Hi, I was just your typical 19 year old Seminary girl in South Jersey (if you don't know where I mean, you are probably on the wrong blog). We all have nisoynos, challenges, and experiences, both positive and negative. Here is where I have decided to share some of them.

Location: Lakewood, New Jersey, United States

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I have often wondered what the Torah’s intentions of Tznius was and how it became so convoluted.
For example, take something as elementary as cosmetics. I had a date a few months ago. While the boy was sitting in my parent’s living room, my father called me into another room , handed me a baby-wife and told me to remove my eye-makeup, because it didn’t look eidl . In my high-school, many times girls were sent to the bathroom to wash their face, when something was deemed inappropriate. There were only girls present. Were they worried that we might turn the janitors on.
Quite often, my teachers would quote ad-infinitum and ad-nauseum, Rabbi Falk’s book on Tznius, the Bible in most seminaries. He cites an often quoted Gam’ that says that, before the destruction of the Holy Temple, women would wear mascara and eyeshadow to incite the men to sin with them and this was one of the causes of Hashem’s anger with the Jewish people and the ensuing Destruction.
With all due respect to Rabbi Falk, I went to
Hirhurim, an excellent site , that I highly recommend and did a little research. It seems that according to Rashi, the Gam’ is only talking about married ladies, and even according to those authorities, that are of the opinion that it refers to single girls as well, it means wearing facial makeup, for the specific purpose of seducing the men. I find it hard to believe that this would apply to girls who merely want to feel good about themselves.
My point is that quite often a girl’s self esteem depends heavily on her looks, and how beautiful she feels, especially in the turbulent, emotional adolescent years.
Many girls in my class, looked like “death warmed over”, without foundation, rouge, or eyeliner. If their appearance was so depressing to me, one can only imagine how they felt when they looked in the mirror and the effect it had on their psyche, and emotional well-being.
Another example is nail polish. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to, I do not go to the mikva yet. Hence, there is no necessity, to remove it monthly. Now, I am not talking about something tacky and garish , or outlandishly provocative like neon green with white pokadots. However, I am often told by many well-meaning ladies that even something simple like pink or lite silver, “pasht nisht far a Yiddishe meidl” ( isn’t proper for a Jewish girl). Having my nails done in a salon is tremendously uplifting to my morale, and makes me feel good about myself. Whereas, bare nails is a painful reminder that I am not a Calla yet. Sometimes, all it takes is the right nail-polish and perfume to ward off depression. It is a lot cheaper monetarily and psychologically then anti-depressants or even eating the wrong things and gaining weight.
So I would implore and cajol all Bais Yacov high-school and Seminary principals and teachers to to realize the effect they are having in destroying the self-esteem of our precious and innocent young girls, when you write up and enforce your policies.
As always, I would appreciate all feedback..


Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i think you're right about that. girls often have a need to feel they look good, (and believe me i can relate) and from what you say, they do not even take in to account how the girls feel and that really is just terrible. though, permit me to say, boys can have similar problems sometimes. but i think that, a person in that situation who hasn't really found anyone in particular yet, that mabye they still are best of not trying to make themselves what they are not, and should instead find rewarding things they can do.

just my two cents.

8/25/2005 9:17 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Semgirl, speaking of Oz Vehadar Levusha, this is one of my favorites. Take a look at the comments, especially Steve Brizel's. Enjoy.

8/25/2005 9:30 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

SG - Well worth the wait (although I must admit that even with over 100 comments, I wasn't done with the last post). I have two very opposite reactions to your thoughts.

On the one hand, I totally agree with you that the ideas of Tznius have been hijacked and institutionalized. In many contexts, set rules have taken precedence over common sense. In this sense, you are right that girls need a little leeway and flexibility. Especially when they're just amongst girls. And I don't understand how your father thinks he knows how you want to come across on a date.

But while I think your Mechanchim might be overreaching on defining Tznius, I don't think they are too off in condemning the same behavior you support. The same rationale you present in defense of girls needing freedom in how they look seems to be a legitimate point that in my humble opinion is contrary to Torah ideals. You say that a girl's self-esteem is lifted by looking good. This may or not be a truism; I have no basis on which to comment. But I do think that basing your self worth in how you look is not a Jewish concept. Pop culture tells you that you only mean something if you are attractive. Judaism teaches that your self worth is defined by your own efforts at doing good. So if your Mechanchim are trying to teach you that your own value extends beyond how you look that day, that is wonderful. Should they hide that lesson in the walls of Tznius, where you can't distinguish between "tempting" guys and building your own self-esteem through productive channels? No.

The funny thing is that if your father and Mechanchim would've done more to build your self-esteem and build a relationship with you, instead of telling you that everything you do is heathenistic, than you might not have needed beauty to realize your own self-worth.

