1/3/13

Shop Helps Orthodox Girls Balance Modesty and Style

Illustration Photo

One day last October, Chaya Chanin, an Orthodox Jewish woman, sent her two children to the zoo with a babysitter and transformed her three-bedroom apartment in Crown Heights into a high-end boutique.

A pink sign outside welcomed clients to the Frock Swap, a roving consignment shop that Chanin and her sister Simi Polonksy have been running for almost a year and a half. Mannequins in the living room display vintage dresses, and pop music streams through the “dressing room” (the bedroom), “the cashier station” (the kitchen), and “the accessory table” (the dining area). Over a dozen Orthodox Jewish women, who heard of the sale through friends and Facebook, flip through the racks. “Isn’t this just divine?” says one shopper of a silk Chloe shirt.

Outside, on Kingston Avenue, religious men wear black hats and white shirts. The women have on floor-length jean skirts and long-sleeve solid-colored T-shirts. It is easy to understand why they dress this way: Jewish modesty laws are strict, requiring women to cover their elbows, knees, collarbones, and, if married, their hair. But the Frock Swap caters to a different set: religious women who believe they can dress modestly without sacrificing individual panache.

“People want to feel like they look normal, not a frummy religious nerd,” says Chaya, 27, who wears a bold floral top that complements her long, wavy wig. She and Simi, dressed in a two-tiered black sheer top with a skirt that stops just past her knees, hand-pick used, stylish clothes from their friends and sell them once a month either in a rented store or someone’s apartment. A percentage of the money goes to the consignors, and the rest they use to expand their business. Eventually, they’d like to have a pop-up store and perhaps warehouse space to house clothing from a larger network of buyers.

At the sale, Chaya welcomes customers into the store with a glass of wine, and Simi suggests looks. “Can I put a shirt underneath this dress?” asked a customer holding up an emerald, satin, short-sleeved dress. “Let’s try this,” says Simi, who had a brief career as a personal shopper for her mother’s friends in Australia, rushing over with a sharp black blazer, “You’re going to look gorgeous.” Simi says she has to resist the urge to tweak strangers’ outfits. “How could you wake up in the morning and think that you actually look OK?” she admits to thinking of some people she sees on the street.

According to Jewish tradition, explains Sara Labkowski, the director of Machon Chana, a Crown Heights yeshiva program for young women, helping girls dress well is an admirable pursuit. “When we feel well dressed, we can do much more,” she says. “We can be better mothers and wives and community members.”

But that’s where Labkowski’s approval ends. Frock Swap offers clothing that fits a variety of comfort levels: form-fitting dresses, shirts that are too low on their own but can have fabric sown into them etc. While the store does not sell items such as mini-skirts or pants, Labkowski believes that some of its clothing isn’t modest enough. “We have a lot of teenagers, a lot of kids, looking for guidance. They are falling prey to things that are wrong, thinking they are right,” she told me. She believes girls with non-modest clothes might be tempted into following their yetzer hara, or evil inclination.

But for Simi and Chaya, letting women make their own choices about clothing is only natural. They grew up in Sydney, Australia, where girls walked around in revealing summer dresses. While they strictly adhere to Jewish law, their father, who is a rabbi, encouraged them to be open to people who practice religion differently.

Liat Rubin, Simi and Chaya’s childhood friend from Australia who visits the Frock Swap sales when in town, is a recent convert to modest dressing. After acting “like everybody that lived by the beach,” she realized she was attracting what she called the wrong type of attention from men. She switched to wearing modest clothes and feels good about the choice: “When I feel like I put an outfit together that looks great and it’s working within the boundaries I am more proud of myself.”

Others say there are clear downsides. “If you ask me if it restricts me, totally!” says Mimi Hecht, who writes a blog about being a mom in Crown Heights. “I can’t say how many times I went shopping with a friend and I’m like ‘It’s so crazy, this is so stupid.’ ” Chaya wishes she could go for a jog without putting on a wig or a hat. “For me it’s challenging to keep being inspired about the way I live and what I do,” admits Simi. “No matter how strong you can feel about something, the world is tempting.”

