As someone who attempts to be a conscious consumer and avoids supporting clothing corporations that violate labor rights in their manufacturing facilities in the developing world, I am quite displeased–to say the least–with how the media has made fun of women from the FLDS community in the past couple of days. It turns out that the women from the FLDS community are making and selling clothes for children. You can find them at their website FLDSdress.com. They do have beautiful clothes and after all they are made in the USA!
Criticism coming from an MSNBC News correspondent was rather condescending: “Just in time for back-to-school shopping: authentic polygamist prairie dresses.” Another read: “Now you, too, can dress like a polygamist!” NPR followed with a short and similar “smart” remark yesterday during Morning Edition, which was rather disappointing. During the raid in which CPS authorities took 400+ children from the polygamist ranch, I wondered what was the obsession Nancy Grace and the media in general had with this case. I think it had to do much more than with a concern for how unfairly these children were being taken away from their parents. I think it had a lot to do with how these women and children lived and clothed differently than most of us.
Personally, I crochet and hope to be proficient enough on the sewing machine one day so I can make a few clothes for my own children. It may become necessary at some point, who knows? My fellow coworkers always tell me how frustrated they have become with the clothes that are for sale for young girls. I even experienced the same frustration with latest fashion trends while shopping for a wedding dress. All of them were strapless with low cuts. I could not find a modest dress that could fit my budget, so I had to add sleeves to the one I bought and thank goodness it turned out beautiful. But it was so hard to find a beautiful and modest wedding gown that was, at the same time, cheap. Ironically enough, when you search on the internet for “modest wedding dress”, the website “Latter Day Bride” comes up and they indeed have beautiful gowns.
One may not necessarily like or buy the “prairie dress” for one’s daughter or for oneself, for that matter, especially if you live in hot and humid Houston like we do! But I still think the criticism toward these women is rather cheap. The effort to revive modesty by these women should be recognized and that is what truly matters. So, kudos to the FLDS women who put their labor and love in these beautiful clothes and remind us of what it means to be modest, because we definitely need the reminder.