Fashion Me a Break: Rachael Ray’s Scarf vs. Malkin’s Slant

28 May

I’ll admit it:  I love Rachael Ray, nonsense words and all.  She’s got a lot going for her between at least two Food Network shows, a magazine, morning talk-show, cook-ware line, Dunkin’ Donuts ads, and remaining one of the most genuine, real women out there in the Hollywood and fashion, size 2 now equals fat, world.  Plus, I really enjoy saying EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) as fast as I can. 

So, why do I feel the need to rant a bit?  Well, I was scanning the headlines on Yahoo!, and I saw that Dunkin’ Donuts was pulling an ad featuring Rachael Ray (their current spokesperson) and a scarf.  Oh My!

Why are they pulling this ad?  Well, it seems Rachael has a secret agenda and is using her food icon status to flaunt terrorist fashion in the face of Americans as they watch the flagrant fast-food commercial filled with frappachino, a fast-talking female, and various fried finger-foods.  Oh, wait, I’m talking about a commercial for a donut company trying to re-vamp its image using an attractive foodie instead of the larger and greasier Dunkin’ Donut guy most of grew up knowing so well.  For a second I thought I was reading some bad plot for a Steven Segal ‘thriller.’ 

Seriously, the latest ad for Dunkin’ Donuts features Rachael Ray wearing a PAISLEY SCARF, yet someone found this offensive and decided to launch an internet and media barrage until the company pulled the ad.  Michelle Malkin, a conservative who often commentates for Fox News, believes that the scarf wrapped around Rachael’s neck was actually an anti-war statement.  Apparently the scarf resembles a keffiyeh.  In Michelle’s words, “The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. 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.”

Michelled also mentions in her orginal blogicle on the scarf faux-pas, The keffiyeh kerfuffle, that Urban Outfitters marketed a youth-focused line of anti-war scarves, which is probably true.  And because Rachael Ray had Urban Outfitters scarves available on her website, never mind that Malkin doesn’t know if they were the anti-war line, Ray must be making a political statement using her neck, as she sips her iced coffee and hawks Dunkin’s food. 

One, the stylist picked the OUTFIT, and scarves are a common accessory in Rachael’s ensembs.  Two, is wearing a fashion accessory in a 30+ sec. advertisement really going to spark a political fury of anti-war sentiment among the public, or just donut lovers?  I mean, Rachael Ray has her own show, wait, make that three, so I am thinking that if she wanted to use the scarf as a statement, she has other avenues that would get a bit more attention.  I’m thinking that in the ad, Ray is in a park and maybe her neck is cold, or maybe the stylist, being good at her/his job knows that Paisley is hot and so are scarves and thought that the combo might mean fashion fame!  Also, is being anti-war the same as jihad and terrorist cell supporter?

Malkin on the other hand believes that Rachael should know better and that she shouldn’t offend so many people.  So, Dunkin Donuts responds to Malkin’s army of protesters:

Thank you for expressing your concern about the Dunkin’ Donuts advertisement with Rachael Ray. In the ad that you reference, Rachael is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design that was purchased at a U.S. retail store. It was selected by the stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we will no longer use the commercial.”

And Malkin responds as others become aware of the ridiculous drama that has unfolded:

“It’s refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists. Too many of them bend over backwards in the direction of anti-American political correctness. Naturally, liberal commentators on the Internet are now up in arms over Dunkin Donut’s decision to yank the ad and mock anyone who expresses concern over the keffiyeh’s symbolism. 

It’s just a scarf, the clueless keffiyeh-wearers scoff. Would they say the same of fashion designers who marketed modified Klan-style hoods in Burberry plaid as the next big thing? Fashion statements may seem insignificant, but when they lead to the mainstreaming of violence—unintentionally or not–they matter. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. In post-9/11 America, vigilance must never go out of style.”

So Malkin says it is refreshing that a company doesn’t “bend over backwards” with political correctness, but correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Dunkin bending over backwards so as not to offend the ultra-conservatives threatening to boycott their company if they don’t pull the ad that equals jihad terrorism in their minds? 