63 Comments

  • 2. what am I missing wrote:

    Am I missing something. The title sais that this boutique is about modesty. But the woman seen in the picture is wearing no socks or tights and wearing leggings. WHAT AM I MISSING?

    Reply
  • 3. Ad Mossai wrote:

    This shop is disgusting. They were interviewed by the jewish forward. The lady running the shop was very into “blurring the lines of tznius” – her words. Or wanting to be “tznius s-xy”. May the good lord instill wisdom into her and help her change her erroneous ways. http://www.youtube.com/watc

    Reply
  • 4. Nechama wrote:

    pathetic!
    I have zero interest in walking around without my shaitel or without socks.
    I feel special, proud, and dignified because I am tznius. Animals walk around without clothes. Thankfully, I am a person with brains who deserves respect, and by dressing tznius that is the message I portray.

    Reply
  • 5. Eli wrote:

    “How could you wake up in the morning and think that you actually look OK?” she admits to thinking of some people she sees on the street.

    This line is shocking. How crass and judgmental.

    Reply
  • 6. bitachon wrote:

    looking nice, etc, is great but this quote:
    “People want to feel like they look normal, not a frummy religious nerd,” says Chaya, 27,
    just shows me that Chaya, 27, has some real need to put other people down to make something of herself, which is not impressive. If you want to be “put together” you don’t do it by putting someone else down. Just grow into dressing how you choose. But to put other people in a box…..is sad and mean. There are people who are wonderful inside, but never had that eye for fashion, etc. Its very shallow to have to put down someone else to put onesself up. That is not the Jewish way.
    Or did we throw more of Jewish outlook away than we think?
    {food for thought}

    Reply
  • 7. is this the best to write about? wrote:

    The descriptions of the clothing in this place don’t sound very modest to me. But hey, business is business and you have to do what you have to do to earn a dollar these days. Well, that’s what it sounds like. It’s not a flea market for charity, it’s a second-hand designer clothes business which seems to be doing well.

    Don’t get me wrong, I admire entrepreneurship, but it has to be in keeping with Torah standards. Also, when someone (as Rabbi Schochet says purports to be a frum Jew) speaks to the media, he/she has an obligation to push Torah values. The last comment from Chaya saying she wishes she didn’t have to wear a hat or sheitel when she goes jogging is not what people need to hear in an era when many young women round here barely cover their hair when they are outside.

    I’m not blind, deaf, or in denial. I know Tznius generally (not just wearing a sheitel) is a challenge for many people. However, wouldn’t it be better to promote the idea that looking good AND being dressed in a tzniusdik way aren’t mutually exclusive. Too tight, too bright, pushing the envelope in skirt, sleeve & neck length (which seem to be the standard of much of the clothing here) is NOT OK.

    My daughter’s a Shlucha & she is bringing her not-yet-frum-but-very-interested guests to the Kinus. They went shopping with my daughter & bought appropriate clothing so they won’t feel uncomfortable amongst Tznius women. Somehow, I don’t think they needed to bother – they’d fit right in, just the way they were.

    Shame on us. Now I will duck so the missiles don’t hit me.

    Reply
  • 9. Shayna wrote:

    I’m in total agreement with #5. Tznius is about internal beauty and this what she says shows a judgmental and external approach to tznius. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for her as a person.

    Reply
  • 10. Shim wrote:

    These girls are doing an amazing job — If u read the tone of the article it’s great!

    To detractors – go out and get a job

    Reply
  • 12. Chen Goodman wrote:

    MBD said it best…” This senseless hating, who knows why. When there is so much good to see shouldn’t we try? Rather than reject, (and b a snag) just admire and respect.

    Reply
  • 14. nl wrote:

    Some women really have a warped sense of what being a Jewish woman really is. They are ashamed of of what makes the Jewish woman beautiful – Tznius. You can be attractive without being attracting. Most of the time they dont look beautiful they look slutty. I wouldn’t want to eat in their kitchen!

    Reply
  • 15. What-s up with Australian? wrote:

    I can’t tell you how many times I have seen untznius women on the street and when I past them they usually are speaking in an Australian ascent. Something is not all right down under.

    Reply
  • 16. happy costumer wrote:

    Don’t let them destroy ur dream.. If you don’t like it don’t wear it!! Happy customer! Always ganna wear ur clothes.. I love walking down kingston seeing that huge pink sign..

    Reply
  • 17. wrong wrote:

    i love being tznius, and im proud of it! its true, inner beauty. one who feels the need to show, is lacking inside. i think its wrong to portray others weaknesses in this area, and even more wrong that they are spreading it to others.
    where are they going with calling those stronger than themselves “a frummy chassidishe nerd?”??
    huh?
    It is THEY who are falling prey to superficial, cheap dress.
    “resists the urge to tweak other ppls outfits? wonder how they think they look ok???”
    they should be embarrassed to publicize this narrow-minded view that dress and revealing is what life is all about.
    this article is embarassing!
    women!! be strong! protect yoursrlves for your own sake, and for the security of our brothers in eretz yisroel! Hashem looks at how you dress- and it is our responsibility to do it well so that He protect them.

    Reply
  • 20. Tznius is a sign of Geulah wrote:

    The Rebbe indicates that One of the signs of Geula’s immanence is the Blatant proliferation of Public displays of “Indecency or Hutspa

    Reply
  • 21. lifnei ever wrote:

    Just one more way to make a buck a the expense of a yiddishe neshama. Yes, maybe if you are coming from where people forget to put on clothing while at the beach you think this shmutz is an improvement, It’s not KOSHER though, and neither are the short and pencil skirts at the “SNIUS STORE”.
    And who wants to buy a usd bra for goodness sake!
    Please, someone with yiras shomayim, open a kosher clothing store in Crown Heights where frum women can shop. All the other stores cater ONLY to goyim and chabadlite. They don’t carry elegant kosher clothing for the respectible Jewish womn.

    Reply
  • 22. An Australian wrote:

    Dear #10, tznius seems so important to you, so I assume that you are quite a frum person. Have your considered that your comment is pure lashon hora, not only against the above mentioned people but to the whole Australian community. Maybe if we all stopped worrying about other women’s levels of tznius, and tried to speak less lashon hora and had more love for ALL Jews, moshiach would come and we wouldn’t have to worry about all of this.

    Best REgards,
    A Tznius Australian

    Reply
  • 23. disgusted. wrote:

    omg this is INSANE let people dress how they want to dress. since when is chabad so judgmental? everyone has their own issuses with being frum…let people live. so easy for ppl to say just be tznuis…everyone is different and has different struggels. you can go to the frock swap and get perfectly tznius clothes…stop focusing on the negative. focus on the fact that there is a place here in CH that you can get gorgeous fashionable clothes that are tznuis and make the women here feel beautiful and good about themselves. ok so a few people might not be so tzinus…whats it to you? are you so insecure that you need to judge everyone else on what they are doing? look at yourself first. you have NO idea what they are going through. how would you feel if people who aren’t frum yet are looking at this website and see what you are all writing? why would they ever feel comfortable walking on kingston knowing everyone is judging them? what about going to their chabad house? this is a disgrace. my family became frum through chabad and this is seriously very off-putting.

    Reply
  • 25. Lets not judge them!! wrote:

    just as it brings many blessings to dress with modestly aka self respect so to the same Torah! the same chasiduth, teaches us how to feel bad for & not judge those who struggle with challanges we ourselves have overcome or do well with!

    remember:

    all of us have our own struggles, lets pray for ourselves & others to each overcome our personal challenges respectively!!

    Reply
  • 26. insecure wrote:

    these ppl seem very insecure in that they need to broadcast their weaknesses.
    some people actually have priorities in their life, and value life, putting other things before looks and fashion.
    others live and have kids just to decorate, and show…how superficial!!

    Reply
  • 27. I feel bad for these misguided girls wrote:

    It’s one thing to have a store like this, it’s another thing to publicize it all over the media and give such a misrepresentation of tznius. What a sad, sad attitude these poor girls have. I pity them.

    Reply
  • 28. #20 is correct wrote:

    u r right!!

    i pray for those who struggle with dressing with self respect & for those who feel the need to judge others

    Reply
  • 29. Judge the Sin NOT THE SINNER!! wrote:

    chabad always drew a clear distinction between the in-correct behavior vs The one making the error

    lets be chabad here! don’t attack the person, only explain why the practice hurts them materially or spiritually

    Reply
  • 30. Tzinus nerdy! Not if u have taste. wrote:

    Don’t blame Australia. We have many Tznius girls. Every Apple with a bruise looks bad but the overall Apple is great.

    Reply
  • 31. Lets not judge! wrote:

    we all have our private challenges!
    no one knows how difficult another struggle is, be it Tznius, or the Challenge to look down at others rather than feeling nonjudgmental sympathy for them

    Reply
  • 32. generalisations are completely wrong wrote:

    SHAME ON YOU NUMBER TEN!!!

    Your generalisation reeks of bias and ignorance!

    There is something wrong with lubavitch girls all over the world…and I am from australia…and I promise you…

    When i visit NY i literally have my mouth hanging open from the way half of Kingston Avenue is dressed (and Kingston Ave is not half Australian!)!!

    People in glass houses, really shouldnt throw stone!

    Reply
  • 33. r u chabad? wrote:

    a comment that could probably go to almost all these op-eds and articles regarding levels of chassidishkeit regarding chabadniks-
    don’t forget that when the Rebbe said we are open and accepting of all Jews that didn’t mean that what was acceptable for others is acceptable for a person who calls themselves a Lubavitcher.
    YES we don’t judge others who come to our Chabad Houses etc
    but WE have to uphold the Rebbe’s standards.
    Growing up with Chabad parents doesn’t make you a Lubavitcher. Following the Rebbe’s standards (and yes this includes tznuis and being an ambassador of positivity towards yiddishkeit) makes you a chossid

    Reply
  • 34. to #2 wrote:

    I HAD that experience as a shlucha. I brought a lady from my community who wanted to come to a wedding of one of the girls that worked for us. She was so excited to see where I grew up and to visit an orthodox community. She is very interested in yiddishkiet and is even toying with the idea of a sheitel. We were walking down Montgomery bet Brooklyn & NY avenues when a young woman with a baby came out of a house, no hose, small bandana on her head and a skirt up to her thigh. The woman looked at me and said “oh I thought everyone here was orthodox?” I was so embarrassed because I knew who this girl was so I lied and said “oh recently people from park slope have been buying homes here because its so expensive there”. I was so sick to my stomach having to lie about my fellow Chabad community. Needless to say #2 I would never bring anyone from my community again. Tell your daughter to reconsider!

    Reply
  • 35. I love everyone! wrote:

    i even love those who dress differently than i do! i will never judge them as i do not have their challenge! i do though have my own set of challenges to keep me humble & busy!
    i do not condone those who try justifying their immodesty as a ok, & deny all the obvious damage it causes to our culture & society, since lowering the public standard has far reaching consequences which they recklessly don’t take into account!

    instead of playing the victim, think about how your immodesty affects young people & their future spirituality etc

    you must be in denial not to realize the implications!

    Reply
  • 36. CH old timer wrote:

    entrepreneurship is good and even great. Don’t bring your low or no standards into our community. Please. Go somewhere else. The article is trying to put down tznius. I can understand the insecurity of these ladies but do not build yourself up with putting someone down

    Reply
  • 37. Who Are You Kidding?? wrote:

    I’m not from CH, but I’ve shopped there on MANY occasions, and don’t see why anyone sees this place as being so much “worse” than Top Fashion or Fashion Queen. Sure, those stores offer the long jean skirts and solid colored shirts, but their favorite inventory is the stuff that looks like it came off the rack at Macy’s. The girls of CH were finding ways to dress untzniusdik long before Frock Swap existed.

    I’m honestly not a fan of a lot of the content of this article, but let’s call this place what it is… just ANOTHER women’s clothing store offering a variety of tznius levels, which people have to gague on their own how to handle. At least this place helps the girls keep from spending absurd amounts on their trendy clothes…

    Reply
  • 38. great store -BUT wrote:

    I love fashion and I love clothes. I think this store is great. BUT- they didnt have to put down girls that dont have a sense of fashion as “nerds”. And they didnt have to say “How could you wake up in the morning and think that you actually look OK?” Im sure there are mornings they dont look okay. Everyone has a bad hair day.
    These lines are snobby and not okay. I hope she realizes now how this sounds.

