Yesterday I posted about an "Amish makeover" featured on Glamour Magazine's website. Honestly, I thought the segment was staged or outright faked until I noticed a fleeting reference in the video to an "Arbor House Inn." That is a highly regarded bed and breakfast in Jamesport, Missouri. I didn't think the owners would attach themselves to something that was completely fabricated. So I reached out to the owners for more information as to how it all came about and here is what Ron Ledesma had to say:
"Glamour called us last last Spring and asked us to introduce them to Amish women who might be interested in a make over. We have many Amish friends and we passed the word to Sara. She and her sisters Laura and Anna contacted Glamour and Sara was chosen for the video shoot. Sara was not told that she was selected and the Glamour crew used the Arbor House Country Inn to surprise her in June 2014. The Graber sisters are are good Amish girls who like to explore modern ways and English culture. Sara still let's her hair down, but not when she is here in public. She intends to remain Amish but was delighted to see how she looked after the make over. She is a beautiful young woman, with or without the kapp."
Here's my take on this and it pretty much confirms what I have been thinking. The Amish are a rapidly growing church, now close to 500,000 members. The smaller a church - or any organization/entity is - the more uniformity you'll find. But as anything grows it becomes more and more difficult to maintain behavioral consistency. That's simply human nature. A lot of Amish would frown upon Sara's participation in something so obviously worldly. Yet, she did so with the full affection for her Amish life. So I think you'll see more of this type of thing in the years ahead and as you do the "novelty" will wear off and it won't get the attention. The Amish are, after, people just like anyone else with their own aspirations, wishes, and wants. But, sheesh, I should have called Arbor House 3 years ago when I was working on my TV project!
Ron gives some additional insight into the thinking of young Amish in Jamesport:
The Amish in Jamesport are not in favor of their children appearing on the Internet. They do however accept that it is a necessary experience they must have before baptism. Amish teens here have smart phones and many are computer literate. The segment took one whole day to complete. Sara got instructions on how to maintain her new do, but she has no electricity for curling iron or hair dryer. She still has the new color highlights in her hair, but it will eventually grow out. As far as I know, she does not visit the hair dresser to maintain her hair style.