CurlSpotting: Olympic Hair

Gabby Douglas is the 2012 Olympic gold medal winner in the women’s all-around competition and gold medal winner (for team U.S.A.) in the women’s team competition.

I’ve been glued to the TV screen, completely hooked on watching the summer Olympics. Swimming is spectacular and volleyball is worth viewing, but for me, it’s all about women’s gymnastics. Maybe it’s because I’m also extra petite (#teamtiny!), but I just admire gymnasts’ strength and agility.

This Olympics, we were not only treated to a gold medal from the U.S. women’s  team–“The Fab Five”–but we’ve also been blessed with a historic moment. Gabby Douglas is the first African-American woman to win the women’s all-around gold medal!! Applause all around! Oh, the tears of joy!

This moment is peppered by the appearance of a few headlining, naturally curly hair. Here’s a rundown of summer 2012’s Olympic hair.

Gabby Douglas – This 16-year-old domino caught our attention with her performance during the team competition. She then took it to the next level and killed it in the all-around competition, winning another gold medal.

Jasmine Breinburg, star of the Olympics’ opening ceremony, who set Twitter on fire.

Unfortunately, she’s also gotten attention for her pulled back, straight mane. Shame on you curlies out there giving her flack! Tsk tsk! Maybe now you’ll relax and respect the energy and focus Gabby paid to her craft and not to aesthetics. While I love a fierce fro like the next one, let’s give the girl a break and applaud her. And if you can’t, I want to see your tumble pass! Uh, huh.

Jasmine Breinburg – The opening ceremony of this year’s games included a surreal segment directed by Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, and Trainspotting fame. While cute little kids pretended to sleep on beds and danced in the street, my eyes were glued on a love story portrayed by Jasmine Breinburg, an 18-year old dancer and rising star. Breinburg was selected to play the lead role, and I’m sure her curly mane had at least a smidgen of influence. Apparently the Brits went batty for her stunning beauty and hair the moment the ceremony aired, as Twitter went ablaze with comments about Breinburg. Click here to read more about Jasmine Breinburg from the Daily Mail.

Former gymnast Dominique Dawes gives a talk in London. Photo Credit: David Mercer/USAT

Dominique Dawes – During tonight’s gymnastics coverage, the camera zoomed in on Dominique … and her natural hair (see video below)!

“I advise black women to go natural and stop relaxing your children’s hair, too,” Dawes says. “At 35 years old I finally embraced my natural locks. It was liberating and empowering for me. I wish I would have done it sooner.”

Dawes was a member of the 1996 U.S. National Women’s Team aka The “Magnificent Seven,” the team that famously included Kerri Strug, Shannon Miller, and proud coach Bela Karolyi. Dominique competed in three Olympic games, winning team medals in all of them and one bronze. She is the first female African-American gymnast to win an individual medal. No one could kill it on the floor like Dominique! Tonight, she proudly watched from the stands as Gabby Douglas back flipped and split her way to gold.

Check out Dominique’s interview (and her natural hair) as she emotionally discusses Gabby’s win. I dare you to keep a dry eye! So proud of them!!


Below: Former U.S. Gymnast Dominique Dawes discusses Gabby Douglas’ Olympic performance and shares life lessons.

Below: Dancer and opening ceremony star Jasmine Breinburg is briefly interviewed.

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