This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
In her 20 years on earth, Simone Biles has amassed five Olympic medals and nearly five million combined followers on Instagram and Twitter. She’s a bubbly personality, a frickin’ beast on the beam, and an outstanding friend. She’s even been kissed by Zac Efron, for crying out loud. But for some strange reason, Twitter wants to ignore all of those milestones and hone in on her hair.
The gymnast was named an honorary cheerleader for the Houston Texans, her home team — obviously a huge deal. On Twitter, she shared a series of photos before the big day, and expressed how giddy she was:
can’t wait to cheer at my first game ?
GO HOUSTON TEXANS ‼️ pic.twitter.com/K4ijVE86ud
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) December 10, 2017
In the pic, her shoulder-length hair was blown straight and a little messy — you know, like someone who had just finished a rigorous practice. “Baby… Your hair… You need some black friends,” a tweeter commented. That jab received nearly 22,000 retweets and nearly 48,000 likes… and it only gets worse. “She need to just [opt] for a whole lace wig. Won’t have to worry about that extraness,” someone else suggested.
Biles later explained to a fan that she “just came straight from a 4 hour practice w/ my hair in a bun” and asked everyone to excuse her disheveled blowout. But the dragging still continued for hours, until she finally addressed the haters. “I have 1 question to everyone commenting about my hair when I genuinely look happy in the photo,” she wrote on December 11. “Do you look perfect ALL the time? Everything in perfect order?”
The criticism isn’t unlike that of Biles’ teammate Gabby Douglas, who endured relentless mocking and memes about her disheveled messy bun at the 2012 and the 2016 Olympics. Although Biles and Douglas don’t see eye-to-eye, Douglas’ response to her critics is likely something that Biles — and anyone else with a grain of common sense — can agree with. “What’s wrong with my hair? I’m like, I just made history and people are focused on my hair? It can be bald or short; it doesn’t matter about [my] hair,” she told the Associated Press back in 2012. “Nothing is going to change. I’m going to wear my hair like this during beam and bar finals. You might as well stop talking about it.”
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