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.
Williams emphasizes that the information provided on the site helps eliminate the excuses.
“I think SportyAfro cancels out 80 percent of the excuses that black women consistently have and most of those are around hair. Recently, we had a swimming workout and where we showed what we did before we entered the pool, that actual workout that we were doing and some other ones people can do, and then what we did afterwards, “Williams said.
“I have emails from people and their like ‘well I can’t swim.’ I’m like I swim 3 to 4 times a week. If I’m doing it and I represent the Black woman. Why can’t you?” Williams added. “I never knew how to swim so that kills the other stereotype. I learned how to swim and I worked at it and I went to classes…There’s no reason why you can’t.”
SportyAfros is not only receiving attention from Black women, but men and women of all races and backgrounds have turned to the site for information.
“There’s been a lot of support from men. That’s been the biggest thing on the comments, white men, Asian men. Men are coming out and they are sick of it. They are tired of women coming up with ‘Oh don’t touch my hair’ or complaining about other people and their hairstyles….You gotta find solutions about it,” Williams said.
The informational website also provides information on nutrition by offering recipes for those who live a vegan lifestyle to meat lovers.
“Really our site is just giving them that great foundation to a holistic healthy life from the inside out,” Williams said.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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