For Magdalena, a 23-year-old Midwestern college student, “the significance behind the white and cream veil is that it is just a constant reminder of who you want to be—pure. You want to be holy; you want to be chaste.”
Helena, a 19-year-old college student, said, “When I wear the veil, it is a reminder to be pure and keep pure thoughts and pure actions only and to be chaste.”
For 25-year-old Ruth, the veil calls to mind the importance of sexual purity, and how it reminds her of being the bride of Christ, walking up the aisle to receive Christ in the Eucharist. “You are being pure and just reverent and humbling yourself down for that one hour for Christ, to be His bride in that one hour of Mass.”
Marisa, 32, explained, “The white color of the veil is viewed as a signal of chastity, purity, and virginity.”
Clara, 32, said, “For me, if you wear a white veil, it resembles purity. It resembles virginity. Even if you do not have your virginity still, you can wear that veil to have that significance of virginity and chastity.”
For Lily, a 34-year-old, the veil is a symbol of marital intimacy--“because hair, a sign of beauty, is reserved specifically for a husband.”
For 31-year-old Donna, “You sheath your hair because your hair is a very attractive characteristic.”
Amelia, age 28, argues this practice does not hide away the woman as a form of shame but rather reserves part of her for her partner. “It’s not that we want to hide those things, but we want to keep them sacred potentially if you have the vocation of marriage.” For Amelia, the veil hides the hair just as modest clothing hides the body, so a woman can prevent men from being tempted.
Pamela, age 24, said, “It makes you feel more feminine. I feel more feminine in church, and that’s really interesting because it sets you apart in a beautiful way.”
Clara, age 38, celebrates the veil because it urges women to “respect our own bodies but also dressing and acting in a way that invites others to respect us and to uphold our dignity. With the veil and dressing modestly, it’s like reserving yourself.”
As 33-year-old Karen explained, “You don’t veil your body or wear modest clothing to hide anything, but you do it because you recognize that sacredness and that dignity and [that] it’s not for everyone.”
Rose, age 22, explained that wearing a veil caused her to dress more modesty overall. Rose connected this idea of modesty and preventing sexual attention: “You dress more modestly when you are wearing a veil, so you can’t be objectified.”
For 18-year-old Delilah, it’s part of “how women dress so that we’re not tempting men more.”
Twenty-six-year-old Claire said wearing the veil makes women “more attractive” to men. Her boyfriend supports the practice and comments that he likes its “feminine look”, but he never forced her to veil.