The Satin Bonnet Epidemic: The Stereo-type on Sistas Who Wear Bonnets to Go Out
LADIES!! Let's talk about this thing!! This thing I like to refer to as an epidemic that's plaguing sistas all over the world, (lol). No, but on a serious note, let's discuss the issue that seems to boggle the minds of men and women who can't seem to understand how one can wear an accessory meant for bed, out in these streets as if it's some cool hat or fashion staple to your casual grocery run.
See, here's the deal: I've heard plenty of people refer to women that wear satin bonnets to run errands as "ghetto", "hood", "ratchet", and "dirty"...(yes, dirty). Now is it possible to be none of the above, but still have this night-time cap on your head out in public?...Of course. The only problem is, other people don't see it that way or treat you otherwise. Now this definitely isn't about what others think of you, but let's be real, if you create a look for yourself, that's TOTALLY unnecessary (i.e. wearing a satin bonnet over hair that can be covered with a cap) and expect PEOPLE (the most judgmental creatures on earth) to not have an opinion, guess again.
I took it upon myself one day to take pictures of women who I saw out, wearing a satin bonnet. In one day, I captured three pictures with a total of 5 women; they came in groups. I couldn't believe it. Was I missing something? In that same day, I went into my local grocer to find a satin bonnet so I could read the front cover on one of the brands, ("Maybe I'm confused on its purpose", I thought). I read the front cover on one of the packages and it read, very boldly, "Stays on all night so you wake up right!" (These people even made it rhyme). Okay, so now I'm really confused.
If no one else will tell you, your favorite blogger Toni will: Satin bonnets don't look good with your skinny jeans and crop top. There it is! We, as sistas, are one of the most versatile beings when it comes to hair diversity. We can fro it, braid it, twist it, Bantu knot it, cornrow it, straighten it and even spike it (with NO gel). Why on Earth would sistas want to walk around town wearing something meant for the pillow? If we don't see women walking around with see-through eye masks on or face scrubs on their T-zone, why would satin bonnets be any different?
In my humble opinion, I think satin bonnets worn as hair accessories do look tacky. I would never go as far as saying my fellow sista is "dirty" because she's wearing a bonnet to buy food inside of a store, but society continuously tries to give black women negative stereotypes and portray us in ways that are unfavorable to what society deems as "like-able" or "acceptable"; satin bonnets only perpetuate those ideals.
I remember when naysayers referred to our former first lady, Michelle Obama, as "Barack's baby mama". They said she was "ghetto" and one recently referred to her as an "ape in heels". Now, we all know Mrs. Obama has shown our nation nothing but class and grace, yet and still, she was negatively labeled even when she didn't look anything less than beautiful. What if she were to dare poke her head out of the White House wearing a sating bonnet? What if she quickly ran an errand to CVS with the Secret Service in tow, wearing a bonnet to grab a candy bar? (I think we know how people and the media would've responded to that look).
My overall point? Get rid of the bonnet before you walk out of the door. We are strong beautiful women and we only diminish the image we've been trying to uphold for hundreds of years, by toting around a sleep cap in the produce isle of Walmart. If your hair is beautifully done, flaunt it even if you're only getting your child from daycare. If your hair needs to be done and you're a little embarrassed to wear it in its current state, throw on your boyfriend's cap or wrap a beautiful scarf over your hair in the style of a turban. There are so many alternatives to wearing a sleep cap out in public. I'm here to tell you, we're giving ignorant folks another label for us as we continue tearing-down the ones they've tried to destroy us with. The bonnet doesn't look good out in public, but dammit, we do without it!