Two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas has brushed off the controversy surrounding her hair, telling Us Weekly magazine elaborate hairstyles have no place in gymnastics.
"They have no idea what they're talking about," Douglas said of her critics. "You sweat and all the gel and hairspray comes out. Even if we did fix our hair, our coach would be like, 'This is not a beauty pageant! Leave it alone.'"
The 16-year-old was accused of failing to “represent” African American women because she wore her chemically-straightened hair in a simple ponytail while competing in the Olympic gymnastics competitions.
"There's no bathroom. We rotate from event to event so there's no time for them to say 'Representing the USA, Gabrielle Douglas' and me to say 'Yeah, thanks!' as I'm brushing my hair. It's like, come on,” she explained to Us Weekly during an appearance at the P&G Family home.
"It's so disrespectful! I'm not thinking about that. I'm thinking about bringing a gold medal home," she added.
Douglas’ mom Natalie Hawkins has also been very vocal about the controversy. “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 told Fashionista.com. "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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