... the other Black experience

OP-ED: The repeated bullying of Gabby Douglas: "Words can never hurt" is a LIE

I'm really tired of people bullying this beautiful and talented Olympic champion. Gabby Douglas has done nothing wrong yet people constantly attack her. You can tell the mental stress of it all has finally gotten to her. She placed seventh in uneven bars on Sunday and that is her strongest event. She was even brought to tears after the event when reporters asked her questions.

By Jasmin Pierre*, AFROPUNK contributor

The Gabby we saw in London and the Gabby we see now in Rio are two different people. She hasn't smiled nearly as much and has been very downcast. Who wouldn't be after what she has endured?

It seems as if Gabby can't win. Black women are criticizing her hair, Die hard and crazy white republicans are calling her a disgrace for not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem, some have even asked her if she has bleached her skin! Also if that wasn't enough when she didn't applaud her teammates the way other people wanted her to during the all around competition a trending topic called #crabbygabby started up.

I have seen some comments that say Gabby shouldn't let this get to her. That this is all apart of being famous. "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt" is a LIE. People have to understand words really can HURT. Bullying can cause mental stress and pain. Especially when you haven't done anything to anyone.

Watching a tearful and very hurt Gabby not even placing in the top three Sunday in her most dominate event should show people just how much words really can hurt and mentally affect you. When your mind is on other things how can you perform and be the very best you? Social media can tend to be a breeding ground for negative Internet gangsters.

People who have never achieved half of what this young lady has done in just twenty years of life really need to have several seats. I want Gabby to know that she is still one of the greatest gymnast I've ever seen. I want her to know that it's ok to let out all of the hurt she is feeling after everything she has gone through. Gabby please keep being the beautiful and wonderful young lady are. You are special. Nobody can EVER take that away from you. You still have many people cheering you on.

Facebook:A Fight Worth Finishing

Instagram: @afightworthfinishing


*Jasmin Pierre is a 27-year-old mental health activist and author of the new self help book “A Fight Worth Finishing”. She is from New Orleans, Louisiana. Jasmin is constantly fighting for the rights of those suffering from major depressive disorder. She inspires to become a life coach and continue writing to encourage others to never give up.

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