Hair-raising topic

OK, a quick word about hair.

I'm not going to get into this into any great detail, because I can't speak to the culture complexities involved in the "discussion" of Gabby Douglas' hair. I can, however, speak to misogynistic ones.

It's not enough, apparently, that we oversexualize these children, squeezing their underdeveloped (because bones under such constant pressure don't grow properly) bodies into shiny, high-cut leotards and accepting as normal the troweling on of more eyeshadow than any person should wear in the course of a decade. Now we have to break down their appearance, too. We have to squeeze their various physical components into more boxes, analyze minute details that have nothing to do with their amazing athletic prowess, and hide behind the aforementioned cultural smokescreen when we do.

I realize, through conversations with friends and watching enough "What Not to Wear" episodes, that "black hair" can be challenging. (So can mine in this South Florida humidity.) But should the hair of a teenager who has just accomplished something remarkable - not only becoming just the fourth American to win gold in the women's gymnastics all-around, but the first African-American to do so - really be the focal point of our attention? After all, no one's talking about that ferret that attacked Michael Phelps' chin in pre-Olympic interviews with (shudder) Ryan Seacrest. 

I am well aware that our society seizes on any chance to make women - girls, in this case - doubt their "beauty," as measured against some impossible, airbrushed standard. But this seems a little extreme.

If we must reduce such a watershed moment to anything related to color, let's at least make the color gold.