I won’t lie: I act UP when my hair is freshly done. For the hours that pass after going to my stylist, you better believe I’m placing an exorbitant amount of unnecessary FaceTime calls so my squad can see my hair, snapping selfies like it’s my job. But to be honest with you, after like, five hours, I’m already over my hair and want to stuff it in a bonnet and go back to work (I work from home).
And while it’s been a minute since I’ve been to the gym (don’t judge me), I can tell you when I did go regularly, it was not an easy feat keeping my hair looking good whilst getting my Kanye workout plan on. I’ve done it through relaxers, natural hair, and weaves. Now, I was getting it in at the gym, but in no way was I even doing one percent of the strenuous routines I bet Olympic athletes like Simon Biles go through to train. I don’t even think I could have my hair looking flawless even in my downtime were I subjected to that much physical activity.
Yet that didn’t seem to stop some people on the internet from roasting the Houston native about her hair. Simone is the most decorated American gymnast with over 19 Olympic and World Championship medals, and yet some people want to know why her hair isn’t “done.” Sigh.
Biles, naturally, tweeted about her excitement about cheering in her first game for the Houston Texans. In the tweet, she also included a picture of herself smiling brightly and looking cute as ever for her inaugural run as cheerleader. Her hair is swept back — and yeah, it’s not exactly looking like she’s fresh out of the salon, but SHE’S AN ATHLETE. As a matter of fact, Biles replied to a tweet questioning her hairstyle explaining that she had just come from a four-hour practice with her hair in a bun and didn’t have time to primp.
The somewhat baffling thing about folks coming for Simone Biles’ hair is that many of the negative comments seemed to be coming from other black women. Surely, we know that it’s not easy to keep your edges on fleek and look camera-ready at all times — especially for someone whose career is so heavily focused on her physical strength. Black women have been dehumanized for our appearance, especially our hair, since slavery and it’s still, sadly, a thing. European standards were the markers of beauty for centuries, and though things are slightly changing, our society has a far way to go. Even now, when black women wear cornrows or box braids, they’re considered “ghetto” or “unprofessional,” but when white women wear those styles, they’re praised as chic and beautiful by mainstream society.
It’s all such crap, but some black women internalize this and start to lash out at their fellow sisters. We’re taught from early on that our hair needs “fixing” in order to be acceptable. And there are often not enough examples of prominent black women in certain fields that when there is one, she becomes the single representative for black women everywhere. I’m not saying it’s right, but this is one of the reasons why some black women criticize other black women over their hair. Plus, the average person doesn’t always know all the guidelines for hair in certain sports or industries —
they assume that because someone is in the public eye, they have access to a glam team 24/7, even during mundane and active moments. Don’t let “reality” TV fool you, boo. It don’t always work like that.
Thankfully though, as I read through the thread, I saw more comments from black women and men who came to Biles’ defense against those chiding her hair.
Later on, pictures of Biles all done up, cheering at the actual game hit the ‘net.
Biles then took to Twitter to ask: “I have 1 question to everyone commenting about my hair when I genuinely look happy in the photo..Do you look perfect ALL the time? everything in perfect order.?”
Are we that stuck on looking amazing at every single moment, that we’d forsake sharing our of happiness just because our hair doesn’t look good? My goodness, what is social media doing to the babies?
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