All Articles Tagged "Gabby Douglas"

Can’t Hold Her Down: Gabby Douglas To Judge Miss America Pageant

August 24th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Gabby Douglas To Jude Miss America Pageant


Despite all the people talking smack from their couches, the world is still very much in love with Gabby Douglas. And the opportunities for this young woman keep rolling in.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Olympic gymnast will join the judges’ panel for the 2017 Miss America Pageant.

The Miss America Organization, Dick Clark Productions and ABC said that the athlete would also be joined by singer Laura Marano for the September 11 event. Douglas, who will sit with Sara Foster of “Barely Famous”, singer-songwriter Cole Swindell, and former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes, will be the only judge of color on the panel.

Here’s what she said about the opportunity:

“Miss America has been such an amazing event for so many years and I am excited to have the opportunity to judge the competition this year. The contestants are a great example of strong women across America and I especially look forward to hearing the platforms that each of them will represent.”

We’ll be tuning in to see Gabby… and whether or not a Black girl wins. ; )

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”

From Ryan Lochte To Clip-In Dreadlocks: 9 Things That Scream White Privilege

August 23rd, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Not that we don’t already know White privilege is alive and well, but some things scream white privilege more than others. Take for example Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte. Fresh off the heels of his lie-filled scandal, in which he fabricated an elaborate story about being robbed at gunpoint by a policeman after a night out drinking in Rio, he really tried to pull a blame the (brown) natives type of situation. But Lochte’s lies caught up to him – and fast. And to think – he is just one of many recent and widespread examples of the powerful and harmful effects of white privilege. From the world of sports to fashion and everything in between, here are nine things in recent memory that scream White privilege.

“I Just Found Things To Be Positive About”: Despite Online Haters, Gabby Douglas Had “Fantastic” Time In Rio

August 22nd, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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AP Images

AP Images

From the outside looking in, the 2016 Rio Olympics definitely seemed like a nightmare for Gabby Douglas. And not so much because of struggles on the main stage, but mostly because of all that people had to say about her on social media. Everything she did became a problem. Somehow she went from being a golden girl to a target of ire by quite a few people online (the same people who were out here defending Ryan Lochte and calling him a 32-year-old “kid”). And yet, as she prepared to leave Rio, Douglas told People “I had fun.”

“Maybe people weren’t being fair on social media, but that’s social media for you,” Douglas said. “I just found things to be positive about. And there’s a lot to be happy about. We won the gold medal as a team, and it was just such an amazing experience. I came to the Olympics and won a gold medal! That’s still really awesome. I can only do what I can do, and if people want to say their stuff on social media, I can’t stop them.”

But where there was negativity, there was also positivity from people standing up for the gold medalist. The hashtag #LOVE4GABBYUSA  spread, which Douglas was more than appreciative of.

“That was just awesome,” she told the publication. “It felt really good to have people support me. It was a good reminder that where there is hate, love is more.”

So what’s next for Douglas? She told People that she’s excited to have some time to relax before heading back out with the Final Five to go on tour, which she says “will be a lot of fun.” All in all, the 20-year-old is looking forward and happy to be moving forward.

“It was a different experience than the last Olympics, but I’m happy with it,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what’s next.”


Simone Biles Mistaken For Gabby Douglas In The Philadelphia Daily News

August 19th, 2016 - By madamenoire
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simone biles and gabby douglas f

Source: AP Images

From HelloBeautiful

File this one under “We all don’t look alike” news.

A Philadelphia Daily News columnist says she was “mortified” after the paper mistakenly printed a photo of Simone Biles next to a story about Gabby Douglas in Wednesday’s edition, NBC 10 News reported.

Ronnie Polaneczky wrote a story about plethora of ill comments Douglas received on social media during the 2016 Rio Games. Only problem was that the art used wasn’t of Douglas, but of Biles instead.

Read more about this ridiculous mistake at 

Leslie Jones Creates #LOVE4GABBYUSA To Combat All The Hate

August 16th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Earlier this week, we wrote about all the backlash Gabby Douglas has been receiving during this round of the Olympics. And we wrote about her tearful response to it all and even her mother saying she was heartbroken by the comments she witnessed on social media.

But if there is a bright side to all the hate she received, it’s the fact that a fellow Black woman, one who had been similarly bullied on social media, came to her defense. Over the weekend, I kept coming across the hashtag #LOVE4GABBYUSA but I didn’t know where it came from. Turns out, comedienne Leslie Jones was the one with the lightbulb above her head.

It wasn’t long before #LOVE4GABBYUSA was trending. And a host of celebs, including some of our faves, tweeted their support to the young Olympian.

