Geez, I'm telling you, do a blog post about anything related to the FLDS and Wham! Blog hits out the wazoo! (And if you've ever had anything coming out the wazoo, you know that's a) quite the feat and b) a little surprising.) I would make all of my blog posts about the FLDS if I didn't think it would kill me. Or bore me to death. Now that I've said that, I'm going to mention that just because this post is, once again, about the FLDS, it's not just for hits. Oh, not at all. This post is purely for informative purposes. Informative purposes that are amusing. To most. Not all.
There seems to be a great deal of interest in the FLDS and their hair. I can only assume it is because those of us not living behind a walled off religious compound (ie, the public) have seen images, (such as those below) in the news lately, and have had a response similar to that of Robin Roberts (shown on the left) as she was interviewing three of the women back in April.
Let's see if I can shed some much needed light on this subject.
Here's the scoop: Hair is a prized asset in the FLDS community. The prized asset of the hair is also seen as a symbol of righteousness. The more of the hair, the more righteous the woman is supposed to be. (Or feel. Or be seen. They're not real clear on where the righteousness comes into play.) And we're not just talking about the hair on their head. No, that extends to other aspects of body hair, one of which includes the eyebrows, as sported here by this FLDS member. According to Carolyn Jessop, who managed to escape from under the thumb of this oppressive and controlling sect and subsequently wrote a book detailing her experiences as a female member of the FLDS, the tweezing of the brow IS allowed, but "they just don't do it because they think it's more righteous not to. Primping is seen as being vain." Clearly. There's certainly not any vainness in that picture, that's for sure.
So they're allowed to have long hair and the longer the better. That explains a lot, actually. They're not allowed to have a whole heck of a lot of anything else (except for children and sister-wives) other than the long righteous hair. And if that's all you have to indulge yourself in, well, I suspect you're going to do so. Especially if it's seen as an societal class standing thing (within that secluded society). Women. Always trying to out do the other ones. Some things are the same on either side of a walled off religious compound.
I guess I'm being a little liberal with the term "allowed to have long hair". I could have phrased that as "They're not allowed to cut their hair" and it would mean the same thing. Both sound (and are) weird. And as you'd expect with odd rules to live by such as this one, they also cannot dye their hair or perm it. They CAN, however, use expensive shampoos, conditioning treatments and hair spray. (They must go through an awful lot of hair spray. Every one of them has hair that poofs up in the front. Kind of like a quail.) It's unclear as to why some hair care items/methods are off limits as opposed to others that are accepted. Shocking that the FLDS ways are not all that clear to others, isn't it?
The reason for having the long hair is for Christ. More specifically, for Christ's feet. Right. They believe that they will use their hair to wash Christ's feet during the Second Coming. That is correct. Wait. What? Yes, apparently, they have come to that conclusion from a passage in 1 Corinthians that says, "....if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given to her for a covering." OK, see, I did NOT come to that conclusion from reading that passage. But somehow, they did. Huh. Interesting. What else?
The higher that an FLDS woman's quail poof is, the more righteous they are. Kind of like how some people like to show off their supposed righteousness with cars or clothing or money or even a little skin (but not too much skin. We don't need a bunch of wardrobe malfunctions popping up. Or out.). After all, the Bible says that a woman's hair is to be her crowning glory. And during the 1970s is when the quail poof became more prominent and, for some unknown reason, helped the women feel a little bit more feminine. Or at least a little bit more like Elvis.
Since the hair cannot be cut, it must be managed in some fashion (oh, the irony) and the FLDS women have it down to a science. Once the bangs have grown out (no clue as to what defines "grown out". Maybe when they're the same length as the rest of the hair?), they are rolled. Please don't envision them using a curling iron because that is just way too modern (and normal). I don't know what they actually do use to roll the bangs, but considering that their resources are extremely limited (and the fact that they live behind a walled compound, complete with structures that appear as if they would require a moat), my money is on some sort of wooden implement. (Maybe their rolling pins do double duty. You know, like in the morning they curl their hair with them and all the rest of the live, long day they use them to flatten dough for pies and biscuits.) However they do it, they make something called a "sausage curl" with the side hair and often they will sport a braid down the back. Judging from the picture over here on the right, I'd say that the "sausage curl" was so named because of it's similarity in appearance (not taste or delicious-ness) to (surprise) a sausage.
The women keep their hair up in their mysteriously rolled, sausage like, long haired, dos at all times. The only time when they are "allowed" to "let their hair down" is when they are alone with their husband (presumably on their day to go through the bedroom turnstile) doing things that I would prefer not to envision. How generous of the FLDS men to allow them that glorious privilege in their presence. (Huh. All of that sarcasm dripping off of that last sentence seemed to have gotten all over my keyboard. I'd better knock that off.)
So there you have it. Let's review quickly, shall we?
FLDS women wear their hair the way that they do because they are not allowed to cut it due to the belief that long hair is a symbol of righteousness and, according to the Bible, is a woman's crowning glory. They will also need plenty of hair after the Second Coming of Christ because they will be washing Jesus Christ's feet with their hair. They cannot perm it or dye it, but they can use shampoos, conditioners and hair sprays on their hair when they "style" it. Their "style" of choice involves a poofy front component that rises high above their head in a fashion similar to that of Elvis or of the California quail. The higher the poof, the more righteous the woman. In addition to poofing, the FLDS women employ the style of the "sausage curls" for the sides of the hair and a braid is usually the preferred choice for the hair in the back. They cannot be seen with their hair down unless they are in the private company of only their husband and none of his many, many other wives. And surprisingly, all of this, as the women sporting these hairstyles will tell you (in a monotone voice with a zombie like look on their faces), is done by choice.
No quail were harmed during the writing of this post. (The one above was a little embarrassed, however.)Sphere: Related Content