17 Things Amish Women Can’t Do That We Take for Granted

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Amish is a type of religious faith whose covenant is based on living a simple life that is guided by values, community, family, and an unworldly life without modern convenience and technology. The Amish communities don’t subscribe to things like computers and tablets. They also don’t use things like cars. Instead, they use horse-drawn carriages. Along with the old-world tradition of the Amish beliefs is the belief that women should have traditional roles. Modern-day women don't know how free they are, but if they got a glimpse into the Amish way of life, they truly would appreciate their freedom and conveniences.

They Play With Faceless Dolls

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Those who follow the strict doctrines of the Bible understand that there is no such thing as creating false idols, which is apparently what Amish people believe dolls to be. Amish girls are not allowed to play with American Girl dolls, any dolls that have expressions on their faces, or any faces at all. Also, painted-faced dolls are prohibited to dissuade women from becoming obsessed with the way they look.

Selfies are Not a Thing

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While most girls are into taking selfies and snapping pics with their best friends, Amish women are discouraged from being in images. Although some communities will allow it, it is generally frowned upon by Amish beliefs. For those who loosen the rules, posing is not allowed, so it is candids only. 

Modest Clothing is a Must

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Women differ in their comfort in wearing loose versus tight clothing. Over the past several decades, tight, torn, and sometimes even painted on have become highly acceptable for women in our culture. Amish women, however, are supposed to wear very modest clothes. They usually wear many layers and are discouraged from showing any skin. Things like aprons and bonnets are also suggested. Some of the more strict communities also only allow women to wear white or black clothing. Jewelry is not allowed. 

Hems Have to be of a Certain Length

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Miniskirts might be acceptable for women in the American culture, but they are not allowed for Amish women. Not only are women in the Amish community only allowed to wear skirts, but the hems of them need to be below calf level. The older the girl or woman is, the stricter the rules become. As a woman, you are generally not allowed to show any skin.

Makeup is Not Allowed

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Makeup in the Amish community is not allowed, nor are cosmetics of any kind. During the period called Rumspringa, however, adolescent girls are permitted to wear a small degree of cosmetics, but outside of that time, it is not acceptable. Makeup is seen in the Amish culture as “flashy,” and it contradicts the minimalistic ideology of the Amish religion and way of life.

Buttons are Not Allowed

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Although men in Amish communities are allowed to wear buttons on their pants and shirts, women are not. Most Amish women choose pins to button things up. Buttons in the Amish faith are seen as luxurious, and they are also believed to be objects that might boost the vanity of women. 

Wedding Dresses are Not Made From White

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Although women in the American culture tend to view white as an appropriate choice for wedding dresses, Amish women do not wear white. White, which is usually associated with purity, is not what Amish women wear on their wedding day. Women in the Amish community typically wear various shades of blue. Their indigo dresses are then worn additional times, like during church or other special occasions.

Women Don’t Buy Dresses

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When an Amish woman has a special occasion coming up, they do not head to the mall to pick out what they are going to wear. They typically make their own clothes and dresses. Due to the simplistic design and fabric choice, making clothes is something that women and girls in the Amish community do with ease.

Hair Trends are Not Trendy

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One thing that most women in our culture love is a day at the salon and trying on new hairstyles. The same is not true for Amish women. According to the Bible and its traditions, haircutting is considered shameful. Women in the Amish community allow their hair to grow and then pin it up to put under their prayer cover. Similarly, Amish men are not allowed to cut their beards, but only after they marry.

Prayer Cover is a Must

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Bonnets or prayer covers are a must for Amish women to wear. They are also made from neutral fabrics because they are seen as simple. Amish people value humility and modesty, so bright colors, or any colors at all, are seen as vain and extravagant. 

Higher Education is Not the Average

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In Amish communities, formal education for girls ends at about an eighth-grade level. Statistics tell us that only about 10% of Amish children go to local public schools. Therefore, when they finish the eighth grade, they become teachers. Once married, however, they have to stay home and stop teaching. 

They are Submissive to Their Husbands

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The Bible’s teachings say that women are supposed to be subservient and submissive, and that is how women in the Amish community behave. Most Amish women marry between the ages of 20 and 22. Couples are allowed to get to know one another by attending church together, singing on Sunday nights, and other supervised activities. In the more strict Amish communities, when a woman is married, she changes her black bonnet and replaces it with a white one. 

Electricity is Not Allowed

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Electricity in Amish communities is considered too modern, so many women cook using gas or propane and tend not to use electricity at all. Although it isn’t a belief that directly relates to the Bible, as there was no electricity, Amish do believe that using it will bring them closer to the modern communities they want to remove themselves from. 

They Don’t Drive

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Amish people are not allowed to use automobiles and instead use horse-drawn carriages. Some looser communities will allow driving, but the Amish hire people outside of their community to drive. They call the drivers “English.”

Premarital Sex is Strictly Prohibited

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Not only is premarital sex not allowed in the Amish community, but any physical contact is prohibited before marriage. Although looser communities will allow public displays of affection while dating, it is minimal at best. Both abortion and birth control are also not permitted, even in instances where a woman’s life is in danger. 

Divorces are Not Allowed

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When a woman says “I do” in an Amish community, she means I do for life. Divorce is seriously frowned upon. Separations are sometimes a break that couples can take, but divorces are rare. Women are allowed to remarry, but only in situations where they have lost their spouses. 

Grooming and Self-Care are Not Allowed

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Unlike other women in American society, Amish women are not allowed to shave their legs or their armpit hair for the same reason that they cannot cut their hair. Some of the communities that have more lax rules will allow it, but it is rare and not the exception.

As human beings, we tend to think that everyone has the same freedoms that we do. American women take for granted many of the things that those women in the Amish community are not allowed to do or are greatly discouraged from doing. 

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