    Reply
  • 39. comment wrote:

    # 25, you are most likely in your 20′s, it sounds like it because that is a response of someone that age.
    It will be much later but when YOU have sons walking around the street in the middle of yeshiva life, learning Torah/Chassidus, you won’t want them seeing their neighbors and cousins (etc) dressed provocatively. Its unbelievable how people have to hear REASONS to hold to the values that the Rebbe put his sweat, tears and love into. The Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka was fashionable, but I think some people have willfully just lost the foundation……
    go ahead and make up your own rules, and justify it with how fashionable and with-it you look but don’t fool yourselves that its Torah. There are non Jews who know the difference, I think its time that we did.

    Reply
  • 40. oh come on wrote:

    #38- i am most certainly not in my 20s, i actually have a son who does walk around kingston in the yeshiva life learning torah chassidus and he knows not to judge. instead of judging, he is kind and understanding because if those women aren’t tznuis, there is a reason. instead of being crass and judgemental, which is what pushes people ever further away, he is warm and kind which brings people closer. each to their own.

    Reply
  • 41. They Need a Good Spokesperson wrote:

    They had a second chance at publicity, and instead of correcting the wrongs that were displayed in the first article in the Forward, they managed to come across even more crass and insensitive than in the first. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Get yourself a PR guru and stop talking to the press.

    Reply
  • 42. concerned mother wrote:

    I grew up on Shlichus outside of crown heights, and was brought up to judge people for who they are, and not by their way of dress, or how they look to us on the outside.
    however, i dont believe this is the same situation. We are not here to judge these people, and i dont think any of us are.
    What we are asking of these people is to respect the Crown Heights community, and the people living in it. If you feel dressing like the outside world does, and making the laws of tznius invisible, then you dont belong living in a place such as this, where the way we dress and behave is within the laws of the Shulchan Aruch, and not try to blur them.
    If you think living with in our standards doesn’t suit you, then by all means, we will have no ill feelings towards you if you decide to move elsewhere. we want to bring op our children in an insulated environment, and because of this have chosen CH as our home.
    The same way i expect our grocery stores to carry only Kosher products, i expect the people living here to look and act as bnos and bnei chabad.
    I once overheard a mother of a bais rivka girl complaining how the school pushed tznius so much so that her 4 yr old daughter was arguing that she didnt want to wear short socks and skirts, and added something to the effect of why do they push it so much? thinking to myself i was baffled! You send your daughter to a lubavitch school, what else would you expect?? if these are not the values you want you child to grow up with, send her to public school, im sure you wont have these issues!

    Reply
  • 43. hey wrote:

    im soo grossed out by this article,, Hashem put us in this world to choose good, he only put the bad stuff so we have free choice.. you guys are falling into one big trap
    so sad to see :(

    Reply
  • 44. Liberals are the most judgmental!! wrote:

    “Liberals” dont want us to Judge them, yet they are quick to Judge anyone who disagrees with them as:
    1. NERDY
    2. NO Taste
    3. Judgmental
    4. Intolerant
    5. Closed minded to others point of view
    6. Inconsiderate to other peoples feelings
    7. Self righteous, know better than everyone else.
    8. Condescending to those they disagree with

    Before u accuse others of being INTOLERANT, SNOBBY or INCONSIDERATE ask yourself if your store, dress and language reflect Tolerance, Respect & Consideration or are you guilty of putting down those who adhere to 2000 yearold traditional judaism!?

    Think, before you talk again to the press! they are glad to cast you as hypercrits & bimbos

    Reply
  • 45. Yosy wrote:

    I’m reading this in utter amazement. Tznius is halacha. The Rebbe demanded that his chassidim follow Torah & mitzvos with no if’s and’s or but’s. If you consider yourself a chosid, one must act appropriately. If you want to push the limits, that’s fine, just don’t shlep the Rebbe into the mud with you by claiming to be lubavitch or a chosid.

