“She was born into a situation when statistics said she would fail, yet she found a way to overcome it.” These words ripped open every pore in my body and found their way through my heart, letter by letter, syllable by syllable. My heart skipped a beat when I heard her speak. For I know exactly what it feels like to be a victim of statistics and people’s low expectations.
I watched the video below after a friend posted it on Facebook, and I was beyond touched. I watched a beautiful girl speak strong words to uplift another beautiful, successful girl. She addressed a topic I chose to ignore because I couldn’t believe that it was a discussion even in the first place. In my mind, I thought if I ignored all of the negative comments about “Gabby Douglas’ hair” (even typing this infuriates me), maybe they will go away. One of my major rules is to not argue with stupid, and to me, that conversation was an extremely mediocre one to be had. Just defending her hair since it is now a popular conversation, as the girl the video below says, is absolutely repugnant.
After I watched the video, the girl, who says she became inspired by Gabby Douglas, inspired me to speak about some things that bother me. She taught me in less than three minutes that it’s not a horrible thing to talk about topics I don’t agree with, whether I find them unbearable or not. So here I am. Like she displayed in her video, I can always make my point in a concise and assertive way, and maybe one day I can help a close-minded person see the bigger picture. For the record, I would like to add that I don’t find myself afraid to address certain issues, I just usually don’t think many are worth the time arguing about. In the case of Gabby’s hair, such an insignificant thing that shouldn’t even have been a topic of discussion, I found myself so upset about it, I refused to comment. I thought I would just add fuel to the fire, and I really just wanted it to die.
The thing I didn’t realize at that time is that these kinds of things don’t die, or at least it’s going to be a very long time until they do. The self-hatred, and dim view the world, and even our black culture have about black hair and skin is very far from vanishing, and will continue to linger if we don’t act. And I will start now by added the following to the discussion:
Respect is earned, it is neither stolen or given. No matter where you may think you are, or how impossible you think a situation may be, try to do better. Set goals for yourself, and try to go beyond your expectations. It’s possible. After you work on yourself, it still doesn’t give you the right to bash someone else, especially one who is doing something positive in their life. Don’t let superfluous things become your life. Set up your priorities. Get out, it’s fine to get dirty and sweaty. Trust me when I say it’s really not all about cosmetics and glamour all the time. These things don’t mean shit anyway if you’re not comfortable or happy with yourself. Oh, and put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you decide to judge them. Let’s overcome this hatred, and come together and support one another. My boyfriend made this wonderful analogy the other day while comparing tree barks and a forest to how significant some things are. So let me finish with this… Let’s be proud of one another by looking past the tree barks and focusing on the forest all in itself. Isn’t it a magnificent thing?
OK, I’m done rambling. Here’s the video: