I read Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner Of Heaven last month, and while I was moved and saddened by the horrific violence and oppression against women in the FLDS faith that it documents, I found the hairstyles and clothing fascinating. Pinterest’s “religious hairstyles” boards only fed my curiosity. The French braids, the pompadours!
Brightly coloured “prairie dresses” are the staple of Mormon womandom, designed to shield their whole bodies from jealousy of sister-wives and the lustful looks of other husbands. The brightly-colored pastels are evocative of a simplicity, peace and joy that I suspect is only a fantasy in their daily lives.
I found this incredible photo of polygamist girls playing basketball in Bountiful, BC. The beautiful mountain vistas, their pastel prairie dresses, the motion and emotion in this photo. Their unchanging fashion and lifestyle clashes with the spirit of modernity in the sport they play, this photo steps out of place and time.
These girls are probably already married to men twice their ages, or will be soon.
Lastly, Jenny Hart’s drawings of Mormon hairstyles as part of her Vanities Sacrees drawing series