Cashing in on Our Culture: Bonnet Appropriation


From twerking to braids, our culture has constantly been appropriated by those that are not members of our community. When former Disney darling Miley Cyrus ditched the mouse house and embarked upon a poor attempt at twerking, the media went wild over her unconventional moves and a dance that black people originated went mainstream.

 

Most recently, Sarah Marantz Lindenberg, founder of Nite Cap seems to think that she invented the bonnet. #FixItJesus A headpiece that mother Harriett Tubman, Sojourner Truth and so many other black women have adorned for years. In an interview with Fashion Magazine, Lindenberg stated, “My concept came out of a problem that needed solving. A dermatologist recommended that I sleep with my hair pulled back. Another physician recommended I try silk scarves, and I had fun playing around with them but they didn’t stay on. I did notice, though, that my skin cleared up from not having my hair on my face. I also noticed that my hair was shinier, thicker, and my blowouts lasted longer. There were products on the market but none of them had a functional and fashionable solution for me.”

 

Black women have donned silk bonnets to protect our tresses for ages. Tami Roman of Basketball Wives even created a brand, The Bonnet Chronicles, where she delivers content in a bonnet.

 

Le sigh. We get it. Our culture is cool. The uniqueness that we bring in fashion, music, hairstyles, our talk, our walk and overall way of life is dope. PERIOD. The issue with Mrs. Lindenberg and so many other melanin-deficient folks is the way these things have been snatched from our culture often with little to no attribution. Since the release of the Nite Cap bonnet, a statement from the brand’s Instagram has been released and states, “We’re committed to honouring the historical significance of hair wrapping and this will now be part of our approach.”

 

We’ll see.