Of course, self-esteem is not Halacha. If dressing a certain way is against Hilchos Tznius, then somebody can't decide that they'll do something else and call it Halacha. But if dressing a certain way is just to fulfill an empty vision of self esteem, I don't think anyone can say it is Assur. Every person has to apply the values of Torah as they seem them on their level.

8/25/2005 10:04 PM  
Blogger tuesdaywishes said...

When it comes to makeup, I think if anyone can tell what you are wearing, you are wearing too much. Be subtle, and you'll look much more sophisticated. Same with perfume, by the way. It should be a suggestion, a feeling in the air, not a cloud.

I didn't wear makeup when I was a teenager (back in the Stone Age, aka 1987)and my boyfriend then, (hubby now) thought it was really cool. So did the guys he was friends with ("She lets you see her face naked? What a gutsy girl!) In fact his best friend convinced his fiancee to stop wearing makeup too. Problem was, I'm naturally beautiful (or at least have pink cheeks and darker pink lips) whereas she was pretty pale and washed out looking. Oh well.

8/25/2005 10:42 PM  
Blogger fghf said...

The thing that bothers me the most about Falk’s book is its dishonesty.

Falk writes on page 178 that when publishing books on Gedolim of the prewar era, photos of their families should be omitted or doctored, to conceal that these Gedolim’s families dressed in a manner inconsistent with what he asserts is the required Tznius standards. The doctoring of photos is something one would expect out of repressive and totalitarian societies. It says something about him that he supports it.

He refuses to admit that the prewar Gedolim’s families dressed in a manner incompatible with his standards of Tznius. This is in spite of overwhelming photographic evidence that shows it to be the case. He explains that these photos typically were taken “in a private garden and totally out of the eye of the public.” He is old enough to know that women in the prewar years did not comply with his rules, even among the families of Gedolim. He probably assumes, unfortunately somewhat correctly that most of the Bais Yaakov girls who read his book do not know enough about history to know his statement is a lie.

8/25/2005 11:25 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

SB that is an unbelievablely interesting and resourceful article you linked. Too much to absorb on one sitting, but I will go thru it. I greatly appreciate you posting it

8/26/2005 12:05 AM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

OMG! SemGirl, you are SO on the money!! And another post! I could not have said better what you just did. I really wish we could get all teachers and mechanchos to read this.

I will make a few points. I totally agree that like schools just don't get it that some girls need make-up, the basics, foundation etc. just to look decent. Not everyone is so lucky. It is almost cruelty to make such a girl wash her face off. You are really torturing her and I wonder how Hashem feels about the tears she will cry at night for how stupid she felt among her friends after she was sent to "wash her face off".

On the other hand, I will say that some girls just don't need it, and not for their self-esteem either, and are just doing it to try to stand out, and above others. Like looking for attention. So the make-up may be wrong, but the teacher should wonder why the girl craves so much attention and try to help her.

Josh is totally right that self-esteem should not hinge on looks, but you have to realize the realities of being a teen-ager, and you cannot be mean. Like let the teachers and schools do such a good job on chinuch so the girl will realize her self-worth even though maybe her looks aren't so great. Then she herself will not go crazy with the make-up. Not doing the right chinuch job by teaching this, and just preaching tznius is wrong.

And TW, lucky you, and yes, a pretty girl sometimes is prettier and cooler with no make-up. But like you admit, not everybody is so lucky.

I personally don't usually wear that much make up, (B"H I do have natural color, even too much in the red cheeks dept, sometimes I put on base just to cover it)but I had a cute story with a friend who like came to visit me on the second day of Yom Tov. I know her through a freind and not school, and usually saw her with tonz of make-up. i never thought anything of it. Then like when she came Yom Tov, she obviously had no make-up, cause it was already the second day, and it struck me how pretty she really looked. And I just like told her Wow, you look so pretty like this. Like I didn't mean anything, it just struck me. And she called me after Yom Tov and told me she thought about it alot, and like started thinking that she just always put on and got so used to her look, she never even gave a thought like maybe she was pretty without it. But like I said, it depends on the girl, and ppl have to realize thet.

Gosh, way too long again. Shalom

8/26/2005 12:46 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

elisheva, that was a really really beautifull way to put it. i never ever could have put it that well. (and i tried with my earlier comment)

tightening up on tznius and not teaching the girls self esteem IS horrible, and it's also horrible like fghf said that the teachers of tznius have strayed from what tznius truely is.

guess i don't have anything else to say about it. i'm all tired out from ranting about tznius for so long.

8/26/2005 10:02 AM  
Blogger fsgsf said...