    If this offends anyone, TOO BAD!!!

    Reply
  • 46. aussie wrote:

    all i gotta say is aussie aussie aussie we rock and yes we ARE tznius dont judge us all on how some people act the same way we wont judge all americans on how some of you act
    sincerely there is NOTHING wrong down under :)

    Reply
  • 47. M- wrote:

    When is the next monthly open-house for the Frock Swap? How do I get this info in advance? You gals always look amazingly dressed! Chaya and Simi- you’re our icons!

    Reply
  • 48. Esther wrote:

    I know so many Jewish women who manage to look nice and put together without pushing the envelope or wearing anything questionable. And also women who aren’t worried about being so put together as long as their standards are acceptable to Hashem. Of course these women don’t get or want publicity, but as we say of the aishes chayil “isha yiras Hashem, hee tis’hallal”.

    Reply
  • 49. TRAGIC wrote:

    To #9 – although the pic says illustration photo, it is actually a photo of ‘the frock swap’ – tznius infractions included.

    To all the people complaining about the critics of this article (and the previous embarrassing Forward interview) and wondering why we care so much if others choose to dress 100% against halacha –
    first, let me say I have never been in the store, nor do intend to. I have no doubt that they carry the same combo of tznius and not tznius clothes that the other Crown Heights stores do. However, their attitude and opinions about living like a frum jewish woman are shocking and disgusting. They are the judgemental ones, not us. We have every right to be upset at these idiots who think nothing of displaying their ignorance about frumkeit (and general decency) to the public, in the name of Chabad, proudly admitting to “blurring the lines”. Sorry, there are no blurry lines – you have gone waaay over the lines. Thank you for helping to make raising aidel, tznius teenagers unbearably difficult – you and many of your loyal customers.
    Of course, everyone has a choice what they buy and what they wear, wherever they shop, but your attitude is poison to our sadly declining neighborhood.

    Not too long ago, someone told me that a friend of hers was approached by a non jewish man in one of the neighborhood parks – he asked her “Excuse me, could you tell me something – have the rules for the religious jewish women changed because I see that lot of them seem to be dressing like our ladies now?” How devastatingly sad.

    Reply
  • 50. misquoted wrote:

    I think the owners of the shop were just being honest about their challenges with tznius. And we all have our challenges. They must have been misquoted in what they were trying to say…
    Everyone should stop being so judmental.

    Reply
  • 52. ...one more thing wrote:

    and has anyone noticed the lovely ‘aidel’ slogans on the back of the staff t-shirts????

    Reply
  • 53. sisters making fool of themselves: wrote:

    but why must they do this as though they are chabad??
    this is opposite of what chabad stands for, and if they talk such nonsense- its their responsibility to clarify that their ideas are against their communities’ values!
    its soo embarassing that we have such people representing chabad! OYSH!!

    Reply
  • 54. sisters making fool of themselves: wrote:

    but why must they do this as though they are chabad??
    this is opposite of what chabad stands for, and if they talk such nonsense- its their responsibility to clarify that their ideas are against their communities’ values!
    its soo embarassing that we have such people representing chabad! OYSH!!

    Reply
  • 55. Are you kidding?! wrote:

    It’s interesting how everyone is saying not to judge. The only judgemental ones are the girls in this article! Who made this girl the official fashion stamp of approval? She should find some other interests to keep her from being a little too involved in other ppls clothing choices.

    Reply
  • 56. DELICATE (TOUGH) LOVE wrote:

    lets judge their actions from a place of sympathy not resentment, the damage they do to our future and children is certainly not their intent, so dont treat them as intentional rebels, but rather as unfortunate misguided (well intentioned)young women who need only to be shown a loving example of the right way, with proper information & all the incentives the Rebbeh highlighter are earned via Tznius & (delicately) the perils chazal indicate for those who knowingly violate the Laws of Modesty, not just the damage done to ones self & family but even the bad fortune they perpetrate on the community around them R”L

    surely no one with a good heart would intentionally hurt the public themselves and their family! its share ignorance!! so lets inform the public B’Ofen hamiskabel, for the sake of all that is at steak!

