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Alter Ego - Amish Woman

bonnet

I like to play dress up. Wear wigs, occasionally put on a lot of make-up, and completely transform my identity. The beauty of being a woman! You can modify your appearance in ways that men simply can't. Sure, men can get a haircut or dress in a different manner, but their looks don't drastically change in the same way as a woman. Every time I go to an Amish community, I'm amazed by the women walking around in their drab dresses and bonnets. Absolutely no make-up, jewelry, or ornamentation to show personal style or fashion. Fascinating and intriguing lifestyle, where you are bred from birth to understand the poisons of vanity and self-obsession. Some extreme value in that. A world without selfies!! Would it be such a bad thing? I think not.

For me, it's always essential to experience life as a local to the fullest extent possible, to try to walk in the shoes of others so you can formulate some comprehension of their mentality and life experience. So, here I am after my last trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in full Amish attire. What do you think? Do I look like a fair and innocent maiden? :) The photo isn't a true depiction because an Amish woman would never wear earrings or have her hair outside the bonnet, but you get the idea.

I'll return to Amish land next week, though I'm not sure whether it will be Lancaster, Pennsylvania, or the community in Ohio. It's very difficult to photograph them because they're opposed to any object which reflects a self-image. No photos or mirrors allowed, both considered signs of vanity. Imagine having no photos from childhood, or any representation of your appearance or significant life moments throughout the years. Seems sad from a memory standpoint.

What do you want to know about the Amish? Tell me and I will try to put my investigative skills to work during the journey.

Related Post

Amish Land: Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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Comments

( 92 comments — Leave a comment )
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pin_gwin
May. 20th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
not particularly about Amish
As a non-faithful atheist, I am always confused by these kinds of population groups, building mental walls around themselves. Catholics-Orthodox-Amish-Protestants(how many varieties of them?)-Muslims... you name them... how they are looking at each other? How do they take people with different god or absence of any? How muslin girls go to swimming pool in .... I do not know how to call what they are dressed in. An they feel that others are watching them. Do they think like "my god is #1" while all others are wrong? Somehow it moves me into conclusion that faith is dividing people and creating hate and anger.
What do you think about this things?

Edited at 2014-05-20 05:43 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC)
Re: not particularly about Amish
I'm a non-believer, but went to a religious school my whole life. I think organized religion is a great divider in many, many ways. On the culture, gender, and political front. The list could go on and on...I saw it growing up, surrounded by conservative, right wing Christians during my school years. Re Muslim women, I recently wore a full burqa and will soon write about the experience. Even after that, I still can't comprehend the life of a Muslim woman who is required to wear this outfit every day to conform with societal norms.
Re: not particularly about Amish - pin_gwin - May. 20th, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: not particularly about Amish - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 21st, 2014 01:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - May. 21st, 2014 01:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 21st, 2014 01:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - May. 21st, 2014 01:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
notabler
May. 20th, 2014 05:54 pm (UTC)
I hardly recognized you :) You look very strange, but quit nice. I think Amish way of life is very interesting for us, because we haven't got them around. Do they arrange their marriages or need parents permission for that? No contraception allowed probably? Particularly interesting is women's situation there.
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 06:08 pm (UTC)
Life of an Amish woman is very subservient. Their main purpose is to be homemaker, mother and support their husbands. Russian style. :) However, I think this generation of Russian women are more Western, focusing on career and self-pursuit more than in prior decades. Amish women also are engaged in hard labor, working in the farm and fields the same as men. I look strange because I have ZERO make-up on here. Plain, plain, plain. :)) But I will try to focus more on women during the journey. Their lives are so very different than mine, as a single woman w/no kids, husband or boyfriend.
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 21st, 2014 01:13 am (UTC) - Expand
pro100_petrov
May. 20th, 2014 06:04 pm (UTC)
They are strange, but there is something attractive in their way of living,
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, I agree. I value and respect their traditional values to a certain extent, but other parts of the culture I can never accept. I could not survive in a community where individuality and diversity are frowned upon.
pro100_petrov
May. 20th, 2014 06:07 pm (UTC)

Old believers (staroobryadtsi)
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 06:10 pm (UTC)
Readers previously told me about these "Old Believers." Where are they located in Russia??
(no subject) - pro100_petrov - May. 20th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pro100_petrov - May. 20th, 2014 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pro100_petrov - May. 20th, 2014 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
In English - pro100_petrov - May. 20th, 2014 06:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: In English - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: In English - pro100_petrov - May. 20th, 2014 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: In English - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 07:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: In English - pro100_petrov - May. 20th, 2014 07:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: In English - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 07:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: In English - pro100_petrov - May. 20th, 2014 07:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: In English - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 07:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: In English - pro100_petrov - May. 20th, 2014 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vito_from - May. 21st, 2014 05:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pro100_petrov - May. 21st, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
qi_tronic
May. 20th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
No, you look like a sexy mom in this dress :)

Солоха - a sexy Ukrainian witch from the famous Gogol's tale.

www. google. ru/search?q=%D1%81%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%BE%D1%85%D0%B0&newwindow=1&client=firefox-a&hs=Sp&rls=org.mozilla:ru:official&channel=sb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=r5l7U7vNPIKH4gSD-4CgDQ&ved=0CCgQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=773

The most asexual looks for women are those business looks which Hillary or those bunch of bitches from the State Department prefer.
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 06:14 pm (UTC)
:)) Well, Hillary doesn't want to distract men during important foreign negotiations so she dresses as an old woman. Probably you prefer Sarah Palin's style, idiotic right wing Republican. She's very attractive, but in a robotic sense. Always dolled up, with hair and make-up perfectly done up when she was on the presidential campaign trail. I like Hillary, who sometimes looks like she barely puts in the effort to comb her hair. :))

(no subject) - qi_tronic - May. 20th, 2014 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 06:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - May. 20th, 2014 09:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 09:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - May. 20th, 2014 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 11:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - May. 21st, 2014 06:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 21st, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 06:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the nice compliment. :) I don't comprehend how some women will not leave the house without make-up, or visit a store or public place without putting it on. I always want a man to see me plain, the way I look first thing in the morning, so he's not scared the first time we wake-up together. :))
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 06:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
dubai100
May. 20th, 2014 07:07 pm (UTC)
Like innocent maiden:)
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 07:14 pm (UTC)
Looks can be deceiving! :)
(Deleted comment)
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 08:28 pm (UTC)
Are the Old Believers also opposed to photography, or any self images? Now I'm very curious about this sect. Maybe I can visit one of the regions next time I'm in Russia, but I doubt I would be welcomed, or that it would be easy to show readers the daily lives of these folks. The problem is that the Amish are so private, completely closed off from civilization so it's difficult to penetrate their inner circle. I assume the same is true for the Old Believers.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 08:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - qi_tronic - May. 20th, 2014 10:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
skvorets1989
May. 20th, 2014 08:57 pm (UTC)
Indeed you look very different on this photo.

Propose to those Amish People to drink a booze, smoke marihuana and to play casino. And then tell us how they reacted.

And then tell us how this all has ended.
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 08:58 pm (UTC)
Some of them would probably like to do so, but they are trapped. They fear their family will disown them if they leave the community. It's very sad.
(no subject) - skvorets1989 - May. 20th, 2014 09:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skvorets1989 - May. 21st, 2014 05:15 am (UTC) - Expand
g_kar
May. 20th, 2014 09:06 pm (UTC)
>Do I look like a fair and innocent maiden?
You always look as a fair maiden you are :)
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
It's much better to be called a fair maiden than an "old maid." :)) I'm sure you know we use this slang term in America for a completely old and undesirable woman.
(no subject) - g_kar - May. 21st, 2014 01:08 am (UTC) - Expand
h_e_l_g_a_a
May. 20th, 2014 09:52 pm (UTC)
здорово получилось)
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 11:38 pm (UTC)
спасибо!
(no subject) - h_e_l_g_a_a - May. 20th, 2014 11:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
onkel_hans
May. 21st, 2014 01:15 am (UTC)
You look better than just a fair maiden. But what is innocent?
peacetraveler22
May. 21st, 2014 03:23 pm (UTC)
You know what innocent is!
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 24th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
andrey_kaminsky
May. 21st, 2014 02:52 am (UTC)
Позже напишу больше
I watched a few episodes of reality shows on this topic
peacetraveler22
May. 21st, 2014 03:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Позже напишу больше
Americans are really fascinated with the Amish, so there are a lot of reality shows. Some of them are fake, just made for entertainment value, like "Amish Mafia." I like one called "Breaking Amish," about young adults that leave the community. The show chronicles their struggles entering into mainstream life, and dealings with family members, some of whom shun them after leaving.
nar_row
May. 21st, 2014 09:30 am (UTC)
Hm. It looks nice. :)
peacetraveler22
May. 21st, 2014 03:25 pm (UTC)
You like plain women, or women who dress up and wear a lot of make-up? Or, a combination of both? :))
(no subject) - nar_row - May. 26th, 2014 10:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 26th, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nar_row - May. 27th, 2014 04:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 27th, 2014 02:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nar_row - May. 27th, 2014 02:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 27th, 2014 02:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
anna_sollanna
May. 21st, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
one practical question :)
There is one question about Amish I've been interested in since I read Joudi Picoult's book "Plain Truth". As far as I know there is no electricity in their houses, but heroes of this book who lived in Amish community took a shower every day. (And as far as I understood this shower was not somewhere in the yard or in a barn but directly in this house) How was it possible? Even if they are allowed to have water pipes in their houses how can a person take a shower in a dingy room without electricity? And what about water heating? If it is not so complicated can you please investigate this subject to me?
anna_sollanna
May. 21st, 2014 01:53 pm (UTC)
Re: one practical question :)
P.S. You look very beautiful in this Amish bonnet, but this type of bonnet is not my favorite historical headdress. I prefer something like that: http: //pic.oscdn.net/pic/1412697/m :)
Re: one practical question :) - peacetraveler22 - May. 21st, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: one practical question :) - peacetraveler22 - May. 21st, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
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