Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Holy Mormon Underwear! I'm sorry, but these women look really sad to me. Like a Depression-era dustbowl version of the Stepford Wives.
To the outside world, women from the Texas polygamous compound present a startling image. They wear ankle-length dresses, use no makeup and sport uniform hairstyles. The outfits are meant to show modesty and conformity, experts say.
The puff-sleeved, pastel dresses worn by the women in the sect are a combination of original 19th-century wear and 1950s clothing that was adopted when the church took a conservative turn, according to Janet Bennion, an anthropologist who studies polygamist women.
The dresses are meant to show modesty and conformity: They go down to the ankles and wrists, and are often worn over garments or pants, making sure every possibly provocative inch of skin is covered.
The clothing is also stitched with special markings "to protect the body and to remind you of you commitment," Bennion says. She declined to go into detail about the stitchings because she said it would be an infraction against the fundamentalist Mormon community to talk about their sacred symbols.