War Mongering?  Is this what Malkin is involved in?  I won’t assume so.  While I don’t agree with everything that has happened with the war, I think it was justified, and we need to continue to support our troops and work towards the best future for us, our enemies, and our allies.  I don’t think assuming anyone wearing a scarf that may resemble an Islamic hat (yes that is the equivalant) should be accused of being anti-war or pro-jihad, and if that is their purpose you might want to be certain of it, and even then, they do have the right to express themselves.  I thought we were fighting to protect our freedoms. 

Equating the fashion design and use of a culturally acceptable accessory, like a scarf, as a personal statement with the sudden influx of designer Klan hoods as the same thing, is absolutely ridiculous and leads to nothing but the incitement of hatred towards anyone who looks or thinks differently than you, and that is not something this country needs more of.

Besides, sometimes a scarf, is just a scarf. 


9 Responses to “Fashion Me a Break: Rachael Ray’s Scarf vs. Malkin’s Slant”

  1. Jenny May 29, 2008 at 1:24 pm #

    Rachel Ray should be pulled from all commercials, period. She’s at times fake and many people are so sick of seeing her joker smile everywhere they go. I have nothing against her – she’s cute, she cooks, she seems like your next door American girl, but it’s all too much. We need a break from her face.

  2. Chad Marra May 29, 2008 at 2:13 pm #

    I agree 100%. A scarf is a scarf.

    It is biased and even bullying to sensationalize a paisley scarf as offensive. I can’t even imagine what Malkin’s hidden agenda is against a paisley scarf and a donut chain…or maybe the ad agency themselves?

    Is there not more relevant things going on to commentate about? I wish people like Malkin who can easily reach mass audiences would use their voice as a beneficial tool more often.

    Maybe Fox News is a bit overstaffed with commentators at the moment? ; )

  3. reflux1 May 29, 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    Although I may not agree on every detail in your post, I think you made many, if not all, good observations and reasoning about this incident.

    I thought there was freedom of speech in this country? I thought we villified muslims because of how violent and angered they became over cartoons of the prophet. But our christian right warriors go on their own crusades, against a SCARF.

    Oooo symbolism of the terroristic scarf! No wonder they hate us for our freedoms :p

  4. pinstripebindi May 29, 2008 at 6:30 pm #

    “In post-9/11 America, vigilance must never go out of style.”

    Can I just say how much I ******* HATE this attitude? That we should all be be hyper-paranoid about OMGTERRORISM and freaking out at the mere sight of SCARVES because they might be coded messages of support?? It’s total idiocy, and it’s the main way that people of Malkin’s ilk control the masses: through fear. I refuse to be afraid!

  5. Redonk May 29, 2008 at 9:43 pm #

    This whole thing is completely STUPID. It’s a freakin’ SCARF. It vaguely has a checkered pattern. It has frilly ruffles. Terrorists do not wear scarfs with frilly ruffles.

  6. Rachel Barron May 29, 2008 at 10:08 pm #

    I agree with you 100%!!! Michelle Malkin is just one of those people who go looking for stuff like this just to get attention. So congratulations Michelle Malkin! You got that attention you wanted! Now everyone in America thinks your an idiot!

  7. Baz May 30, 2008 at 6:42 am #

    Where do these idiots come from?

    Its a scarf for crying out loud…if you think it is anything else then you need your head checking!

    I wear a “keffiyeh” around my neck because 1) It looks nice 2) It keeps my neck warm and 3) It goes well with my camo jacket.

    Does the fact that I wear a US military issue camo parka and a green keyiffeh when it is cold mean I am a terrorist (or glorifying terrorism) or that I am wearing clothes that are practical and protect me from the elements? lol

  8. Ify June 12, 2008 at 11:04 am #

    Excellent post. I welcome a serious academic discussion about Islam. I have my reservations about the religion especially in the interests of women’s rights. This sort of thoughtless demagoguery is not what I will support.

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