August 4, 2012

Gabby Douglas's hair

One of the more baffling recent controversies has been over the hair of Olympic all around champion girl's gymnast Gabby Douglas. As far as I can figure out, she has been widely criticized on Twitter for not having her hair conked, but instead just taking her natural sub-Saharan hair and tying it back out of the way.

Why has the White Man been dumping on this poor black girl's hair? Well, obviously, virtually no straight white man has even noticed her hair, and those who have since been made aware of this burning issue have tended to approve of her spending the time practicing instead of messing about with noxious hair-straightening chemicals. 

Almost all the critics of her hair were presumably black, either black women or black gays. Douglas is a member of the Borrowed Generation, living with a white family in Iowa so she can train with a superstar coach. Presumably, her white hosts didn't get the crucial importance of a conk. 

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am an SWM and am not that familiar with black hair care, but I gather that a. the "conk" is an extinct (male) hair treatment
b. most modern black women do use some sort of more modern form of treatment to straighten their hair.

While I was not greatly upset by Gabby's hair, gymnastics is somewhat about appearance (thus the cute little shiny suits that they wear) and not just athletic ability. I did notice that, for example, some of the Jamaican female runners looked very nicely groomed, with their hair straightened in accordance with the standards of modern black hair care and wearing makeup, jewelry, etc. Maybe a little TOO made up for a runner by American standards but I suppose the Jamaicans haven't bought into the idea that athleticism is incompatible with femininity. But it seems to me that there's nothing wrong with putting in a top rate athletic performance AND cutting what the Italians call a "bella figura" at the same time.

BTW, since when are straight men unconcerned with the way women look? Pocketbooks I get but I think that most men are aware of women's hair, if not in terms of the specifics or names of the styles or how they are achieved, but whether the hair looks good and is or is not in keeping with current styles.

Speaking of black hair care, I read a rather bitter interview by the shot putter (I forget his name) who was adopted by a white couple. Among their "crimes" was that they really didn't know how to take care of the skin and hair of a black child.

Anonymous said...

I must say I never noticed her hair at all before it was a MSM topic. And since then, I still wonder - never mind her Olympic gold - , what's wrong with her hair?

Geez, she is just a kid, and her hair is fine.

Anonymous said...

We don't "conk" our hair.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that the society most concerned with rooting out all traces of anti-black racism is also the society that condones, and in some cases practically demands, that blacks physically imitate whites.

Anonymous said...

She is a cutie just the way she is. And as a hard-working, Christian girl (stuff that the MSM is not all that eager to cover), she makes for a terrific role model for the Black communities.

Anonymous said...

Blacks are mad that she didn't go through more effort to make her hair look like white people hair.

stari_momak said...

To be fair, it is very very common for top athletes of all races to train away from home with a top coach, and be hosted by a local family. So in this case, we aren't seeing a rerun of 'Blind Side'.

Also, Douglas's mom seemed very arti -- uh---well spoken in interviews. And she gave her child a real name. So I think we are talking about a lower middle class Mom doing her best.

The real funny thing to me about Douglas was that she looked short -- when standing next to other gymnasts. Some recessive pygmy genes in the mix?

Anonymous said...

I watched the whole competition and never once thought of her hair or noticed something was amiss on her head. Now the MSM is trying to stoke the flames about some monkey/gymnast commercial that aired on NBC after the girl won her medal. Black women and white liberals are ruining what should be the crowning achievement of Gabby Douglas's life.

DaveinHackensack said...

Someone related, the FT's sports columnist Simon Kuper writes today that double amputee Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is a beneficiary of white privilege, and wouldn't have made the games if he were black.

Anonymous said...

"Speaking of black hair care, I read a rather bitter interview by the shot putter (I forget his name) who was adopted by a white couple. Among their "crimes" was that they really didn't know how to take care of the skin and hair of a black child."

