So, for some reason, Mo’Nique has decided to bring up the age old dispute of pajamas and bonnets in public. It’s an argument as old as time. It’s great to care about YOUR appearance and how other people perceive you but it’s NOT your responsibility to force your beliefs on others.
My mother has raised us to always look good when leaving the house as she felt that it was a reflection on her. I have not one beef with that. However, there are always exceptions. In addition to exceptions, you don’t know people’s lives to judge them based on their appearance. To this day, in her 70s, my mother makes sure that she looks presentable when presenting herself to this world.
So there are a lot of people that agree with her and I mean, I agree with her to an extent myself. But I also know that my sanity and my teeth are my priority. I’m not fighting nobody over the fact that I might be rushing out of the house for something and have on pajama pants (I don’t wear pajamas to bed so they are really just pants). I used to wear scrubs out and people assumed that I was a nurse. I was in the medical field but there were days where I felt comfy wearing my scrubs to work. I don’t like things hugging my legs. So, when it’s cold outside, sometimes you do what you have to do. I’m going to discuss some of the comments that I saw on Instagram and the like regarding all the great reasons why we always need to walk around looking like supermodels and why I myself, gives not ONE f*ck.
Someone Said “You Might Meet your Soul Mate, and Investor, Etc”
My response “Some of us are just out here trying to go to the store and live our lives.” Why is it assumed that we are trying to gain attention by how we dress while running simple errands? As long as you are not in an important meeting with a bonnet on, why does it matter?
In regards to myself, I try to stay away from people. I usually wear sweat pants or work out clothes. If someone doesn’t want to talk to me because of my clothes, then my plan worked. HOWEVER, I have been approached wearing oversized sweats and just looking a hot mess. So, even if you don’t want the attention, you get it. And it sucks. I just want to get my groceries and mind my own business.
“It Makes Us All Look Bad”
Man listen, there are so many other things that make us as Black women look bad and I can say that a bonnet or some pajama pants aren’t that high on the stupid totem pole. In honesty, the only person I can make look bad is myself at my age. I’m 42 and, in my 30s, I learned the art of not giving ONE f*ck about what people thought about me. I had to learn this as I spent MOST of my life worrying about what people thought about me. Do you know how freeing it is to just be you and not care what anyone else thinks? As long as you’re not hurting anyone, stealing, cheating, abusing, etc, it shouldn’t matter if I have on a bonnet or pajamas.
Exceptions Exist and a First Impression Isn’t Always an Accurate Impression
I had to put a scarf on to buy more hair when I was getting my hair braided before. My mom went to the ER again about a month or two ago and I had to throw clothes on and run out the house to meet the ambulance. I have seen people in a wedding party with bonnets on to go get their makeup done.
I had cramps REALLY bad years ago and I ran to the Giant real quick to get some Aleve because we were out. It was almost closing time for that place and I needed something for the horrible cramps I had. Does that make me a bad person? It’s clothes. Who makes the rules about what clothes are appropriate for when you are running errands and minding your own business?
Are you buying their clothes? Do bonnets stab or kill you? Do they blind you if you see them? If the choices of other people’s clothing bothers you, you might want to seek help or learn to pick your battles. A long time ago, there was a book called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Maybe it’s big to some people, and I can understand that, but we can’t apply what’s big to us to everyone else.
If We’re Adding Psychology Into It, Let’s Talk About Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Can someone tell me where bonnets and pajamas comes into play here? Is it in belongingness? I mean, I don’t care to belong anywhere because this world is full of trash but that’s just me. Maybe in the physiological needs? I mean, you want to be warm…. Um……Safety? Maybe for your hair or your own comfort…. Prestige and feeling of accomplishment maybe because you got out of the bed and got some things done without having to dress up like you’re going to work. I don’t really see where bonnets and pajama pants really rank high on this pyramid.
In the realm of importance, bonnets and pajamas are VERY low. They don’t even make it on the pyramid of things we need to survive. So why give it so much power to the point that we have been talking about this mess for three days.
Not only that, the assumptions made by people is where things go left. The examples that I gave of when I wore pajamas or a bonnet are the only times I did it. Because of my experience, I tend to think of things in the manner that I don’t know anyone’s story. And, because I don’t know their story, it’s not my place to assume anything about the person. People make comments like “These women don’t have home training to do this.” Why do we have to stoop to that level? If you don’t know their story, don’t assume. Mind your own business. If you want to hit the gym with full faced makeup and half dressed, I don’t care. Get your work out on. If you go to church in jeans and a T Shirt on, get your Lord on. I’m glad you’re there.
If a woman walks out of her house with a bonnet on and pajama pants on, let her be? We have enough folks against us to be worried about something so petty. You don’t know what’s going on. You don’t know if she suffers from depression and got out of bed because she had to feed her kid. You don’t know if there is an emergency and she has to get meds for her kid or herself. You don’t know if she got locked out of her house or anything. So, with that said, you gotta live and let live. Who dies because of pajamas or a bonnet?
One thing that I do is wear wraps. I wear wraps because I think they look nice and protect my hair. So I wear a bonnet but underneath my wraps. Humidity kills my hair. And, if I have it styled (or attempted to be styled) underneath, putting a nice, light wrap over it further projects my hair. My hair is very thick and a tiny bit of humidity will just kill everything. But everyone doesn’t know how to do wraps. I have taken my wraps down in grocery stores to show people how to do it when they admire my wraps. YouTube has great vids on how to do them as well. I learned from some of those vids.
In the End….
You can’t please everyone. You could be wearing clothes and have your hair looking beautiful and someone will find something else wrong with you. This is life. You could come to a meeting looking beautiful but someone might think that you are showing too much cleavage or your shoes don’t go with your outfit the way they deem it should.
Maintain your peace. If the only way you can come out of the house and maintain your sanity just to get a little bit of sun and pick up your Starbucks, do it however you want. Just don’t be naked because the police will get you. It’s one thing not to care about what other people think but it’s another thing not to break the law.
As for the people that judge, just look in the mirror and judge yourself. I’m sure that judgement comes from somewhere and sometimes hurt people hurt people. If it is not taking food out of your mouth, taking money out of your pocket, hurting a child, animal, or adult, just let it go. Yes, we can focus on multiple things at a time but at least let them be important. If a bonnet or pajamas can’t stab you, it really shouldn’t be anything to shake your head at or turn up your nose at. Just live and let live. You’ll find some serious happiness by not worrying about or trying to change others.