Leave Simone Biles’s Wedding Hair Alone
On Saturday, April 22, Simone Biles officially married Jonathan Owens in a sweet courthouse ceremony in her hometown of Houston, Texas. In the photos shared, the duo looks happily in love, glowing with newly-wed bliss. But this did not stop some people from commenting on how they felt Biles’s wedding hair “should” have looked for the big day.
In response to a tweet that has since been deleted, one Twitter user wrote, “she coulda at least got a lace front for her wedding like,” after seeing Biles’s hair styled into a loose high ponytail. Never mind the fact that this ceremony was just to legally get married in the United States before her destination wedding abroad, but this entire situation underscores how Black women can sometimes be our own biggest critics.
Why is it that the first thing that came to mind when bearing witness to such a joyous moment was to criticize her hair? It has been made clear time and time again how harmful this rhetoric can be, perpetuating the idea that Black women must be able to afford expensive hair extensions or visit a professional salon on a regularly to be considered beautiful.
This is not a one-off situation. Before Biles, there was Gabrielle Douglas. In 2012, after the Olympic gymnast led her team to victory by winning the gold all-around medal, celebrations were tempered by people criticizing the way her bun looked while competing. It happened again in 2016 but this time, in addition to her hairstyle, Douglas was also criticized for not smiling or cheering enough for her teammates. At what point does the hyper surveillance of Black women stop? Especially at the hands of other Black women?
Thankfully, many people rushed to Biles’s defense, calling out users who made the disparaging remarks. Regardless of the unnecessary commentary, Biles looked beautiful, and we can’t wait to see what she does for her destination wedding. In the meantime, let’s all remember the old adage: if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
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