Hopefully, they'll learn how to use google, and their troubles will be solved. In the meantime, it's a non-issue, since too many blacks don't know how to take care of their hair either. I'm looking at you, snoop dog. Somebody give the man a calendar, and prove to him it's not 1977.

JI said...

All I can say is, God bless this wonderful young lady!

Marlo said...

Let's avoid the phrase "Dumping on Gabby's hair" henceforth.

Where was it written or implied that the White Man is criticizing her hair? Only whites with low IQs would make disparaging remarks about black women's hair. They can't compete with other whites so they obsess over the inferior 'groids.

And her hair actually is straightened. It's just not "done". Gymnasts always wear their hair pulled back. They're not being judged based on appearance.

CJ said...

"Black women and white liberals are ruining what should be the crowning achievement of Gabby Douglas's life."

+mucho for this comment.

Whiskey said...

Dave -- I saw that one too. I found his stuff bizarre, but his admission he's one of those transnational parasites (see his bit on living in Paris and the group think of the British Establishment) was telling.

Funny, his thinking was that LIBOR manipulation was the worst thing, not say stuffing Britain full of Pakistanis, Nigerians, and Jamaicans.

Gabby Douglas? Its Gymnastics. Like Conan O'Brien had a bit years ago with "Bela Karoli" ... "Tiny Little girls Conan. They live in shoebox."

Anonymous said...

double amputee Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius

I saw him run today, and it was interesting to watch. But I don't think he should be competing with the regular athletes.

Jason Sylvester said...

I first heard reference to this controversy on my FB page, of all places: any number of white suburban soccer moms, having dutifully watched and gushed over both "The Help" and "The Blind Side," opined at length on the matter, as free-lance anthropologists cum anti-racists, aka Nice White People, are wont to do. Especially ones safely ensconced in 99% NAM-free gated communities - as the vast majority of such specimens on my FB page are. I then browsed around the internet and found many, many similarly OUTRAGED! Nice White People on the case, right on cue.

The vague assumption behind most of the cluck-clucking Nice White People commentary, of course, is that "some people" or simply "people" are causing all the fuss, and that's a sure sign Bull Connor's ghost is likely lurking in the shadows, hair straightener in hand, itching to get busy. Time To Take A Stand!

Interestingly, none of the black folks on my FB friends list chimed in or had a word to say about it - but then, to the extent they've paid attention to it at all, I'd reckon they already know that the joke's on the cluck-clucking Nice White People; that the controversy, such as it is, about this talented young lady's hair is one that originated inside the Black community and was largely being hashed out on Twitter and other social media among members of that same community, until it went "mainstream," and the self-styled Nice White People decided to jump in with both feet. The latter naturally proceeded on the assumption that the forces of Corley Wallace were once again on the truncheon-swinging march, as they've been conditioned to do by a generation of P.C. agitprop; Selma is the gift that never quits giving.

Thus, an argument within the Black community among blacks about a cultural quirk within same - one no less an authority than Malcolm X vented repeatedly about to Alex Haley - has quickly morphed into that ubiquitous drama Nice White People yearn to get into the middle of: berating other white people, mostly imaginary white people, doing imaginary things.

Comic gold awaits future historians and anthropological chroniclers of this era - commencing roughly circa 1947 to present and for who-knows-how far beyond - twenty generations hence: it's not tragedy or farce, as Karl had it, but a potent mixture of both. Ongoing.

Anonymous said...

"I'm looking at you, snoop dog."

Yes, as Snoop Dog is a regular contributor to the iSteve comment section, he will surely get your message.

hbd chick said...

sheesh. they shouldn't be caring about her hair. i'm not into sports in any way, shape, or form, but even i can appreciate that this is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Conked? What the hell? Did you finally watch Malcolm X?

I love you Steve but either you are grossly misinformed or just messing with black people using language like "conked." Neither is becoming.

FWIW her hair was straightened. It was just unkempt.

Simon in London said...

