Gabby Douglas' hair gets more attention than her gold medal

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Gabby Douglas, the 16-year-old Olympic gymnast, has played a large role in Team USA’s recent gold medal. Despite having already won a gold medal and preparing for tonight’s individual competition, she seems to be getting Twitter mentions about her hair, rather than her athletic abilities.

Throughout history, African-American hairstyles have been a focal point of conversation when discussing any black celebrity. Many celebrities’ hair choices — braided, natural, curly, and straight — have become iconic staples in black hair fashion, and many have sparked debates.

Gabby Douglas’ Olympic hair-due is just the latest style to grab the attention of viewers. Several critics have sounded off on Twitter:

While others came to her defense:

Her competition hairstyle, including clips and excessive amounts of gel, isn’t one to be rocked at the Grammys, but several other gymnasts wear their hair in a very similar fashion.¬† Slicked back hair with clips into a messy bun seems to be a popular choice among gymnasts this year, so why pick on Douglas?

Should an Olympian’s hairstyle really outshine the fact that she is an amazing gymnast, competing on the world stage at the age of 16?

Click through the slideshow to see similar hairstyles from other gymnasts at years London Olympics.

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.