The Times Profiled Some ‘Young, Hip’ Mormons

Mormons not reading fashion magazines. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images/2011 AFP

Observant Mormons often have trouble looking cool, the Times reports, and struggle with the church's disapproval of things like beards: "Facial hair in particular can be a complicated issue. Common on church leaders in the 19th century, beards are now deemed inappropriate for missionaries, as well as for students at B.Y.U., according to the university’s honor code (students are allowed trimmed mustaches)." Tattoos are a whole other conundrum, apparently. "Tattooed Mormons have managed to find one another and form a kind of subculture. 'I was blown away by the amount of tattoos I viewed in the showers,' said James Peterson, 32, about his missionary training in Provo, Utah, in the late 1990s. When he went off on his mission to Spain, he and other missionaries would trade issues of tattoo magazines, taking care to cut out images of topless women or devils." [NYT]