I am sorry your father made you do that! I am sure he meant well, but MY GOD!! He is so wrong!

Secondly, that Falk book should be banned and/or burned!! It is so over the top even many "Gedolim" are against it!!



NJ from NJ

8/26/2005 10:07 AM  
Blogger Elster said...

Self Esteem. Based on my (admittedly limited knowledge and experience), perhaps the 2 most important words in a young girl's life (though she probbaly doesn't know it). Though in my humble opinion it may be too simplistic to boil down such a paramount issue to "the makeup dilema".

While self esteem is a major issue with both sexes, I think that for girls it is THE issue. Boys and Girls are different. The develop differently, they think differently they act differently. And how they are shaped begins at an early age. I would suggest that the number 1 priority of parents of a school age girl should be to make her feel special/important/good about herself - to drill that into her young mind. Otherwise, she will be chewed up and spit out in school. You need to have a very strong emotional center to survive in high school; especially for girls. And it really falls on the parents to provide a young child with a sense of self-worth.

8/26/2005 10:16 AM  
Blogger ms. shtark said...

hey i agree with you whole heartedly on this one.. your father really means for your good and stuff but i would also be kind of pissed if my father did that to me!

8/26/2005 11:15 AM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

There are, lulei demistafina, two distinct issues here.

One, tznius as it relates to the girl herself. In this area I think only the women ought to have an opinion, although I think Josh (clearly the most eloquent of the group) put it best--that we are all victims of pop cultures influences. Otherwise, I feel your pain, and I seriously wonder if your father has a clue about who hsi daughter is.

Point two, however, is the role of tznius vis-a-vis men. Here, I think women still don't understand how sensitive men are to a woman's appearance. Especially in today's world where the yeitzer hara of sexual temptations is running high, it is critical for the frum community to take, perhaps, extraordinary steps to protect the sanctity of klal (that is, the COMMUNITY of) Yisrael.

I am not going to defend Rabbi Falk's book. Nor am I going to try to tell women how to dress or how much makeup to put on. But I think it is imperative for a girl, when she stands before the mirror to choose an outfit or to apply mascara, to include in her judgement how men will respond to seeing her in the street.

8/26/2005 12:27 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

cloo jew you do know that is a cop out from our job of ignoring entirely non tziusdik girls? seriously, if not those girls then some others will bother the young guys. that reasoning just doesn't hold up.

they should do it for their self esteem so they are not selling themselves out by playing on men's weaknesses. not so they don't turn a man on.
a guy who want's to be turned on will be turned on and a guy who doesn't wont... it's that simple.

post scipt:
cloojew, you'll see that reasoning bashed to peices in mesechtas makos. look under the catagory of a woman forcing a man in to the act. it's very very plain there that men, if they just are not interested, will NOT have a problem.
like to hear you're take on that passage. (perek gimel about 1/3rd of the way through.

gut shabbos!

8/26/2005 6:24 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

"cloo jew you do know that is a cop out from our job of ignoring entirely non tziusdik girls?...a guy who want's to be turned on will be turned on and a guy who doesn't wont... it's that simple."--halfnutcase.

Actually, lulei demistafina, it's NOT that simple--and any guy (I should probably say EVERY guy) who has ever struggled with his yeitzer hara knows it.

Certainly, there is no question that the men must try and control what they do and do not see--I seriously doubt any guy is going to avoid going to hell by blaming his aveiros on the women.


It is a copout to hold that the women can dress immodestly and then say "It's the guy's problem." Where one chooses to draw the line of tznius is up to her and her rabbi, but you can't say there is no line to be drawn. There is, lulei demistafina, a "lifnei iver" issue for the women.

8/28/2005 1:27 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

"they should do it for their self esteem so they are not selling themselves out by playing on men's weaknesses. not so they don't turn a man on.
a guy who want's to be turned on will be turned on and a guy who doesn't wont... it's that simple."

the point is they are doing it for them selves. not for the men. tell me, do you have a creative imagination about every single non-jewish woman who passes by in her spaggeti strap tops and shorts that are not even passing the tops of her thighs? i don't, nor do any of the guys i know. how come? they don't look. nor are they interested, and i'll tell you what else, they aren't even married, and are about 20 years old. so please tell me still that it's a chiyuv on girls not to turn on a guy? i think not. (and btw only reason i know that that is what they wear is because i happen to know it's currently popular. and it happens to be one of the more provactive outfits a girl could wear, no i've never actualy paid attention to a girl wearing them. hope that's clear)

8/28/2005 6:20 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I was at a restaurant this morning and saw a (married) Beis Yaakov looking-girl wearing a skirt that probably wouldn't have cut it in seminary. