14 Little-Known Facts About Amish Women

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The Amish community has been intriguing outsiders for ages because they live pre-modern, traditional, and simple lives surrounded by modern society. Their history and culture are tied to their faith, and Amish only interact with the outside world due to work. A woman’s role is particularly fascinating, for many, old-fashioned and outdated, especially with all the rules and even fewer interactions with outsiders than men. Here is what we learned about the lives of Amish women and how they differ from typical Americans. 

Education and career are limited

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Typically, education for Amish women ends with eighth grade, and it mainly consists of practical teachings like homemaking or farming, which is essential for the Amish lifestyle. Single women become teachers or midwives but are expected to leave their employment after marriage. 

Work revolves around the home 

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Amish women cook, clean, help with farming, and care for children. They are homemakers in every sense, and it is a belief that a woman should work close to home so she doesn’t get distracted from her chores. Their hobbies are also tied to their homes. 

They make their own clothes 

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Most Amish women make their own clothing from the fabrics bought in local stores. The rules for dressing up are strict, and women must cover their ankles, wear only dresses, and wear dark colors. Cape, aprons, and head covering are part of the Amish woman’s everyday “uniform.”

No buttons 


Amish women do not use buttons, and there are two theories as to why. Some say that buttons are perceived as luxury and wealth, which contradicts the Amish beliefs. Others claim that for the Amish, buttons represent the military, and since the community rejects wars and violence, they also reject buttons.

No haircuts 


Cutting hair and shaving are forbidden. Amish women do not style their hair but keep it in braids or buns. The rule about haircutting comes from the Bible, or rather, a pretty direct interpretation of it. Women shower at least twice a week and use goat’s milk soap made by the community. 

Making their own wedding dresses 


The wedding dresses of Amish women are just as simplistic as their everyday clothes, and they are required to make them themselves. However, they don’t have to use muted tones or white fabrics. Instead, two of the most popular options are blue and purple. Still, the dresses are calf length, with no lace or decorations. 

Hobbies for Amish women 


Amish women spend time quilting or making traditional wicker baskets. These items are known worldwide, and they can be used inside the community and as a way to support the family. Since every item is handmade, they are highly valuable in various markets, and their popularity never wavers. 

Amish mothers

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Amish women are required to have children because they are a gift from God. Since childhood, girls were taught to be good wives, housemakers, and mothers. That’s why first-time mothers already know a lot about taking care of a baby, and only those with several children get to hire help for a few weeks. Older children also help mothers with new babies. 

No maternity leave


Amish mothers-to-be are expected to work through their pregnancies to show their dedication and work ethics. Most labors occur at home. New mothers are expected to return to their duties, and these customers believe that God will take care of the mother and the child. 

Makeup and accessories 


Amish women do not wear makeup or jewelry because it goes against their beliefs. Makeup, cosmetics, and accessories are perceived as worldly and prideful, which is considered sinful. Girls are taught to focus on inner beauty, though the rules are ignored during a period called Rumspringa.

Amish girls in adolescence

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Rumspringa is a rite of passage during adolescence, and during this time, girls and boys travel and hang out with outsiders, but it is not as wild as TV shows or movies imply. It is time for reflection, and once they do their part of exploring, or “running around,” which is what Rumspringa literally means, kids get baptized and accept to live as their parents. During this time, girls are allowed to wear cosmetics. 

Symbolic bonnets

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Amish women who are single wear black bonnets. They continue wearing black ones until the marriage, when they replace them with white ones. Bonnets also symbolize modesty since showing off hair can be seen as vanity. Like the rest of the clothing, bonnets are made of natural fabrics. 

Shoes are optional 


The Amish do not have laws prohibiting shoes, but they are often barefoot because it shows their humility and connects them with nature. However, if a woman has to wear shoes, she chooses plain dark-colored pumps, black in most cases, and wears them with stockings. 

Submissive wives 


Amish women are expected to be submissive to their husbands due to religious beliefs. They are valued as homemakers and mothers, but Amish wives are quiet, especially in public. Some women thrive with the support of their husbands and the community. Divorce is not allowed, so others might find themselves separated from their husbands, though couples tend to take vows seriously. 

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Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.