Frumgirl 1: Shaved by the Bells

Right after I got married, when I still bothered to wear my fall every day, I encountered one of the stranger misconceptions about Orthodox Judaism.

“I thought all Jewish women shave their heads after marriage,” came out a black female classmate. This was news. Who tells people these things?

“Who told you this?” I asked. Was someone spreading rumors like that for fun?

“I don’t know, it’s just common knowledge.” Common knowledge? I’ve never met anyone else with that bit of “common” misconception. I wasn’t going to press it, though.

“So what’d you think when I showed up with this?” I pointed to my fall+hat.

I had dyed my hair to match my sheitels two months before my wedding instead of going nuts about duplicating my natural head. The transition from hair to fall was almost imperceptible. I don’t know why nobody else does it in that direction, even if they don’t have the two hundred shade hair color that wasn’t going to match anything perfectly like I did. It’s just so much less stress.

“I just thought you didn’t have to,” she admitted.

I readied myself, girding and guarding, and gleefully admitted, “This is a wig.”

“You’re kidding, right?” I started to shake my head no. “So you did have to shave your head?”

Her expression was priceless, so I set her straight.

“Nah, that only Hassidic Jews, and not all of those, either,”

One day I’ll figure out who told her Jewish women shave their heads.

Published in: on May 11, 2008 at 12:03 PM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I thought that myself until I met a frum woman who wore a sheitel and got the guts to ask. I didn’t know that the hair underneath a wige can range from bald to longish. I have no clue how that idea made its way into the cultural mainstream, but now “everyone knows” orthodox women shave their heads and wear a wig after marriage. I’m sure that somewhere there’s a movie to blame for that stereotype.

  2. Along with “make two matches and you go straight to Heaven” and the old favorite, the hole in the sheet.

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