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.


Anonymous said...

Or a weird dystopian futuristic twilight zone thing.

Anonymous said...

Er...what about their current situation? Shouldn't we be just as concerned about their welfare as their fashion?

Peter said...

Anon: That is the point exactly. Their enforced dress code speaks volumes about the oppression they live under. Just like the veil and the burqa in other fundamentalist religions.

Pamela said...

This is a very common look here in western Kentucky, where it's worn (with bonnets) by Mennonites and some other religious communities. They're nothing like this one though--they participate in the community, both men and women, and no polygamy's involved. There's also a large Amish population here, and they have their own hitching posts at Wal-Mart. My Papillon strains at the leash when I walk him, trying to chase the horse-drawn buggies.

Peter said...

I have a much better feel for Mennonites and the Amish. Not sure why that is.
But the point is well taken: to try not to judge by looks, uniforms.

Emily Lloyd said...

"Modesty and conformity" as long as you put out for Head Cult Boy, preferably while still a teen. It's extra hot knowing you're the only one who gets to see 'em all-nude.