And thankfully, Gabby saw the tweets.

“What Did She Ever Do To Anyone?” Gabby Douglas’s Mom Speaks Out As Gymnast Tearfully Responds To Critics

August 15th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Gabby Douglas

AP Images

As we told you last week, Gabby Douglas hasn’t received much love from people this Olympics, a stark contrast from how warmly the 20-year-old was received during the games in London in 2012. Whether the conversation has been about her hair choices, not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem, or being called “Crabby Gabby” when she’s not smiling or taking part in standing ovations for teammates Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, Douglas has been heavily criticized all over social media. And while she’s tried to be apologetic and not let the detractors get her down, after coming in seventh during the individual uneven bars event last night, Douglas fought back tears when asked about the obstacles that have been in her way this time around.

“When they talk about my hair or me not putting my hand up on my heart or me being very salty in the stands, they’re really criticizing me, and it doesn’t really feel good,” Douglas said in a post-competition interview as she finished her Rio run. “It was a little bit hurtful.”

When asked if her Olympics “got ruined,” Douglas did her best to say that she enjoyed the “amazing,” “fun” experience of being in Brazil. But when asked what she would have done differently, that’s when the tone of the conversation really changed. According to the Washington Post, Douglas fought back tears as she apologized if her facial expressions and actions weren’t as upbeat as people wanted them to be this time around. She added that all the flak she’s received has been too much.

“Everything I’ve gone through has been a lot this time around, and I apologize if [I seemed] really mad in the stands. I wasn’t. I was supporting Aly. And I always will support them and respect them in everything they do. I never want anyone to take it as I was jealous or I wanted attention. Never. I support them, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t showing it.”

She continued: “I’ve been through a lot. I still love them. I still love the people who love me. Still love them who hate me. I’m just going to stand on that.”

One other person speaking out about all of the condemnation is the Olympian’s mother, Natalie Hawkins. She told Reuters that her daughter has been “bullied” when speaking to the publication ahead of Sunday’s uneven bar final.

“She’s had to deal with people criticizing her hair, or people accusing her of bleaching her skin. They said she had breast enhancements, they said she wasn’t smiling enough, she’s unpatriotic. Then it went to not supporting your team mates. Now you’re ‘Crabby Gabby.’ You name it and she got trampled. What did she ever do to anyone?”

She continued: “They keep attacking her about not smiling but they don’t know what she is dealing with. If they did, this would not be a conversation. They would (understand). But this is not the time or place to tell that story.”

She continued, asking people to show her a time that her daughter has been “disrespectful” or “inappropriate.” Hawkins said people won’t find anything because Douglas values being a positive role model.

“We’ve been brought to many tears because I don’t know what she’s done to warrant such an attack. To me it looks like she is being bullied.”

When asked what she thought of Douglas looking less than happy for teammates as they competed in the individual all-around last week, which garnered her the hashtag #CrabbyGabby, Hawkins said her daughter was likely depressed because it seems that she’s damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t.

“What I saw in the stands was someone who was hurting and she was also angry,” Hawkins said. “What was going through her head was ‘I’m being attacked for everything I do so I might as well not do anything. Because no matter what I do, I am being attacked.'”

Ledisi Sends Empowering Message To Gabby Douglas Regarding Hair Criticism

August 14th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

The 2016 Olympics have been one of epic proportions with gals of color making groundbreaking strides in their respective sports. 20-year-old Gabby Douglas made history as the first American gymnasts to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions.

However, her achievements were overshadowed by something so silly as her hair. Apparently, social media trolls could only focus on the young lady’s hair and not her strong performances with a number of hateful comments referring to Douglas’ hair as “unkempt.”

While some used the moment to tear down the gymnast, others bonded together to show their support for her including singer Ledisi.

“Dear Gabby! I love your hair but most importantly I LOVE your talent and spirit!” she wrote. “Keep winning. God Bless! Love @ledisi.”

Shout out to Ledisi for speaking out and uplifting a young, black woman during what we can only imagine as a stressful time as the world is glued to her every move.

Did Y’all See? What’s All The Criticism Of Gabby Douglas Really About?

August 12th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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In this episode of Did Y’all See? we’re talking about the continued criticism of Gabby Douglas during this year’s Summer Olympics and why so many refuse to let her be great. We’re also discussing the narrative of Simone Biles and her mother’s claim that her character is being defamed and Kirk Franklin’s “stand by your man” advice. Get into all this tea on this week’s Did Y’all See?

On Gabby Douglas And Why Black Women Can’t Catch A Break — Even When We’re Competing For Our Country

August 10th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Gabby Douglas, fab five

AP Images

It takes nothing to get on people’s bad side these days. This is especially true when you’re a gifted and successful Black man or woman.

