Rachel Ray’s scarf inflames coffee-boycotting conservatives; Urban Outfitters sales in jeopardy?

Today my coworker forwarded this bite from Boston Globewriter Mark Shanahan:

Does Dunkin’ Donuts really think its customers could mistake Rachael Rayfor a terrorist sympathizer? The Canton-based company has abruptly canceled an ad in which the domestic diva wears a scarf that looks like a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men. Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin’ Donuts boycott. “The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,” Malkin yowls in her syndicated column. “Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant and not-so-ignorant fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.” The company at first pooh-poohed the complaints, claiming the black-and-white wrap was not a keffiyeh. But the right-wing drumbeat on the blogosphere continued and by yesterday, Dunkin’ Donuts decided it’d be easier just to yank the ad. Said the suits in a statement: “In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by her stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial.” (In case you’re wondering, the stylist who selected the offending scarf was not Gretta Enterprises boss Gretchen Monahan, who appears on Ray’s TV show as a style consultant.) For her part, Malkin was pleased with Dunkin’s response: “It’s refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists.”

I’ve often wondered about the Terrorist Scarf/Keffiyeh-style phenomenon (a throwback to 80’s boho, one which was revived right around the Iraq war in early 00’s). Is it a lazy protest against the war? Is it a sort of watered-down Hanoi Jane look for the Millennial generation?

Plain Jane: Will nehru shirts come back again?

Rachel Ray is wearing a scarf that isn’t even a real Keffiyeh (those are closer to the kind that are sold on every sunglasses/hat-selling street stand in New York…check out this article from Village Voice from two years ago for a better explaination of the differentiation between hipster wearing around neck and pro-Palestine activists wearing around head). Still, apparently Fox News doesn’t keep up with the latest fashions (see Ann Coulter’s cocktail dress from 1989 look) and this scarf has gotten right-wing crazies all stirred up. Oh just another reminder of the insanity of the Bush administration’s Opie-with-a-blog conservatism. However, if Rachel’s all about those scarves do we–you, me, Mary Kate Olson–have to stop wearing them? Luckily it’s summer and only douches wear scarves in summer. Or not… see Urbanoutfitters.com. Summer scarves! Oh and this little video from NIN, “Survivalism”:

Oh Trent you’re so 2005.

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2 responses to “Rachel Ray’s scarf inflames coffee-boycotting conservatives; Urban Outfitters sales in jeopardy?

  1. You are totally dead on. Damn hipsters and their appropriation of Palestinian garb. That said, ladies in such scarves are damn hot!

  2. Subliminal propaganda at its best. The second I I saw that ad I wanted a cruller and death to Israel.

    Is it chilly in here or am I just Palestinian?

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