Her hair looks ok.

anon:
"Black women and white liberals are ruining what should be the crowning achievement of Gabby Douglas's life."

Indeed. Americans are crazy, alright.

Anonymous said...

Re: Conk--
Admirable demonstration of cultural awareness, my good pundit! Right up there with declaring to Wolf Blitzer in the year 2012 that one's favorite comedians include Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, and the Keystone Kops, even.

I don't think blacks wanting straighter/longer hair or Indians bleaching their skin is related to emulating whites. Certain attributes are just universally considered more feminine. It's self-imposed; they're competing amongst themselves.

Btw, here's something not seen in the US: labia (or groinal?) bleaching cream. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TquSyCnna0

AmericanGoy said...

I believe that the American Olympian shot puller (thrower? the one who throws the big heavy ball) Reese Hoffa, while black, has White parents.

I remember watching the event and the camera crew showed his mom (White), saying "That's gotta be a medal!" over and over... And it was, the big man got a bronze (a Pole won).

Reese, purely from facial expression and mannerisms, seems like a super nice guy.

AmericanGoy said...

I believe that the American Olympian shot puller (thrower? the one who throws the big heavy ball) Reese Hoffa, while black, has White parents.

I remember watching the event and the camera crew showed his mom (White), saying "That's gotta be a medal!" over and over... And it was, the big man got a bronze (a Pole won).

Reese, purely from facial expression and mannerisms, seems like a super nice guy.

Anonymous said...

"double amputee Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius"

I saw him run today, and it was interesting to watch. But I don't think he should be competing with the regular athletes.


Yes -- on what basis did the Olympic big-wigs decide that his protheses do not give him an advantage over normal runners? How would you even go about testing such a proposition?

- A Solid Citizen

Anonymous said...

"Black women and white liberals are ruining what should be the crowning achievement of Gabby Douglas's life."

It's ridiculous how black women can use the MSM as a megaphone for their petty projections. You really wonder if there are adults in the newsroom to dismiss this silliness. There's not hata like a sista.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was Reese. He may be a nice guy but he didn't seem to be a happy one. His circumstances were somewhat tragic, in the typical ghetto soap opera way. When he 6 or 7, his teen mother left him and his brother alone and they were playing with matches and set their apt. on fire. As a result of the fire, they were left homeless and the brothers were separated and put up for adoption, with Reese ending up with nice white people who were clueless about black culture, so he was forced to become an Olympic athlete with bad skin care rather than a well groomed crack dealer as he could have been had he stayed with his momma. This is not exactly a formula for a happy person.

K

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

* Double standard alert*
Imagine what would happen if a white pundit ( say Don Imus) said something like that?

Oh wait......nn

Anonymous said...

http://www.nationalreview.com/the-feed/313133/isaloni-writer-finds-olympian-gabrielle-douglass-faith-unnerving

"
Salon Writer Finds Olympian Gabrielle Douglas’s Faith ‘Unnerving’"

What do you want to be that writer is scots-irish?

Anonymous said...

I blame the white family. My grandparents hosted a black girl through the Fresh Air Fund. When she got out of the pool, my grandmother had absolutely no idea what to do with her hair.

TGGP said...

Zachary Latif at Brown Pundits suggested that darker-skinned black women are more in favor of straightened hair while lighter-skinned black women are pro-natural as a measure of being authentic. But he's a Pak-Iranian who works as a City banker in London, so presumably not an expert.

Count me as another white male who doesn't see the problem with her hair.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/xtKHiq6iA6g

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that Google is going out of their way to force diversity into every Olympic doodle.

Truth said...

LMAO:

"Conked?" Steve, 1957 called, it wants it's vocabulary back.

Anonymous said...

White adoption of black children, pro/con:

1) Inadequate hair care
2) Probable Olympic qualification

Anonymous said...

