My Photo
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:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Modesty: This Gets Personal

Normally, I am not one to jump on bandwagons and discuss politics or current events on this blog. Considering that this a blog dedicated to modest fashion, I try to stay away from issues that are superfluous to the topic. Recently, however, I posted about this hot issue of modesty and women raging in the news, and I want to bring it up again. Pardon me, but this will be a bit personal.

I have to say that I was shocked when I heard about the story of Haredi men spitting on a young Modern Orthodox girl in the news, but the whole topic really hit home for me not a few days later when a good friend of mine said something to me that was truly hurtful, and made me realize that we Orthodox Jews can sometimes be just as bad as the Haredi. Before you jump down my throat, consider the following story.

Here’s what went down:
In discussing the idea of possibly moving out on my own to Queens, my friend said that because of the way I dress, people would not accept me, so why move out and waste my money. Ouch, right? Here’s the kicker—she wasn’t just talking about boys not wanting me, but girls too. You see, I don’t dress “Yeshivish”, therefore no one will want to be my friend. True quote. So, is it because I wear color? Is it because I wear heels? Is it because sometimes my skirt is a little bit above the knee? I dress modestly, and keep to the doctrines of tzniut that are dictated to me. Is it because I don’t do it to someone else's liking that I should be judged?

True that though this is a blog aimed at modest fashion, I don’t always post the most conventional frummie apparel that frum Jewish girls are used to… but honestly, I personally think that that’s freaking awesome. Why do we need to box ourselves in to one uniform? So, yes, I push the boundaries of fashion, but I try hard not to push the boundaries of Halacha.

I certainly resent those Haredi men who would deem my form of modesty insufficient. I am a frum, Jewish woman who follows Halacha, Jewish Law, and they cannot take that away from me. But by the same token, if the Modern Orthodox community thinks that they are not guilty of this, then they are sorely mistaken. How many times do we judge our own friends, or strangers in shul, or women at weddings, be it  because their skirts are slightly shorter than they should be, or their shirts don’t reach the elbows, or because they wore sleeveless to the chuppah. “OMG, did you see what Shaindy was wearing! I see her knee!”

As someone who is personally a bit stricter on the rules than some other women I know (ie: I cover my elbows, wear only skirts), I would never judge another Jewish woman for how they chose to dress, and as there are others who are even more strict than I am, I hope that they wouldn’t judge me. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as my friend so graciously pointed out to me. It’s a problem with our community. Since when is it ok to judge another—let’s leave the judging up to God.

The next time you see another Jewish woman who doesn’t dress the way you do, take into account that you are not her and have no baring whatsoever on her lifestyle. Modesty is a personal choice, so, although the Charedi deserve it, before we go jumping at their throats, maybe we should start with ourselves. This is not meant to be accusatory; I only want to highlight that we are screaming at the top of our lungs at a sect of our own people who just put our own thoughts into extreme action. Yes, it was 100% wrong, and revolting and disgusting, but the fact is that it exists on the Modern Orthodox level, and it should not be overlooked. No Jew is more Jewish than another, or greater than another, or holier than another. A Jew is a Jew, long sleeves or not. I hope they like me in Queens.

Follow me on Twitter @  Click here to Like The OAK on Facebook

1 comment :

  1. I have experienced similar judgment from the girls here in brooklyn; a girl I don't even know asked my friend what school will take my son because I "look modern". I am 100% as frum as she is, and to top it off, I don't walk around judging people on their hem length like she does. Let's just be grateful that God is in charge of our true judgment, and not our fellow brethren; we would be in big trouble if that was the case.


Modest Fashion Network