Zulu army.

SPOILER ALERT FOR MEN WHO DATE BLACK WOMEN: If you have only seen us with relaxed, pressed hair and tracks or weaves for years than it is highly likely that there is not much to work with. Case and point, Naomi Campbell