Last week’s MSN article on gold medalist Gabby Douglas’ hair is just a variation on the Wojdan theme.

Not only is Gabby the first African American gymnast to win the individual all-around title, she’s the first American gymnast to win both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. Both outstanding achievements.

So, why all the talk about her hair, of all things? She’s confused, and so am I. Apparently social media has been abuzz with controversy concerning her hair style.

Society’s preoccupation with women’s hair deserves a discussion of its own later on, but I have to admit that, in conjunction with the Wojdan commentary, Olympic spectators have not been kind to the competition’s most outstanding women (whether outstanding because of their talent or the simple bravery inherent in their participation).

This doesn’t come as a shock, yet all the same it is bewildering. Women who rise through the ranks in any realm – athletics, politics and academia or those who step outside convention, seem to always face criticism regarding their appearance regardless of their level of achievement. And, often, I have noticed that I join the ranks of the critical and judgmental.

I’m wondering why – so I’ll be exploring this a bit later on. In the meantime, look at her. She’s absolutely brilliant!

Is the Gabby Douglas hair controversy media buzz or a true reflection of prevailing attitudes towards women? Do you find yourself making judgments about the women around you based on their appearances?

I’m on a break at work writing this post, and I must report that as I was typing these last few sentences, a couple of girls went up the stairs behind me, remarking “those blotches!” – “oh, I know!” – and “did you see her HAIR?!” (regarding some random woman they had encountered). Timely, no?

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