I promise to make this short and sweet. Ok, maybe short will have to do.
It is possible; I might have been persuaded before the start of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, to believe that I would craft a post about the games. However, under no circumstances could I have imagined it would have been about gymnastics; Women’s Gymnastics no less.
I’d like to say Gabby Douglas’ history-making performances made the difference, and served as the catalyst for my choosing this topic. Alas, sadly in fact, while her performances were scintillating indeed, it was not her mastery of the craft, or her superlative artistry that sold me on this topic.
No, it was not that an amazing athlete plied her skills with power, poise, and precision that caused me to choose this topic, though she was amazing and her routines were powerful, poised, and precise. It was not the history-making nature of her performances; yet she was the first African American to win Olympic Gold Medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions. And it was not that Gabby blended seamlessly with the other four members of the Fab 5 to turn in a series of sterling performances for Team America, despite the fact she did…in fact, she was, or did, all of the above!
I decided to write about Gabby’s Olympic exploits because so many of her “Sisters,” and I use the term guardedly, shamed themselves by deciding to make a spectacle of themselves, rather than revel in Ms. Douglas’ spectacular accomplishments. To put it tersely, a group of “Ugly Americans,” far too many of whom were African American women, elevated Gabby’s hair to “News of the Day” status, when all she did was show her Championship mettle. I love black women, but “Sisters,” this was, to put it mildly, “not your finest hour.”
As I thought about the conversation which trended in the Twittersphere and proliferated on other social media for several days, India.Arie’stune, “I Am Not My Hair” came to mind. Released originally, November 15, 2005, the nearly 7-year old standard should be required listening for each and everyone who got “caught-up” in Olympic Hair-gate. Gabby’s hair, her ponytail, and/or her “kitchen” (and y’all know what I mean…if you don’t, see definition #3), simply should not have been a concern.
Gabby went to the London Olympics to compete with her teammates and peers from 204 countries around the world. She was tasked with vying for medals against the world’s best in their respective gymnastic disciplines. That she won two Gold Medals confirms that she passed her tests with flying colors (Red, White & Blue, of course).
Gabby’scombination of performance and personality has spurred analysts to predict she will cash in on a marketing bonanza once she returns stateside. As a matter of fact, her likeness appeared on the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box the day after her individual Gold Medal triumph. It is anticipated that she will earn millions in endorsements, trading on her historic Olympic success.
My short-term prediction is that when we see Ms. Douglas next, in her post-Olympics life, she will be appearing on The Today Show, The Tonight Show, and the TV circuit in general. Moreover, to the great pleasure of her recent critics, she is certain to be elegantly coiffed, splendidly dressed, and looking like a million bucks…which she’ll be worth…literally.
Can’t you just imagine Breakfast at Gabby’s? You can be sure, in this version of the story, her “kitchen” will feature prominently, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes; along with her smiling picture, (laughing all the way to the bank, eh), adorning the box.
I’m done. Don’t just holla; holla back!
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