Best editorial of the weekend:

http://britishfreedom.org/londons-marxist-multicultural-olympics-2/

John D said...

anonymous said: I don't think blacks wanting straighter/longer hair or Indians bleaching their skin is related to emulating whites. Certain attributes are just universally considered more feminine.

I'm sure in their minds, they'd never in a million years call it emulating whites, but on a functional level, there's not much difference between taking action to have the desirable attributes that are natural to whites, and "emulating whites". The only actual difference is how they choose to label it.

DaveinHackensack said...

Whiskey,

Maybe "rootless cosmopolitan" is a better description of Kuper, but in his partial defense, it's how he was brought up (born in Uganda, and having grown up in "London, the Netherlands, the US, Sweden and Jamaica."). I had a similar thought when reading his column about the British ruling class: LIBOR? Certainly, immigration is another area where their group think prevails.

Not sure if you saw it, but Kuper also had a column last week praising London's diversity, saying something like, "we riot together, and we clean up together".

pat said...

The Olympics should be abolished. This case is just another example.

The original Olympics in ancient Greece was a semi-religious affair. During the games contending city-states in the midst of war would suspend hostilities. The athletes were honored as individuals not as members of a team or a state.

That is to say, the original Olympic formula promoted peace and tended to dampen hostile nationalist impulses.

The so-called modern Olympics do almost everything differently. They heighten the difference between nations. They in fact encourage hostilities.

And so in the history of the Modern Olympics there are hundreds of examples of bad behavior by athletes and officials. There is nothing like this level of coruption in any of our major national sports.

Baseball results are often decided by an umpire's ruling. There are no instant replays and no one can doubt that umpires occassionally make mistakes. Yet there have been no scandals in the last century over corrupt umpires. Every Olympics has a scandal or dispute about corrupt judging. This is always true in boxing but all judged events have also been tainted. Ice skaters in the recent past learned to expect judges from communist counties to favor competitors from communist countries. The color commentators on TV routinely analyzed the judges' scoring patterns based on the judge's political stance.

Then there is the issue of doping. In 1988 Ben Johnson lost his Gold Medal for his use of steroids. Carl Lewis got the Gold. Later we learned that Lewis had failed three drug tests and the Bronze Medalist had also flunked. All three of the medalists were doped up.

So the winner wasn't the fastest runner but the one who argued most effectively for forgiveness. It turned out that there were 114 drug failures in the race and its preliminaries. This meant that the officials had extrordinary discretion and power. Not a happy result as Olympic officials are notoriously corrupt. In American baseball or football there are always a few dopers. In the Olympics the non-dopers are the exception.

In American pro basketball it is sometimes said that the stands are filled with the players probation officers. The mostly black players have a high proportion of criminals in their ranks. But there has never in my lifetime been a game so corrupt as the win by the USSR over the USA. It isn't the players it's the system.

Time to admit that the Olympics are a hotbed of bad behavior and abolish the whole damn thing. It has a detremental effect on international civility and personal liberty. Last night the news showed that the US had pulled ahead of China. One reason of course was Michael Phelps and all his many medals. If Phelps' sport was the discus - an Olympic sport for three millenia - there would have been no US triumph. And on the other side we now learn that China essentially kidnaps children and trains them in sports concentration camps. We saw all this before with East Germany. Keeping Olympic results by nation leads to child abuse.

Albertosaurus

Mr. Anon said...

TV coverage of gymnastics and figure skating seems to consist entirely of bitchy gay guys criticizing teen-aged girls. It's unseemly. And they talk over the music. It's supposed to be an artisic display - dance set to music - so why don't they shut the hell up and let us listen to the music, instead of regaling us with their inane color commentary?

Just once, I'd like to see one of those adorable young pixies take a collapsible baton and knee-cap one of those yammering queens.

Mr. Anon said...

By the way, congratulations to the young Miss Douglas on her win.

And she comported herself like a real lady, as did the Jamaican woman who won the 100 m sprint, and the American who won the silver in that event. All of them in contrast to Serena Williams' tasteless display of ghetto boorishness.

Anonymous said...

The real funny thing to me about Douglas was that she looked short -- when standing next to other gymnasts. Some recessive pygmy genes in the mix?


She's 4'11". I don't know if that's short for a girl gymnast or not, but I'd guess not.

The Jamaican woman who won the 100M sprint, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, is just five feet tall. That surprised me. She was the shortest contestant in the race by some distance.

not a hacker said...

According to the Jezebel writer covering this controversy,

We live in a culture where white people think it's okay to touch black people's hair.

I don't usually use this, but, WTF?

Anonymous said...

All the gymnasts have their hair up in those tight knots. The way they wear it in practice or competition doesn't really reflect how they wear it elsewhere.

Anyway, it is just mean to criticize kids for their looks. Very poor form.

Kylie said...

"According to the Jezebel writer covering this controversy,

We live in a culture where white people think it's okay to touch black people's hair.

I don't usually use this, but, WTF?"


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot indeed. I lived in a mixed-race neighborhood for years and don't recall ever seeing a white person touch a black person's hair.

On the other hand, at that time, my hair was long, thick but finely textured and auburn. I not infrequently had black people touching it--men, women and children. I remember once being in a black family's home and they surrounded me so they could touch my hair. They were really nice about it but I felt weird, like a unicorn that had strayed into their house.

elvisd said...

According to the Jezebel writer covering this controversy,

We live in a culture where white people think it's okay to touch black people's hair.

I don't usually use this, but, WTF?


Excuse me, but the artist is busy crafting her narrative. Please don't disturb.

Truth said...

"
Anonymous Mr. Anon said...

By the way, congratulations to the young Miss Douglas on her win."

Well that's very gracious of you, Anon.

"And she comported herself like a real lady, as did the Jamaican woman who won the 100 m sprint, and the American who won the silver in that event."

I double that. You are genuinely warm and gracious today, a true credit to your race.

"All of them in contrast to Serena Williams' tasteless display of ghetto boorishness."

Ruined it.

Anonymous said...

It's absurd how black women can use the MSM as a megaphone for their petty projections. You really wonder if there are adults in the newsroom to check this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

is it just me or is this the most overtly marxist olympics to date- the mask has come off - Greek triple jumper not allowed to compete for 'racist' tween (and being a member of the golden dawn, more likely)
creepy marxist opening pushing race mixing and national health care...

Mr. Anon said...

"Truth said...

""All of them in contrast to Serena Williams' tasteless display of ghetto boorishness.""

Ruined it."

Being a tasteless boor himself, I am not suprised that "Truth" can not recognize tastelessness or boorishness.

Anonymous said...

Black hair care is a curly subject indeed. I have seen feminist websites go into meltdown over it. Only what they call 'fat shaming' is pricklier.

But let's not forget the obvious here: Stupid people are shallow.

Gilbert P.

Anonymous said...

Being a tasteless boor himself, I am not suprised that "Truth" can not recognize tastelessness or boorishness


It's more accurate to say that as somebody who sees it as his duty to defend all black people everywhere from any criticism, Truth cannot recognize tastelessness or boorishness in black people.

Anonymous said...

"Black women and white liberals are ruining what should be the crowning achievement of Gabby Douglas's life."

I second that. And as the comments here show the vast majority of whites don't care how blacks wear their hair. Only blacks care, which is what you'd expect.

Gloria

James Kabala said...

"The original Olympics in ancient Greece was a semi-religious affair. During the games contending city-states in the midst of war would suspend hostilities. The athletes were honored as individuals not as members of a team or a state.

That is to say, the original Olympic formula promoted peace and tended to dampen hostile nationalist impulses."

Most of the reputation of the ancient Olympics is actually myth or bordering on it - paradoxically, these myths were often promoted by Baron de Coubertin himself.

Actually the ancient Greeks were ruthless. You would have been laughed out of Olympia for suggesting prizes for second or third place. Anything short of biting or gouging was allowed in the pankration, the most arduous fighting event. The athletes were richly rewarded by their polises after winning.

image said...

"whites think it's ok to touch black peoples' hair.." huh? I never heard of a white person feeling the ok-ness to touch a black person's hair--or wanting too. I do remember walking past a black junior high when I was about 14 and having some harrassing blacks put their fingers through my hair and jeer. Obviously they were just trying to touch white people's hair. I can't imagine any white having the temerity to touch the blacks' hair even if they did want too.

Anonymous said...

You a regular reader of espnW, Steve?

rwcg said...

I have literally no idea what people think is wrong with Gabby Douglas's hair. Even after reading articles about the 'controversy'. I have to assume that whatever is wrong with her hair is so subtle and intricate it cannot be articulated in mere words, because no one is able to do so.

To me her hair looks exactly like that of all the other gymnasts: pulled back, painful-looking tight, in a pony tail. Extra shiny, as if slathered in hair spray to keep it pinned back. I don't happen to like this sort of hairstyle aesthetically but I have always assumed it is meant for functionality rather than beauty. In any event, why pick on this one particular gymnast when (skin color aside) her hair looks basically the same as all of the others? *boggle*

Vale said...

"Black women and white liberals are ruining what should be the crowning achievement of Gabby Douglas's life."

- Don't worry, by the time the press gets through with it, it will be evil white conservatives who did it.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure in their minds, they'd never in a million years call it emulating whites, but on a functional level, there's not much difference between taking action to have the desirable attributes that are natural to whites, and "emulating whites". The only actual difference is how they choose to label it.


There is a distinction that is more than mere labeling.

But perhaps, in practice, it is impossible to untangle the two. I think one has to be wary of a bias toward hubris when assigning white influence as the predominant cause. There certainly isn't much white emulation in other cultural/lifestyle facets (particularly the edifying ones). This line of thought also handily falls right into the white:bad, others:innocent narrative--i.e. this nasty, racially biased culture has surreptitiously stoked self-loathing within these poor minorities.

Anonymous said...

Albertosaurus, I follow the shot, as it's what I used to throw in high school. From 1990-2004, there hasn't been a shot put finalist who hadn't been banned for PED at some point in their careers. Lately, it's like they don't even bother to ban anyone anymore.

Truth said...

"It's more accurate to say that as somebody who sees it as his duty to defend all black people everywhere from any criticism, Truth cannot recognize tastelessness or boorishness in black people"

Where, exactly, did I "defend" Serena Williams?

Londoner said...

Early anonymous: "I must say I never noticed her hair at all before it was a MSM topic."

That is because you are a typical white person so immersed in white privilege and institutional racism that the everyday hardships of people of color simply don't occur to you. Or something. Anyway, Tim Wise is gonna get ya!

pat said...

I guess I have known more black people than some of you have. The white person touching the black person's hair is a common enough event.

A lot of black people invite whites to touch their hair. It's always funny. White people assume that because the black person's hair looks like Brillo it must feel like it too.

It goes like this: the black person asks if the white person wants to touch their hair. The white person stammers a bit and finally touches it. Then they say "Oh, it's soft!". At which point all the blacks standing around break up.

This was a classic scene played out everyday when I was young and all my friends were black.

Albertosaurus

K(yle) said...

"Btw, here's something not seen in the US: labia (or groinal?) bleaching cream. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TquSyCnna0"

This exists in America, as well as asshole bleach and labial cosmetic surgery.

Truth said...

"This was a classic scene played out everyday when I was young and all my friends were black."

x2

natural black hair said...

This is such a ridiculous argument that I wish would go away

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Chris Rock's "Good Hair" documentary. He promoted it on Oprah, describes relaxer as crack, Beyonce wears a lacefront weave, Indian women have their hair snipped and stolen.