Mayim Bialik on tzniut


Remember Mayim Bialik? Well, the star of the star of the 90s sitcom Blossom is back, after a break to start a family and get a Phd. In neuroscience.

She’s also got some new fashion restrictions, courtesy of her blossoming (sorry!) interest in traditional Judaism follwing her marriage. She breaks it all down in Tablet Magazine.

During the days of the sheva brachot, the seven traditional feasts celebrated in the days after the chuppah ceremony, I tentatively covered my head with scarves and crocheted hats, trying on my new status as a married woman. Beyond wearing a ring, my lifestyle didn’t have a means of representing the change from single to married, and I was cautious about challenging the feminist ideals I’d previously embraced. But I liked feeling a physical representation in my new life as a married woman. In synagogue, I began covering my head with tichels (decorative scarves) from trips to Israel—just as my Orthodox cousins who I used to consider submissive and trapped in an archaic lifestyle taught me to wrap them—and fashionable hats. No flowers allowed. Too Blossom-y.

As my life progressed, tzniut became a bigger part of it and I started appreciating what it means to keep your sexual appeal for yourself and for your partner. I came to see that not everything that makes me beautiful, sexy, or desirable needs to be on display.

In the world of acting, though, maintaining a degree of modesty has been a challenge. I stopped wearing pants outside of the home in November 2007. (I still wear them at home or under dresses.) These days, I am more comfortable in skirts rather than the baggy saggy pants I used to wear. Personally, I feel more attractive and more put-together in a skirt. Tzniut doesn’t mean making yourself less attractive; it means highlighting your strengths within limits.

Recommended from JTA