Self Expression Magazine

What Fashion Taught Me About Judaism.

By Challahbackgirl
What Fashion Taught Me About Judaism.
Clothes Don't Make the Woman. Or, don't judge a book by its cover. If a person unfamiliar with the fashion industry would see Grace Coddington (the can't-miss redhead above) on the street, they likely wouldn't guess that she works at VOGUE. Grace wears a daily uniform of all black (probably accentuated with cat hair up close; she has a penchant for Persians) and sports a hairstyle usually seen on mad geniuses and well, crazy cat ladies. Yet she is one of the most brilliant stylists in the entire history of fashion; to judge her talent based purely on outward appearances would be a mistake. One of my pet peeves in the Orthodox world is when a woman's devotion to Judaism is reduced to what she is wearing. I'm not saying that tznius isn't important, just that it's not a defining factor. Write a woman off because of how she dresses, and you may miss out on a beautiful soul.
See the Potential in Everyone. While fashion often gets a reputation for snobbery and backstabbing, the industry is full of creative people with huge hearts. Sure, there are a few rotten apples with out-of-control egos, but they're the exception. Anyone who's anyone in fashion has a story about the person who saw their potential and gave them a chance. We have the same opportunity as Jews. Whether a person is frum-from-birth, or a BT or convert, as long as we're alive, we don't have it in the bag. Being Jewish is an ongoing journey, and a freaking difficult one at that. What makes it a bit easier is that encounter with another Jew who believes in us. Be that Jew!
It's Not About the Label Itself. I've touched on this before. There is a term, and it's not a polite one, for a woman who thinks style comes from being decked out in logos. Which is pretty ironic, considering that the significance of any label stems from the quality associated with the company it represents. A Chanel bag would quickly lose its luster if it fell apart after six months. Not only do they last for decades, they simply do not depreciate, as a Google search for "Vintage Chanel" will demonstrate. (If you are ever faced with having to choose between buying a car or purchasing a 2.55, get the Chanel! And...walk everywhere.) Rather than get hung up on labels, I suggest focusing on what you're made of and let the quality of your behavior speak for itself. If there's one thing that's gross in both fashion and Judaism, it's a knockoff.

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