The bonnet debate is still trending on social media with some people arguing that Black women shouldn’t wear their bonnets outside of the house while others defending a Black woman’s right to wear whatever she wants, whenever she wants.
That debate came to a head this weekend when legendary comedian and actress Mo’Nique jumped into the conversation. Wearing a bathrobe, she took to Instagram to tell her 1 million followers a story about when she went to the Atlanta airport catching a flight to Mississippi. “I saw so many of our young sistas in head bonnets, scarves, slippers, pajamas, blankets wrapped around them, and this is how they’re showing up to the airport,” she explained in the 5-minute IGTV video. “I’ve been seeing it not just at the airport, I’ve been seeing it at the store, at the mall. I’ve been seeing sistas showing up in these bonnets and headscarves and slippers. And the question I have to you my sweet babies: when did we lose pride in representing ourselves?”
Mo’Nique’s stance is all about having pride in yourself, showing up to places presentable, and representing yourself and the family you created. She wants the young sistas to show the world they have pride in themselves without someone having to ask them and while she’s not wrong in wanting the best for our young Black Queens, perhaps her approach was a little off-putting for the Internet. She even gave us all a warning, saying “if I see you in the streets, in the airport, in the Walmart and you got a bonnet on and you go slippers on and you looking like what the f***, auntie gon’ tap you and say ‘hey baby girl, show what you’re worth.’”
For some, Mo’Nique’s point of view is very old school because as we know, historically, Black people always felt the need to prove their worth by going above and beyond to look polished, “kept” and of a higher class in order to avoid racist stereotypes and disrespectful treatment. But for others, her take is spot on, as some people in the conversation believe that a woman’s bonnet should never leave her home.
At the end of the day, people are going to do whatever they want to and Black women should be allowed to show up to spaces however they want to without being judged and having to impress strangers, especially in places like the airport or the corner store.