Orthodox leaders are increasingly policing the length of women’s wigs, the New York Post reported Sunday, citing numerous women who say they have encountered criticism and even discrimination because of their artificial locks.
“People always say the longer it is, the sluttier it is,” Esther Adina Sash, 30, told the Post.
Orthodox women traditionally wear wigs, also known as sheitels, to comply with modesty laws and not tempt men with their natural hair.
Sash, who has more than 39,000 followers on her fashion-focused Instagram account, said that rabbis have told her to stop wearing long wigs because she was setting a bad example for young girls.
Another woman named Esther, who asked not to be fully named for privacy reasons, told the Post that when she tried to buy a house in the majority-Orthodox town of Lakewood, New Jersey, she was rejected because of the length of her fake hair. “We were told that we will scare off the crowd [and] they need to sell the rest of the lots,” Esther said.
Wig policing is not new in the Orthodox world. As the Forward reported last year, threatening digital fliers were anonymously sent to several Orthodox wig makers. “How badly are you trying to look like a prostitute?” the fliers asked in all-caps. “How important is it for you to slap G-d in the face?!”
The Voice of Lakewood newspaper has even banned wig ads that showed hair, the Post reported.
But some women are not backing down from the pressure. “It’s hotter and sexier to have long hair,” 28-year-old Brooklyn lawyer Mindy Meyer told the Post. “I’m not trying to conform. I don’t care what people think about my long wigs because, as long as I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, G-d is the ultimate judge.”
Orthodox Leaders Crack Down On ‘Slutty’ Long Wigs