Why don’t western women wear more hats?
Every time I’ve worn a hat or bandanna in the past, people comment on it. I suppose they think it’s a fashion thing. Maybe it is, to some degree. But mostly it’s because I don’t style my hair.
I sometimes think there’s more to it. There’s some level of discomfort with a woman who doesn’t show all of her hair, at least in western cultures.
When it comes to semi-compulsory covering of hair in other cultures, I waver back and forth between supporting it and not supporting it. I understand the desire to cover up hair. As someone with weak, thin hair, I wish I could cover it up at all times without comments from other people. There’s something people don’t think about: Wanting to not be judged on hair quality, and/or to not be sexualized. Some call it “modesty” but for me it’s not about being a good, demure, chaste woman. It’s about what you want to do, and the level of sexual attention you’re comfortable with.
I honestly feel that if you want to cover your hair and it empowers you, do it. It’s troubling that some are compelled to do it for approval in the eyes of religious, conservative cultures. (Of course, if not doing so endangers you…) If styling your hair empowers you, style your hair. I honestly wish people would care less.
It all comes down to a deep distrust of doing anything even slightly different. Perhaps the white western discomfort comes from not knowing why in particular someone covers their hair. Are they a devout member of a spooky, scary non-white religion or culture? Do they just like having non-styled hair? Do they, gasp, have thin or no hair? This person might be different in ways I’m not immediately comfortable with because of some scrap of cloth on their head, ohhh boyyy. /s
Personally, I’m going to start wearing hats in day to day life again. I have fairly short hair, so I’ve got a socially semi-unacceptable hair style to begin with, hats are just the cherry on top. I stopped wearing them back in the day because Husband would always ask me why I was wearing a hat or bandanna, like something was wrong with it. I’m becoming more bold with my choices, and being more flippant is what I’m aspiring to.
“Because I like it” is all I need to say. Or, to comfort and assure people that I do in fact have hair, take it off and say,”Take a good look, here’s my hair. Great, isn’t it?” And then put the hat back on.
It’s kind of nuts to have to deal with this at all.