Black America Web Featured Video

So, all of this hoopla over the hairdo of 16 year-old Olympic gymnastics champion Gabby Douglas this past week was pretty pathetic.


All this hoopla about Gabby’s hair instead of her incredible and historic gymnastic accomplishments on the world stage…pathetic.


That said, there were some interesting threads (no pun intended) that came out of  “Hair-Gate 2012” like how some black folks took it as an opportunity for a more productive discussion on the impact our hairdos have on our health.


In particular, sports reporter Jason Whitlock and former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes talked about how some black women’s obsession with hair plays a significant role in making us unhealthy and obese.


Dawes, who went natural last year, spoke to how many sisters forego healthy routines like exercise and swimming over concerns of ‘messin’ up our hair…’ especially after paying to get it lookin’ right… (I can just hear the Amen chorus from the sisters right about now.)


In fact, there were a couple of surveys done, one by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in N.C., reporting that a third of African-American women studied admitted they exercise less because of the potential harm to their hairstyles.


Let me put this another way. 33 percent of the women asked said they are more concerned about the harm that could come to their hairdo from working out than they are about the harm that can come to their health from not working out.

So we may die from a stroke or complications from diabetes but, man, our ‘do is sure gonna look tight at the wake. Folks are gonna be talkin’ about it for days after we’re six feet under, calling our survivors to ask who our stylist was.


Hopefully, you get the point. We have to recognize the difference between vanity and insanity and not keeping ourselves healthy because of a hairstyle is, yes, insane.


Not to mention that when you exercise, you look and feel better.


And it’s not just about us. We have families who love us, depend on us, and want us here living a functional, productive and healthy life.


So no matter how you style your hair, commit yourself to staying healthy. For those looking for tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and hairstyle, Harvard University actually produced a pamphlet called "Hair Care Tips for Sisters on the Move."


You can get it at my Facebook page.


I’ll leave you with this from blogger and running coach, Monisha Randolph: “Some of us are sitting up right now with our hair done but suffering from high blood pressure, borderline diabetes, obesity, and a lack of energy. I don’t know Gabby Douglas personally. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that she considers her health and fitness level to be a little more important than her hair staying in place.”


Until next time, this is Stephanie in love and hope.


Also On Black America Web:
The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
10 photos
More From BlackAmericaWeb