Alright, I confess, I hate them. Those pale, flimsy fabric bonnets. Why would anyone speaking for themselves wear one? When I would watch Little House on the Prairie, I didn’t understand the point of wearing the brimless, lacey ones. No refuge from the rain. The dust was not deterred. I figured hair ribbons would have been more useful.
Also, people who wear hats for religious reasons don’t bother me as long as free will is part of the deal. Symbols of piety and modesty can be beautiful. I’m peeved about frilly bonnets on humans older than two, ok? And, I understand oppressors can use clothing to control. I don’t want any part of those systems. This is why after seeing promos for The Handmaid’s Tale, I’m torn about my sudden interest in…bonnets.
Susan, you might be thinking, you just admitted you’re not smitten with bonnets. You’re not okay with oppressive clothing. Why on earth would the uniforms of persecuted handmaids intrigue you, a sensible and sensitive woman?
Exactly. I’m sensitive. Light sensitive! And when I first glimpsed those Puritan-esque winged bonnets pictured in show reviews, I paused in thought. Would those ugly symbols of control help reduce glare, guarding my eyes from painful bright light? My hatred faltered.
Functional and fashionable design makes a great hat. Online, the winged version caught my curiosity: I learned the coveted style worn by the handmaid is called a poke bonnet. I can’t call it a great hat, but it’s unique.
I prefer the look of say a throwback cloche, but it’s thin edge offers no relief for my vision issues. However, the poke bonnet features extended side coverage that yes, obscures the face, but may block pesky peripheral sunbeams, too. It’s not like I’m seeing much from the sides anyway. Imagine me riding the bus, weeding the flower beds, and walking the terriers around Mayberry wearing a stiff poke bonnet. People would double-take between the white hat and the white cane. Will I ever find a suitable sunbonnet? Who knows. Tomorrow the bright sun will rise, and I will seek a form of shade.
What do you wear to block the sun? Have you read or watched The Handmaid’s Tale? Don’t you think those outfits are cheeky modern protest garb, too? Tell me about it.