The battle of the bonnet has commenced following a now viral photograph snapped at a dentist’s office. The framed set of rules informs patients of a new policy banning, among other things, the bonnets.
On Reddit, a user shared a screenshot of the original social media post featuring the list of banned items. The screenshot included the original poster’s caption praising the rules which also ban house shoes and pajama bottoms.
Many online deduced, from the combination of items on the list, that the ban was directed toward Black people, specifically Black women. Bonnets are a haircare staple for Black women who have faced criticism related to their public appearance over the years. Conversations around the topic have ignited on social media as users discuss some Black women’s decisions to wear certain items in public.
Social Media’s Response
The post has since been shared on outlets like Instagram and Twitter, with it fueling an intense conversation. Much of that discourse focused on the double standard Black women face when it comes to their hair and clothing choices.
Some disagreed with the dentist’s office for the strict list of items that seemingly subscribe to respectability rules. Rules that continually limit the personal expression of Black women. Other responders applauded the dentist for setting attire boundaries for patients. Those holding that view felt it not appropriate to demand certain standards for care.
There are also vital comments regarding how the rule limits patient access to healthcare based on factors as trivial as clothing and hair coverings.
Respectability Debate Continued
In 2021 comedian and actress Monique sparked a similar debate around Black women and respectability. At that time, Monique encouraged Black women to stop wearing bonnets and pajamas in the airport and other public spaces.
Monique’s Instagram post sparked instant backlash for its tone and the limits it placed on Black women’s personal expression. Some users have taken to Twitter to yet again knock attempts to police the actions of Black women. Especially personal choices like what they choose to wear in public.
The latest bonnet controversy comes as Black women around the country continue to fight against hair discrimination through The Crown Act. That legislation continues to make its way through statehouses all around the country.