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For those who cover with wigs....

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
can you tell me why?

Before someone mentioned in the head covering thread (where I lurk ) I assumed all coverings were just scarves/tichels etc. I admit the idea of using a wig seems silly (I hope I'm not offending anyone ) and somewhat....of an oxymoron. You cover your hair with hair? I can see doing it for a special occassion maybe but at the same time a scarf seems legit to me too (I find most beautiful!).

So, hoping I havent offended anyone, why would you use a wig to cover? Is it to give the appearance of "normalacy" (and I use that term loosely)? That seems wrong to me in the sense that if you are covering it's generally scripture based and wouldn't that be like denying your beliefs? I'm sorry if that comes out wrong. I have the thoughts but they aren't totally formed.

post #2 of 46
I don't (because I can't afford a good one yet ), but I'll try to explain.

Married Jewish women cover their hair - yes. Some prefer cloth coverings, and others prefer wigs. The rule is the hair must be covered - not how. The haircovering is part status symbol and part reminder of the fact that she's married (besides being rabbinically mandated).

Hair is erotic (I think we can all agree on that, coverer or not), and it's supposed to be something reserved for a husband after marriage. Therefore, it's only YOUR hair which should be reserved. If I were to wear a wig, that's fine. Because it's not my hair. Only my DH sees my hair in all its (fuzzy ) glory. Others will see whatever I choose to show the world - I have control of who sees what when I cover my hair, but I certainly wouldn't want to look ugly or wear something that's not flattering, and there's no benefit in doing that, whatsoever. We are made b'tzelem elohim (in G-d's image) and to be ugly is to work against that.

I'm going to assume you're Christian? Many Christians don't understand, because covering is meant to show the world your devotion as well as fulfill the commandment (in Corinthians, if I'm right) that a woman's head should be covered.

We cover for entirely different reasons, so whereas a wig would be silly for a Christian, it's fine for us Jewish ladies because it does the one thing we're supposed to be doing - covers our hair to the world, to reserve it for our husbands.

Hope this makes sense.
post #3 of 46
Sara, thank you for your explanation.

It totally never occurred to me before, but at my old job, my boss was an Orthodox Jew and I wondered why his wife didn't cover her hair with a scarf, but now I realize that she was most likely using a wig.

Wow, the things we just don't realize until we're enlightened by someone!
post #4 of 46
Thread Starter 
Nope, not Christain. Just curious. I udnerstand the reasonings for covering....I've debated covering myself many times. I guess i was looking at covering with scarves and what not to be that visual reminder...proof if you will. A wig seemed like an easy way out almost. Sure you're covering but no one can tell kwim?

Thanks for chiming in! I have debated starting this thread forever now. I hope others have stuff to share as well!
post #5 of 46
Wow.. i didn't know ppl covered with wigs.. learn something new everyday..

I am a Christian and abide by 1 Corinthians 11 ... and yes the covering is a sign of headship order and is the woman's glory and for her husband's eyes alone...
post #6 of 46
I've heard a really great explanation: one goal of modesty is to 'blend' and it is harder to blend in a head scarf/tischel.

I am Christian but I am WILD for Yaffa wigs just because they are the BEST! I am getting my first one soon.
post #7 of 46
I'm going to chime in here with a slightly offbeat perspective. I am not orthodox Jewish but I do "get" the wig (is it sheitel?) wearing. I have alopecia areata - an autoimmune condition I developed a few years ago. My hair all fell out over time. I miss my hair. But I cover - by necessity. I wear scarves and I wear wigs.

And when I wear wigs - my "hair" (my wig) may look normal to everyone else and I will blend in with society. In fact my wig looks better than most people's hair. But - the wig is not truly comfortable - you are aware you are covering. It is a covering. So just like I cover my bare head which I only reveal to my husband and children - I can see how a wig could cover another woman's hair - and her real hair is only on display at home. It makes sense.

Some days I am deciding - do I wear a scarf and hijab sleeve or do I want to blend it a bit more today. So I see how the wig can work in this manner. It is not like having hair. It is hot and uncomfortable too!

HTH.
post #8 of 46
Covering really can be about just keeping what is a part of the private sphere, well, private. End, stop, no public sphere symbolisms or declarations about it. Such as, I keep my belly covered in public because I consider it private to myself and those in my most intimate space. Others wearing midriff bearing shirts out and about disagree with regard to themselves. But that doesn't mean because the standard of modesty which tells me to keep my belly covered stems from my religion that I have to cover it with a t-shirt emblazoned with "Proud to be X Faith," kwim?
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
I'm going to assume you're Christian? Many Christians don't understand, because covering is meant to show the world your devotion as well as fulfill the commandment (in Corinthians, if I'm right) that a woman's head should be covered.

We cover for entirely different reasons, so whereas a wig would be silly for a Christian, it's fine for us Jewish ladies because it does the one thing we're supposed to be doing - covers our hair to the world, to reserve it for our husbands.
I just had to say that the reasons Christians covered shouldn't be only one reason. it should be about modesty and keeping my hair only for our husbands too. so perhaps it has *slightly* differing reasons, but not completely different.

or is it just me? b/c the NT/christian bible doesn't tell us to cover as a status symbol to show the world our devotion. in fact I can't think of a way it says that at all. it's a by product, sure... but not the intent.

anyone else?
post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherMother'n'Madre View Post
A wig seemed like an easy way out almost. Sure you're covering but no one can tell kwim?
Actually, among us (Orthodox Jews and likely among other groups as well) it is very obvious that a woman is wearing a wig. Not because the wig is ugly but because we know it's there and we know what to look for. To the average person it may look real but to us it's pretty obvious it's not (it's rare to find a wig that can fool someone in our community). So in response, it is obvious that a woman is covering and a man among us would know a woman was married even by a wig hair covering. I hope that makes sense. I didn't mean this post to come off in an offensive or rude manner.
post #11 of 46
Thread Starter 
I'm so glad I posted this. You all have excellent points.
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post
I've heard a really great explanation: one goal of modesty is to 'blend' and it is harder to blend in a head scarf/tischel.
This makes a great deal of sense to me. It is the same in my church - we are supposed to dress modestly, but if we go overboard and wear clothing too far outside the local norm, it actually attracts more attention and partly defeats the purpose. I can see how a wig makes sense from that perspective.
post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
I just had to say that the reasons Christians covered shouldn't be only one reason. it should be about modesty and keeping my hair only for our husbands too. so perhaps it has *slightly* differing reasons, but not completely different.

or is it just me? b/c the NT/christian bible doesn't tell us to cover as a status symbol to show the world our devotion. in fact I can't think of a way it says that at all. it's a by product, sure... but not the intent.

anyone else?
I'm a Christian...and I don't cover...but I agree, I don't really think it has anything to do with *showing* the world something. It's supposed to show that a woman is "covered" in terms of being under God and her husband's leadership. Right? I've never heard of it being described as a way to "show our Christianity"...I suppose that it might come across that way to some people, but I certainly don't think that's the sentiment behind it all.

I think headcovering is beautiful...both aesthetically and for what it means spiritually.

ETA: Also, I think the covering is more for the woman than for anyone else, right? More as a reminder to her...not for other people to be able to look at her and distinguish anything. The problem is that we live a society that doesn't cover...so, covering looks as those you're trying to show something or be different...and in reality, that's not the case at all.
post #14 of 46
I've recently been considering buying a wig precisely because it would be less noticeable to mainstream people. I cover with headbands, bandanas, and hats, and when I wear a headscarf I feel so OBVIOUS. And I'm not comfortable with the attention.

FWIW my mom never covered her hair, in shul or otherwise, so this is all new to me.
post #15 of 46
Thread Starter 
Ok so those who use headbands...I was under the assumption it was all hair (barring the hairline because sometimes that just can't be helped). For those who use headbands how does that work? Does it just have to be the top of the head? Do you buy ones with a scarf attached and tie that around the rest?
post #16 of 46
I am an Orthodox Jewish woman and I cover my hair with whatever I feel like at that moment (scarves, hats, wigs...sometimes a "fall" w. a hat over it, etc).

There are some Orthodox communities where its customary for women to cover w. wigs that look very obvious, and other communities where women wouldn't wear wigs at all, and others where you see a variety of options.

A mentor of mine once said "It doesn't matter if somone can tell if it's a wig or not, the only person who needs to know that your hair is covered is YOU."

Even the most comfortable hat or wig will never feel the same as nothing on your head. I always know I have a covering on my head, and it reminds me of what I'm supposed to remember.

As far as what I show, there are various customs. Some women show nothing, even their sideburns, others show just a bit (like whatver whisps aren't covered by a hat, others show "tefach" area of 4 adult fingers, and others pop a hat on their heads and have long hair hanging loose below. There are many dif't customs and levels of observance, and all are fulfilling some aspects of the mitzvah for a married woman to cover her hair in public.
post #17 of 46
I didn't mean to imply that Christians cover because they're only trying to say "hey, look at how devout I am!!" Not at all.

I think that Christians and Jews cover for very different reasons, and part of being a Jewish coverer (that's a strange term) is to do exactly what previous mamas said much more eloquently. To blend. Some women feel comfortable wearing a "Jewish" headcovering, like a tichel - something that marks them pretty definitively as Jewish, as well as fulfilling the mitzvah - and others prefer the relative anonymity of a sheitel, where people walking down the street will just see a woman - not a headcovering Jewish woman. THAT is oftentimes, the most modest we can get - to not draw attention to ourselves with our bodies.

It's funny, living in Lancaster County, how many times I've thought to myself that I'm so glad I don't wear a denominational covering (like an Amish bonnet, a Mennonite cape dress and bonnet, a hair doily), because those women get NOTICED. You can't help it - they're different, because of their covering. When you go to the mall, you may notice these women because of their coverings, and never notice me because I'm in a calf-length skirt and sweater from Old Navy, and a wig that looks real. You'd see a gal, no different from anyone else.

And I think that that's where the difference is. It's ok to be noticed as a Christian headcoverer, because it's also a sign of submission to G-d's will, which is a good thing. It's contrary for a Jewish one, because it's meant to keep private things private.

Disclaimer: I don't mean any offense, and I hope I've given none - just trying to reason this out, you know?
post #18 of 46
Thread Starter 
That helps a lot. I always assumed modesty just meant not showing everything. It didnt occur to me that by covering and fulfilling the requirement for modesty you would be getting attention which would technically be immodest (to a degree). It makes sense now. I was seeing blending in as more of a cop out (for lack of a better term) but in certain situations its absolutely not.

You learn something new every day.
post #19 of 46
post #20 of 46
Smei - I wasn't offended. I just wanted to say that living in Lancaster you probably only see one side of christian headcovering. I'm not mennonite or amish (they are a very particular sect of christianity) and I dislike the "christian uniform" personally. I think when people notice me and assume i'm jewish it's often bc/ I dress modestly and cover my hair - but i dress like a average person. well I dress like "me" bt in modest form. I don't have a uniform or anything like that which says "I'm christan". if everyone else was modest I'd likely blend in. but since they aren't for the most part... I stand out some.
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