Is it ok for a white girl to wear headscarves for fashion?
A couple years ago I was having a bad hair day and saw a picture of a woman wearing a headscarf. Since then I've occasionally worn them for bad hair days and just because I like how they look. Recently I've become worried about possibly appropriating African cultures by doing so? I've had a few people tell me it's ok to wear simple ones, a few people tell me none what so ever, and a few tell me to do what ever. It's got me really confused about whether or not it would be ok to continue doing so?
I personally think it should be ok (not to ruffle any feathers or anything). If you've ever watched any old movies from the 40's or 50's (or I Love Lucy), white women used to wear them all the time to protect their hair when doing housework or working in factories during WWII (think Rosie the Riveter) They washed their hair a lot less often than we do now so it was almost necessary so they could cover up oily roots. As long as you're sensitive about it (like not making a huge deal) then I think it's ok.
I personally think it becomes an issue when people make comments like "I'm trying to be cool" or "I wanted to feel tribal and ethnic." And the first response is correct about its historical context. When it becomes a situation like people calling Michael Kors innovative for "mini buns" like its something brand new when Zulu/Bantu knots is a 1000+ year old hair style from Africa. That's a problem. And we all know the Zulu tribe is incredibly old. But yes approach it with sensitivity, open mindedness, & from a place of cultural exchange.
I was in a meeting last night and 3 of the women had head scarves on to cover their hair for religious reasons. Around here it's not an issue.