If I’ve learned one thing while watching Douglas Family Gold, it’s that the life of an Olympian is pure sacrifice.
In her quest for Olympic glory, Gabby Douglas has completely given up on the hallmarks of adolescence and young adulthood. She’s not the only one who knows a thing or two about sacrifice; her entire family has put their dreams and goals on hold in hopes of helping Gabby dominate at the Olympics.
Big sis Arielle Hawkins has, arguably, given up more than most. She really wants to work in fashion, and while she enjoys designing leotards, she has dreams of her own. Tonight, she pursued those dreams by interviewing for an internship at a prominent fashion house. She was grilled during this interview, and when she asked about the prospect of occasionally hightailing it to help out with her sister’s business, the interviewer didn’t seem pleased.
Interviews are nerve-racking, but not nearly as bad as breaking unfortunate news to mom. At first, however, it seemed like Natalie Hawkins might actually support her elder daughter’s aspirations. She admitted that, “If you’re happy, I’m happy.” But did she really believe it? She didn’t take long at all to tell her daughter how terrible the timing of the internship was — and to remind her, “We’re all in this together.”
Natalie is far from the average reality TV mom; the fact that this was a polite discussion and not a blowout fight speaks volumes about her character (and, perhaps, Oxygen’s lack of sneaky editing). However, I would have liked to see her be a bit more supportive of her oldest daughter, who has given up a whole lot to make her little sister’s dreams come true.
As Arielle astutely pointed out, the timing is never right — it wasn’t in lead-up to the 2012 Olympics, it wasn’t after Gabby achieved Olympic glory and it certainly isn’t now. Mama Hawkins is convinced that the timing will one day play in Arielle’s favor, but how long will she have to wait for her mother to be proven correct? Is it really worth giving up a decade or more of her life? I think it’s really, really unfair to ask that of somebody, especially after they’ve made so many sacrifices.
I am excited to see what happens with Arielle’s job hunt. I hope that she was ultimately offered the internship — and that she was able to accept it. I think it is possible for Arielle to continue supporting her talented little sister while still pursuing a life of her own and I look forward to seeing her journey continue on Douglas Family Gold!