Got flat hair? God hates you
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ot flat hair? God hates you. Love your little black dress? Enjoy Hell.
When the Texas polygamist story broke, America got a shocking glimpse of the sect’s eerie-looking women. Withoverachieving pompadours that any Elvis-impersonator would envy and petit four-hued prairie dresses, it felt like watching a box of Easter Peeps come to life.
But now we all know that there’s nothing sweet or cuddly about their costumes. It’s a uniform to ward off Satan.
The higher the bouffant, the closer to God. And the candy-colored dresses are designed to strip these ladies of any shred of individuality and set them apart from the rest of us women.
‘The color red is reserved for God and black is strictly for Satan,’ says Rebecca Walsh, the Salt Lake Tribune writer whose recent column on the polygamy costume drew a defensive letter from an unidentified female inside the Texas sect.
‘I think dresses are romantic,’ she wrote of their frocks. In explaining why women wear their hair up, she added: ‘Hair left hanging is hot on the neck.’ Um, maybe it’s not the hair. Women must wear long white underwear — from neck to toe — throughout the year. And you complain about Spanx?
That rip curl coif is a whole different story. Though it’s unclearwhy, loose tendrils and bangs are forbidden. Oddly, these women are sworn from even a swath of makeup but can apply gel or hair spray to keep those holy pompadours in place, says Walsh.
Don’t all these do’s and don’ts and sartorial sanctions sound awfully similar to the tyranny of fashion? In fact, it’s probably only a matter of seasons before we see ‘polygamist chic’ on the catwalks. It’s already in the stores. Perhaps inspired by Chloe Sevigny’s polygamist flair on HBO’s ‘Big Love,’ the Gap offers pin-tucked pioneer blouses. There are also ankle-grazing chambray skirts that will hide a Haagen-Dazs addiction and a year’s worth of leg hair. Oh, and don’t forget that Jean-Paul Gaultier showed his take on Hasidic attire back in 1993.
‘The oversized frump frocks with the ’40s/’80s hair screams Comme des Garcons,’ says Simon Doonan, Barney’s New York creative director. ‘And when it’s not screaming Commes des Garcons, it’s screaming Heatherette.’
The dramatic hair, too, more than whispers, ‘couture.’ Already, a headline in the U.K.’s Guardian declared: ‘One perk of being in a polygamous cult: Great Hair.’ One stylist admired the unicorn chignon and exclaimed, ‘They could be models at Dior.’
Only if Satan is designing for the house of Dior these days.
Oh, and wondering why polygamist wives don’t cut their hair? Because they can wash their husband’s feet with it up in Heaven. To read more fun polygamist fashion trivia, check out this article in the Arizona Republic by Jaimee Rose.