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So, two days ago it was brought to my attention that the third American woman in a row (and first African-American, not for nuthin') has taken gold in the individual all-around at the Olympic Games and...there's apparently something up with her hair. No link to this stunning revelation, because it happened at work over lunch in the break area while CNN was running Best Moments or something, and it sort of put me off my frozen entree.

I have been somewhat at a loss as to what one says to something like this. Fortunately, I got some help from a columnist at the Detroit Free Press, running in USA Today:

She is not her hair.

I'm glad that saw print, because I was stuck on "Seriously?" and "If sour grapes were an Olympic event..." and "if it's such  an issue, maybe y'all should maybe get off your no doubt fat asses rise up from the couch and take her place in competition... OH, WAIT. You've spent too much time on your hair to train!"  and fielding the inevitable feline eyerolls intended to communicate "leave cattiness to the professionals, puny human."

While I am possibly the whites white girl who ever did white, Oprah and Chris Rock straightened me out on the challenges of African-American hair. If that episode isn't online anywhere you can get to, another gold medalist gives some technical context:
Serena Williams: Gabby Douglas Hair Debate is 'ridiculous'

Date: 2012-08-09 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] khek.livejournal.com
It is ridiculous. Some people are petty.

But did you see her teammates today? The Today show flashed a shot of them in the stands, and they were all wearing their hair just like Gabby. That made me ridiculously happy.

Date: 2012-08-09 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] justalurkr.livejournal.com
I did not see that shot, but will look for it. As far as I know, there's a hard limit on what people of either gender and any ethnic origin can do with their hair and personal adornment and still function as an athlete. We've been seeing variations of the bun on gymnasts for as long as I can remember.

Am still trying to squash unworthy thoughts about whether these people would look back and criticize what Rosa Parks was wearing the day she sat at the front of the bus.

Date: 2012-08-09 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] justalurkr.livejournal.com
This is a Today Show from July 27, right before the Games began, but I notice a strong similarity in the team's hairstyles even before the flap started.



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