Last week when the majority of us were cheering on Gabby Douglas, there was a peanut gallery going on and on about her hair. Tweet after tweet from randoms questioned the “tameness” of little Gabby’s mane. As a child dancer, I know l too well what a day in dance class will do to the head. But should it have mattered what her hair looked like while she carried our country’s gymnastics Olympic team to gold? Of course it shouldn’t have mattered. But that is the society we live in, unfortunately.
Hair is the crown and glory of black American women. We know this. Yet, the behavior expressed amongst our own people is evidence we have a lot of work to do internally. Part of this work starts with mentoring our own young women. To instill in them it’s not what on top of their heads but what’s on the inside. To remind them that while beauty is important, it’s only skin deep. To teach our young women that in order to become close the next Gabrielle Douglas, the least of your concerns will be your hair.
Here is a short list of organizations that instill identity, pride, self- esteem, confidence, healthy lifestyles, and creativity in a variety of ways. Look into a few and hop on the positive bandwagon. Trust, it’s the best one to be on: