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I'm a Jewish fashionista living in New York and I write this blog to try to deliver modest fashion to all women, everywhere. This blog is all about Less Is More. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @vinniecocoa and on instagram @the.oak! CONTACT & INQUIRIES:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What's In A (Role) Model?

For those of you who are not familiar with this blog, I write about an industry that revolves around appearances; things like looks, clothing, material goods, trends, and of course, the people who model them. Be it through celebrities, Hollywood starlets, models or celebutantes, the fashion industry is inundated with "who wore what better", "what is being modeled as the newest trend", and "where to buy the newest, flashiest version of what the celebrities will be wearing tomorrow".

Now, don't get me wrong-- I am a girly-girl fashionista from New York, and I am a lover of all things fashion. Hence the blog. But as a frum, religious, modest, observant Jew, I am also aware that the worldly possessions of this industry are merely a means to an end (and possibly a husband?), and I understand that I will not be buried with my Kate Spade bag.

Again, for those of you who are not familiar, I am a huge fan of Mayim Bialik (right), an american actress known for her starring TV roles on Blossom and The Big Bang Theory. This evening, I went to hear her speak at a local synagogue about her path to observant Judaism and I was simply amazed by what I heard. I am familiar with Mayim both as an actress, and as a Jew with a love for her faith and for doing mitzvot. In all honesty though, I went tonight expecting to hear a celebrity who happened to be a Jew; in actuality I went to hear a Jew, who happened to be a celebrity.

When we speak about models in this day and age, names like Gisele, Heidi and Tyra no doubt come to mind; a name like Mayim is certainly not at the forefront of the "model world"... but it should be. The models we have all come to know and love are now household names that rank higher than most elected officials. Seriously, ask most people today who Dilma Rousseff is, and you are sure to get a blank stare (Brazil's first female president, by the way), but ask someone who Giselle Bundchen is, and they will give you her bra size.

The models we know today are famous for their beauty, their brand, and their bankability. However, the models we need today are the ones who aren't forced down a runway in clothes that they are told to sell, or model in advertisements that define a brand. Rather, they are the ones who play roles in our communities and our lives, models whose 'brands' are their commitments to their convictions. When the clothes you wear define not what you are trying to advertise, but what you are trying to emulate as a person, that's a model. A role model.

Mayim has had a truly fantastic journey, and to hear her speak was a privilege and I recommend you all go listen should you get the opportunity. I don't mean to put her on a pedestal, and I hope she doesn't think I am some weirdo obsessed blogger-stalker. It's just that there are so few people that we Jewish girls can relate to, and so my kinship to someone like Mayim is not an obsession, rather the connection of one Jewish sister to another. Hearing Mayim speak about her evolution and journey in this beautiful faith of ours was awe-inspiring and eye-opening. Yes, it's totally freaking awesome that she works in such a privileged industry with such amazing perks (she has a stylist!); but as a religious girl who grew up knowing nothing other than this life, I am simply amazed by her strength, her struggles, and her unconditional conviction and faith, ESPECIALLY in her industry. Hello role model.

P.S. She hugged me. That was awesome!

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  1. I was there too!
    she was amazing!

  2. Very true about the Jewish sister thing. When i was a kid watching Blossom and saw her name was Mayim, i was so excited at the thought she was likely Jewish!


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