What do Drake, T.O., and Mekhi Phifer have in common?
That’s right; you read correctly, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. The aforementioned males have expressed, or rather implied, either their like or dislike for the head scarf, a hair accessory worn primarily by Black women, to maintain their lovely tresses. What’s the big deal you ask? Well, there really isn’t a big deal, but there is a point to this trivial topic; meaning its intent is to be taken light-heartedly. Inquiring minds want to know; what’s the matter with women who wear them, or should I say, what’s wrong with the men who love to hate them? The “scarf” is a low maintenance technique which sole’s purpose is to keep every strand of our mane fresh and intact while sleeping, showering, or just lounging around the house. This head garment also known as a bandanna is like an extension of us, and part of our culture that dates back decades, even centuries. As young black girls, the satin scarf was kind of like a staple in the black household. We saw everyone, including our mamas, grand mamas, and aunts put them on religiously. The most notable person we know among us, who wore one, was Aunt Jemima. For those who are unfamiliar.
This history in itself is important to our race. However, today, scarves have multiple uses, and are more commonly worn by modern, hip women of all ethnicities as a fashion statement; adding style to a wardrobe. It doesn’t represent a negative undertone as it once did, unless used by someone in such a manner.
Now that I’ve given you a little bit of background, let’s cut to the nonsense. If you’ve been anywhere near a radio or television screen lately, then you probably have heard the following comments.
“Sweat pants, hair tied, chillin’ with no makeup on. That’s when you’re the prettiest I hope that you don’t take it wrong.” –Drake
I’m sure many of you ladies can appreciate this verse spoken by Drake, new rapper on the scene, in his song titled, “Best I Ever Had”. It sounds like this is a guy who loves natural beauty; when a woman is stripped down to her bare essence. I don’t know much about this newcomer, but he seems like a humble kid who isn’t caught up in the fame … just yet.
“The women that I date, they don’t wear scarves to bed. … You look like Aunt Jemima in a candy store.” –T.O.
Terrell Owens (aka T.O.), professional football player, had the audacity to let these words roll off his tongue to his best friend/publicist Kita on his new reality show. *Giving him the side eye* Whoa, I think dude has been stuck in a bubble with Shallow Hal. I sort of expected different from a black man who was raised down south with his black sisters, by a southern black mama and grand mama; considering, more than likely he witnessed these main women in his life wrap a scarf around their heads. Of course, I don’t know for a matter of fact, but I can you bet you his multi-million dollar contract he did.
“Then you go home and your wife is in sweatpants with a rag on her head and you haven’t gotten head in a month?” –Mehki Phifer
Moving right along to the next set of words spewed from the loins of actor Mekhi Phifer, upon his divorce from actress Malinda Williams, which would possibly provoke a few women to take an iron cast frying pan to his noggin, or throw a hot pot of grits at his True Religion jeans (I wouldn’t dare say face, since we don’t condone violence), but you catch my drift.
I also took to the cyber world and rounded up a few comments made by everyday, ordinary men on the issue. Peep what they had to say.
“Of course we don’t want our women to wear scarves to bed, but we understand you’ll have to, to keep your hair laid longer.” –Unknown Male
“What bothers me is when she wears it outside the house. Besides, I’m a hair person so whatever it takes for her to keep the hair lookin’ right.” –Name Withheld
“Black men shouldn’t have to date white women and exotic women of other cultures just to avoid the “urban turban” experience. But perhaps this is a personal pet peeve of mine that other black men don’t worry about.” –Name Withheld
While all of these men are entitled to their opinions, by human right, I’m permitted to express mine. I’m not judging them by what they say, just simply making an observation. Of course there are some underlying issues with a couple of these dudes, which I shall address. First, I think T.O. has somewhat of an identity crisis. As a kid growing up in his hometown of Alabama, he wasn’t accepted by little black girls at school, and considered the “ugly duckling”. I suppose this would make someone internally bitter, causing them to resent where they come from so to speak. In other words, “y’all” didn’t like me back then, so I’m on the fence about “y’all” at the present. Then, it appears Mehki Phifer was in revenge mode, and deemed it necessary to talk down on his estranged wife for whatever reason. Possibly, to divert the blame from his infidelity or just an excuse he used, instead of being honest in saying he no longer wanted to be married and desired something new. Note: This is all pure speculation on my part. Either way, it is obvious their issues are deeper rooted than the surface.
I guess at the end of the day, most men, if not all, aren’t too fond of us donning the beloved rag over our heads, but it’s necessary for some. I personally don’t wear them. I sleep, shower, have sex, etc. sans the scarf, because I have a short do; and been able to maintain my hairstyle since 1996 without one. Whether you wear them for personal, social, or religious reasons; who cares? It’s your hair, and you can do as you please. As India Arie once said, “I am not my hair” … in this case, “I am not my hair scarf!”