- (Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder)
Gabby Douglas may be a 16-year-old Olympic gold medalist, but the gymnast's skills were put on the back burner when people took to Twitter to poke fun at her hair, which has caused the young athlete to react.
Douglas' historic performance at the 2012 Olympics in London resulted in her winning gold medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions. The feat makes the gymnast both the first woman of color in Olympic history to win an individual all-around competition as well as the first American gymnast to acquire a gold medal in both the team and individual competitions during the same Olympic games.
Despite her historic accomplishments, many took to Twitter to poke fun at Douglas' hairstyle, which was slicked back with hair gel and pinned with hair clips into a loose bun.
"Listen whoever does Gabby Douglas' hair, you CANNOT buy her hair from Sally's," one critic tweeted. "Also, it is important to match the color and the texture."
Another person called the young gymnasts hair a "struggle."
"People think I've been exaggerating over Gabby Douglas' hair," the person tweeted. "It's a real struggle."
While another critic gave credit to the Olympian for being a talented gymnast, the commenter still spoke negatively about her hair.
"Gabby Douglas is an amazing gymnast, I just wish she would do her hair," the critic said.
Douglas decided to respond to her critics in a USA Today report.
"I don't know where this is coming from.Where is it coming from," the 16-year-old Christian questioned. "What's wrong with my hair? I just simply gelled it back, put some clips it and put it in a bun."
The gymnast's mother, Natalie Hawkins, seemed just as confused as her daughter concerning the criticism.
"When I first saw that I was so confused, because I looked at the pictures and I'm thinking, 'I'm missing it,'" Douglas' mother told former Olympian Dominique Dawes in a recent interview. "A lot of people don't realize sometimes when you put your hair in the bun when you're tumbling at the speed at which you're tumbling it's so fast. A lot of times it spins right out or if it's too long it could whip you in the face."
Dawes, a member of the gold medal winning "magnificent seven" gymnastics team in the 1996 Olympic Games, also defended her fellow African-American gymnast.
"As an athlete you're not focused on your appearance or you're not going to make those historic achievements that your daughter was able to make," Dawes said while interviewing Douglas' mother after her win.
Douglas echoed Dawes' sentiments and went on to chastise those who decided to focus on her mane rather than the history she recently made.
"Are you kidding me? I just made history? And you're focusing on my hair," Douglas questioned. "I just want to say we're all beautiful inside out. Nothing is going to change."