I was reminded of this after hearing about the alleged uproar Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas caused yesterday. The Olympian didn’t put her hand on her heart during the playing of the National Anthem as the Fab Five took part in their medal ceremony. While her teammates stood with their hands on their hearts, Douglas just stood at attention. And if the missing hand wasn’t enough, people on Twitter felt like the girl could have at least sung the song as it played to show some patriotism.

Of course, Douglas was in the dark about the controversy, seeing as she had just won another gold medal alongside her friends and teammates. But after being alerted to the faux outrage, she apologized for causing any offense.

But as some people pointed out, Douglas is not the first person to opt out of putting their hand on their heart while their colleagues choose to do so during the playing of the national anthem at the Olympics.

And as Cindy Boren of the Washington Post put it, again, this was the national anthem, not the Pledge of Allegiance:

The national anthem is not the Pledge of Allegiance, but the U.S. Code for conduct during the playing of it stipulates that “all present except those in uniform stand at attention facing the flat [sic] with the right hand over the heart.” However, anyone who has been to, say, a Major League Baseball game, will tell you that that isn’t always followed.

Do those men get the same criticism? I didn’t think so. So, as always, much ado about nothing.

But this whole situation left quite the bad taste in my mouth. For one, I feel like despite the fact that these talented people have worked their asses off to go for gold, an incredibly difficult feat, too many people like to come up with a whole host of distractions to take the attention away from their success. Whether it’s the alleged drug habits of parents, focusing on husbands/coaches as the root of a female Olympian’s success and just looking for the rose that grew out of concrete story in order to relate and celebrate, some individuals love to focus on the wrong things.

But I’m most bothered by the fact that folks have been telling Douglas how she needs to look and act ever since she stepped into the spotlight. When she was 16, at her first Olympics, people were telling her that her hair was a mess, focused more so on beauty standards than her incomparable talent. They went in on her dance moves. And even as an adult, people have criticized her face for not appearing happy enough to have obtained a coveted position on the U.S. gymnastics team. They say she should smile more like her teammates, ecstatic to have received a “second chance” from coach Martha Karolyi. She was questioned about her disappointment at missing out on the chance to compete in the individual all-around competition to defend her title; asked how she felt about her friends Aly Raisman and Simone Biles getting to do so, expected to crack on camera. She’s been compared to Biles and treated like the Black Joan Crawford to Biles’s Bette Davis.

I even saw criticisms of her decision to do reality TV before the Olympics with her Oxygen show Douglas Family Gold. There have also been random claims that she’s only still doing gymnastics to support her family, who have been characterized as money-hungry people by complete strangers. And now this bull about not putting her hand on her heart. This, despite the fact that she’s standing there wearing the colors of the U.S.A. flag, smiling as probably a bevy of thoughts run through her head. And considering that a vast majority of us will never get to stand on a podium and be celebrated with a gold medal at the Olympics, such criticism should stop. We can’t say what should have run through her head during that moment or what she should have done with her hand during the ceremony because we likely wouldn’t have lived up to our own expectations.

And yet, the girl can’t catch a break. Regardless of all the bullsh-t, Douglas is asked to apologize, to keep smiling, to grin and bear the criticism. It’s the same thing we, as Black women, are often told to do. Keep up a smile through the stress in school, at work, in the home, and even just walking down the street in order to succeed and not be harmed. It’s always been tired, but it’s especially irksome to watch a person who should be applauded for their feats have to go through this when they should only be focusing on sticking their landings.

To think, this is the thanks a young woman gets for setting aside years of her life to train to compete for our country. So much for patriotism.

ICYMI: 5 Epic Things Black Female Athletes Did During The Opening Weekend Of The Olympics

August 8th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Have you been tuning into the Olympics since the fantastic opening ceremony on Friday? We have! And it’s been pretty entertaining so far. But more than fascinating, watching the hard work and success of all the athletes so far has been very inspiring. This is especially true as we’ve watched Black women take the center stage to go for gold. In case you haven’t been tuning in, here is a brief recap of a few very interesting Olympic moments Black women have been involved in since Friday.

AP Images

AP Images

Simone Biles is No. 1 in gymnastics individual all-around qualifier.

The expectations were high for Biles, and boy, did she exceed them! While competing for the chance to go for gold in the individual all-around competition, as well as working to help the U.S. team as a whole advance in the team all-around competition, Biles took first place in almost every event. She was first in the floor exercises, first for women’s beam, and first for women’s vault, with this nearly flawless performance:

You can check out more amazing performances tomorrow as she competes in the team all-around.