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Rules You Had No Idea Amish Women Are Supposed To Follow

Updated November 15, 2018 2.4m views14 items

In today's world of advanced technology, the Amish population's desire to turn away from modern conveniences remains fascinating. More than just their technology gets held over from the past, though, which becomes apparent when you look at the rules Amish women must follow.

Due in large part to their strict interpretation of the Bible, rules for Amish women may seem antiquated to outsiders. For instance, women must be submissive to their husbands, and need to wear plain clothes that cover almost everything. Of course, it's not only women affected by the severe rules in the Amish community. Other practices among the Amish, including shunning members, lack gender exclusivity.

Amish teens get a chance to experience life without these rules by going through Rumspringa, however, which lets them see what the modern world can offer. But their everyday life remains very restrictive, especially if they're women. 

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  • Their Wedding Dresses Aren't White

    While white wedding dresses remain popular in much of the world, things are a little bit different when it comes to Amish culture. Instead of appearing clad in virginal white at their wedding, Amish women often prefer to wear hues of blue and indigo for their special day.

    Amish women also tend to make their own dresses, which are plainly designed and end at the calf, along with the dresses of the bridesmaids, who are known as "newehockers."

    Because of the practicality of an Amish woman's wedding dress, they often get worn again, especially for attending church. They may even be worn after death, as many Amish women get buried in their wedding dress.

  • Photo: Breaking Amish / TLC

    They Rarely - If Ever - Wear Makeup

    The Amish consider themselves "plain" people; the term serves as a point of pride. This means their appearance lacks anything flashy, so Amish women typically don't wear makeup.

  • Their Dolls Usually Don't Have Faces

    The dolls found in Amish country have become very famous in the outside world The commonly held belief is Amish mothers can't give their children dolls with faces. This seems tied to a belief based in Biblical teachings about creating false idols.

    That doesn't mean Amish dolls never have faces, though. Doll maker Kathryn Lengacher explained further:

    Authentic Amish dolls does [sic] not have a face on it. Some use buttons for eyes and put a face on, but doll collectors wouldn’t purchase them if they had faces because they know our tradition is “Thou shall make no graven image.” So therefore we don’t take pictures and no collector would take a doll for a collection if it had a face.

  • They Are Highly Unlikely To Work Outside The Home

    In the Amish community, gender roles remain clearly defined. The husband is expected to work and make money to support the family, while the wife focuses on running the household and being a mother.

    It's not unheard of for an Amish woman to sometimes run her own business, and she can even be the home's primary breadwinner. This is rare, though, and a wife almost never operates a business if her children are particularly young.