    Reply
  • 57. go to the source n love your fellow Jew wrote:

    learn the halachos of tznius, no need to put people down. understand the laws, their sources etc, and then make an informed decision.

    Reply
  • 58. For The Love of Peace! LOL wrote:

    this is the opposite of chabad!
    gasp!
    help!
    Oy!
    How could they!
    Can a chabad woman actualy me gasp,,,,,choke…s-xy? oh no!! I uttered that word.
    Strike me dead on the spot good lord lol

    I cudda predicted the responses LOL!!

    Wht don’t the men just go and don skirts!
    Yes, like in Scotland throw on a skirt and walk around abit.
    cool ehh?

    To the woman on this comment site – why don’t YOU gals slowly remove all 29 layers of cloth dress and ensembles by the time you done (dont forget the armor plated knee hi’s)ye wudda wasted so much time u cudda done hafotze and tons of other stuff like shoo the kids away from alllll the tanning spots near Vanderbilt Ave

    sheeees

    Reply
  • 59. Anon wrote:

    I don’t blame girls for their rebellion, going OTD or comments about feeling “nerdy”. Much content on this site and what I see on the street is heavy judgment on them and not so much of boys.

    There is a digusting amount of commentary on girls bodies and you wonder why there are eating disorders? What is disgusting is the commentary. A human body, immodestly dressed or not is still G-d’s creation and there is nothing disgusting or wrong about it!

    Maybe it’s from the scrutiny they face on a daily basis within the community, sub-consciously they yearn to blend in with the outside to gain wider acceptance.

    You reap what you sow, people. Your attitudes toward females is sickening. Your clothing might say you’re righteous but your hearts and tongues walk on earth.

    Reply
  • 60. to number 10 wrote:

    interesting, when I walk down the street and pass someone dressed immodestly, she’s usaully speaking with an american accent…

    Reply
  • 61. To #54 wrote:

    Watch their idiotic interview for the Forward from a little while ago – you’ll see and hear the ignorant words coming out of their mouths – no room for misquotes there. Equally as bad on the video, the other interviewees like the one with a generous scoop neck and insufficient hair covering speaking as if she is an authority on tznius!!!

    If they don’t want to be judged publicly, they shouldn’t put their ignorance on public display, in the name of “modesty” and chabad. Shame on them.

    To #58 – how old are you, 10?????

    Reply
  • 62. BRer wrote:

    I work in Bais Rivkah High School, and one of the problems I see is that unfortunately, the inspiration of the Rebbe works best for those who actually met him. Often Tznius here is framed in the “what would the Rebbe say about your outfit” or “would you visit the Rebbe wearing that”, but the reality is that it’s just not working anymore. The youth of our community are not inspired by that long-term, and yes while some of them work well having the Rebbe as their voice of morality in their minds, many of the girls just aren’t feeling it.

    Some of you reading this may jump down my throat and tell me I’m being negative and c“v shaming the Rebbe, but I say this with utmost respect and to make you aware of the shift in our youth.

    As for this article, the line that bothers me most is “How could you wake up in the morning and think that you actually look OK?”

    Clearly this woman reads many secular tabloid magazines, because that’s how they treat celebrities outfits, especially at awards shows.

    But we are not Hollywood, and guess what, there are worse things in life than looking like a ”Frummy religous nerd“. If my daughter grows up and dresses like one, I’d rather that than her be a ”frummy religous prostitude” who wears tights clothes and struts her stuff.

    And to #35, who said she brought a guest to Crown Heights and upon seeing someone dressed immodestly went on to lie to her guest and say the girl was from Park Slope and not Orthodox– it is exactly THIS type of story that makes me understand why so many Baal Tshuva come here and are disappointed. When they were first become frum through Chabad Houses, they are attracted by the warmth and realness, and acceptance regardless of their imperfections. Then they come here and are bombarded with an entirely different reality.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that modesty shouldn’t be addressed in Crown Heights. But to lie to a guest, instead of using that as a teaching moment- is disheartening and plain dishonest.

    Reply

Leave Comment

Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly.