WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!!!
Have you seen the super sexy-dressed yet still religious Jewish ladies? The ones with the tight tight skirts and tucked-in shirts showing perfect curves and the legs that go for days and end in spiky hooker heels? The ones following the letter of the Jewish law by covering their knees and elbows and collarbone, but leaving nothing to the imagination? The ones with makeup perfect and handbags designer and sheital set in the longest length?
The ones the Modesty Letter targeted and hoped to correct?
I used to judge her as superficial, scandalous, unspiritual, materialistic. Immodest. I used to be holier than thou. The brutally ugly truth is my own insecurities told me I could never be as pretty or powerful as her, so I need to figure out a way to be better than her. I worked harder, gave to my kids, gave to my husband, meals, clean clothes, slave labor. (Oops that slipped out.)
Then my marriage fell apart and I learned about femininity. I learned what Hot Chani knows. She knows how to BE. She knows how to RECEIVE. She knows how to FEEL. She doesn’t work so hard or try to please so much. She takes time for herself. She cares for herself. She gives to herself. I thought all those things were selfish or unspiritual. And it killed my marriage (among other things).
She likes the textures of nice clothes. She likes how it feels to have her makeup done. She cares. And I bet her family benefits. I bet her husband likes it. I’m betting her husband likes it a LOT. I think the Jewish community needs more women who care about their appearance, more women who Stop and Feel and Receive More and Do Less. (It’s impossible, there’s so much to do, Hot Chani has MONEY and HELP!)
All these things are stereotypes and assumptions and half-truths with some whole-truths buried inside. There are exceptions to every rule, and I’m not giving Chani a license to be immodest (like she would even care about my license). I hope she’ll prioritize tsniut and grow in that like we all have our areas.
I’m saying I applaud her femininity. She’s working her power, maybe bordering on the inappropriate depending on how clingy that skirt gets I guess, but it’s not up to me to ask her to dress otherwise. It’s up to me to learn from everyone, make everyone my teacher, and G-d willing make my marriage strong enough to withstand her distraction.
How much of our judgments are really coming from a holy place and how much are coming from a place of insecurity as women? What would happen if we let ourselves learn a little spice and spirit from Hot Chani? Appropriately, of course. HA!