From the Archive… Q: Head Scarf?

From October 2008… this post was caught in WordPress limbo. I publish it now, well after this NYC microtrend has gone national, if not global. The questions remain the same, the scope has just increased…

Head Scarf

I’ve noticed a new NYC microtrend of people wearing billowy checkered cotton scarfs around their necks. They remind me distinctly of Yasser Arafat’s Keffiyeh. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keffiyeh). Fashion can be pretty fascinating in its ability to absorb and appropriate otherness. So while we are at war with much of the Arab world, and Arab-Americans are feeling threatened and misunderstood enough that they have had to launch an advertising campaign in the subway, NYC consumerist fashionistas have appropriated the Keffiyeh. I wonder whether the wearers know what they are wearing, and whether they see it is some kind of statement, or just “cool.”