As Gabby Douglas took gold as the first Black individual all-round gymnast, Black women around the country began picking apart the young athlete’s hair.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter became infiltrated with messages focusing more on criticizing Douglas’ team uniformed hairstyle rather than her performance.
In the middle of the controversial tirade was Sporty Afros, the first to come to Douglas’ defense.
Monisha Randolph’s blog, “Monisha’s Minute: The Gabby Douglas Hair Controversy….Unwrapped” was met with both applause and scrutiny.
However, her analysis helped create a great platform of exposure for the website.
Alexandria Williams and Whitney Patterson started SportyAfros.com as a go-to website dedicated to connecting the dots between hair care and fitness for Black women with an active lifestyle.
Williams credits the website’s recent spike in pageviews to what she has penned as “Gabby’s Hair-Gate.”
“Ninety-nine percent of those commenting on Gabby’s hair were Black, female, “Williams said.
“With us talking about using this platform of SportAfros, this is a huge issue. This girl is working out and going for gold and you’re complaining about hair and that feeds into why a lot of these women won’t sweat. They won’t go out and work out. They won’t go do anything because they don’t want to look like Gabby.”
Sporty Afros is dedicated to breaking down the fears and ignorance that exists about black hair care and fitness. Williams said that by providing advice, how-to videos, and other resources they aim to change the high obesity statistics in the Black community. They believe that the first step to getting black women exercising is helping them no longer look at their hair as a hindrance.
“Readers can find hair care tips, YouTube videos and tutorials, actual workouts and training plans, nutrition tips and much more. We even offer haircare products to help address many of the haircare concerns in our store section,” the site founder explained.