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Gabby Douglas may be the most celebrated participant of the 2012 Summer Olympics, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have to face her fair share of haters. Critics slammed Douglas’ hair, claiming the bun and clipped down flyaways are too much of a distraction for them to focus on her history-making awesomeness. With accomplishments that sound like bragging rights (being the first African-American to win the all-around title and the first American, period, to win gold in both the all-around and team finals), Gabby’s hair is and should be secondary to you. In her critics opinions, it clearly is secondary in her mind.

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Gabby’s mom, Natalie Hawkins has had enough! In an interview with Fashionista, Hawkins states:

“How ignorant is it of people to comment on her hair and she still has more competitions to go. Are you trying to ruin her self confidence? 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? 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.”.

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I agree 100% with Hawkins. I think back to my self-confidence level when I was 16-years-old and I remember feeling like I could fall apart at an given moment if the wrong words were spoken about my appearance. Gabby has the weight of the Olympics on her shoulders and worrying over what people think about something as insignificant as her hair must take a toll on the young athlete–more than we could ever know.

Gabby’s golden performances are starting to tarnish and Hawkins makes a valuable point in asking the public–”Are you trying to ruin her self confidence?” What’s worse about the critic of Gabby’s hair is that her hair is like every other gymnast in the world and on her team for that matter–gelled back and secured into a bun. So, what’s the issue here? Is Gabby using the wrong brand of gel? The wrong clips? Hawkins had to go into further detail about her kid’s hair and hopefully this will fully silence Gabby’s hair haters.

“You’re going into foam pits, and any hair stylist will tell you that foam on African American hair is destructive. It breaks the hair horribly. We grew her hair out because she preferred long hair. I’m not going to make her cut her hair just to please someone else.”

Gabby’s a resilient young lady and according to Hawkins, hasn’t given her hair critics any more of her energy. Which is great because there needs to be only flying from Golden Gabby from here on out.

More On Gabby Douglas Below:

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Gabrielle Douglas Is Not A Tragic Fatherless Child

Listen To This Gabby Douglas-Inspired Playlist!

Check Out This Amazing Gallery Of Young & Black Olympic Athletes!

Gabby Douglas’ Mom Natalie Hawkins To Hair Haters: “Are You Trying To Ruin Her Self Confidence?”  was originally published on