Simone Biles’s nickname should be Simone wows after her amazing Olympic floor performance. I mean, we all have talents and gymnastics is clearly hers. While watching Simone perform so eloquently, it almost made me wonder if this is the silver lining in all the blunders that have plagued the Black community recently and historically.
Although she’s small, coming in at just 4′ 9″, Biles’s muscles make me fear for anyone who ever crosses her, yet her grace onstage and off presents a pleasant dichotomy to Simone’s strong exterior physique. She seems to be the perfect blend of a strong woman who is not only strong headed but actually very personable.
She isn’t the only “Simone” who will bring glory, and gold, home to the USA. Simone Manuel, a swimmer for Team USA, wiggled her way to two gold and two silver medals (and counting, of course) as she performed just as gracefully as her name twin in the swimming events.
She and Simone Biles are true inspirations because they are both so young, 20 and 19, respectively, achieving awesome accomplishments, which gives me – a 20-year-old myself – the inspiration to pursue my own passions. If two women who look like me and have grown up in the same time as I have can make it to the Olympics, what’s stopping me from fulfilling my dreams?
These past few days, society has been able to celebrate others’ accomplishments and use these people’s success stories to tell their own narratives. For the Black community, it’s the one that we can persevere in spite of barriers forged to hold us back. Yet, where there’s progress, there’s also pain. Gabby Douglas, a fellow American gymnast, opened up about the scrutiny she has faced for her hair, her facial expressions, and her actions (or inaction, better yet). As we all know, social media can be ruthless at times. I myself sometimes have to disconnect because it is so negative. The information age gave us much more access to each other and this might have been a detriment in itself.
It’s said that you shouldn’t trust everything you read/see on social media, or anything you read/see on there for that matter, but social media does serve some purposes, such as revealing the negativity this world has to offer, and Gabby Douglas can attest. Although she won a gold medal for Team USA to add to the other 6 she picked up in London, people could only seem to accuse her of being unpatriotic or criticize what her hair looked like. Never mind the fact that this girl is so talented she’s competing in front of the entire world while social media trolls are competing for retweets. Never mind the fact that she’s competing for Team USA.
What’s more important to the trolls is Douglas’ appearance or what Douglas thinks of this country. It’s sad, really. Douglas has beaten the odds by proving that someone who’s not a white, Christian, male can accomplish great things (a direct hit to racist, patriarchal, anti-anyone who’s not Christian ideology). Still, she’s being criticized for trivial things, as if they overshadow the many accomplishments she’s made.
In lighter news, though, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin swept the competition for the 100 M hurdles, another great Olympic accomplishment from another group of Black women. Judging by these accomplishments listed, along with ones that were unmentioned and the ones sure to come, I think it’s safe to say that the Olympics has been blessed by some Black Girl Magic. Don’t get it twisted, though. Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we aren’t real.