Gabby Douglas is amazing. I have been enthralled with her since I was exposed to her during the London Olympics. I remember people having so much to say about her having Nappy Edges four years ago. Since when did Nappy Edges become a bad thing? Oh, I forgot, When ignorant people told you that your Blackness, your Nappiness was ugly.
These are just 4 amazing and beautiful Black women who have no limits. They also have in common that people and the media constantly criticize their apperance because they are not adhereing to the White Anglo Beauty Social standards that make people feel comfortable. Our Beautiful Black First Lady was called a Monkey, Blue Ivy was criticized for her wild curls, Gabby Douglas, she is villified for her edges. Just let that sink in. This Gold Medal Olympian, is trending for her Nappy Edges.
I was trolling the internet when I read a horrible blog post (truthfully it was such bullshit that I could not complete it) from a Blogger that I have met before who ironically writes about beauty for Black Women. The post was “Why Gabby Douglas Edges Matter.” I just knew that it was going to be a positive post about how her beautiful Black edges did NOT need to be laid. But no, it wasnt. It was more of what the internet spent many hours on today, Assaulting Gabby. Assaulting her looks, disrespecting her hair.
It has only been maybe 5 years since I have been wearing my Notty Coils out in public. It took a LOT of courage to unleash my natural locks. I had been loving my post shower Nappy Hair for years. Because I was self conscious about what other people would say about my hair and texture I would put it away because I knew that I didnt have sandy spurs, “good hair” or mixed girl locks. A guy that I dated saw me just out of the shower, wrapped in a towel and he told me how beautiful my hair was to him. That moved me. I started loving on my hair so much more, wearing it out for ALL of the world to see. I realized that I had been hiding my beautiful hair, like it was something to be ashamed of. Almost daily I receive inbox messages from Sistas who are starting their new journey and telling me that my natural hair has inspired them. This inspires me right back! The media constantly pushes images to us that are the exact oppisite of what we (BLACK WOMEN) look like and tell us that this is beauty. We have to encourage OURSELVES! Do Gabby Douglas’ edges matter?….yes they do.
Why Do Gabby Douglas Edges Matter?
When little girls who watch their mothers hide their hair for years under wigs and weaves then slick their own hair down with harmful gel see this beautiful, graceful and accomplished young woman with edges just like theirs…it inspries them. It reassures them that a girl who looks just like them can conquer the world. Hair is the crown that cannot be removed. You can cut it, perm it, press it, love it or hate it….but it is yours. It’s the direct manifestation of who you are. Every bend, curl, buck shot and beautiful nap is yours.
To tell a young woman that who she is at the most basic level is unaccpetable and ugly is a verbal murder. I expect this from people on Twitter, I expect this from people who are not Black. Unfortunately I even expect this from Black Men, but Sistas. We are charged to uplift each other. We are required to find beauty in another Black Woman. When you assault Gabby Douglas and her edges-you are talking about me. Telling me that I am ugly, that my hair needs to be relaxed and that I need to figure out how to have skin that is bleached, hair that is straight and features that are not akin to Black Culture. And that tomfoolery is not acceptable. Not from trolls on the internet and DAMN sure not from other Black Women.
When you are a perm box away from Gabby Douglass edges, but you call them ugly, you hate yourself and you need to evaluate that. I challenge you to actually touch your hair. Your own edges, if you still have them and remind yourself of how beautiful you and your edges are. Touch your hair without all of goop, straighteners and heat that makes your hair into a more manageable or acceptable texture. And then tell Gabby Douglas to “fix her edges.”
Words, Thoughts and Self Love Matter.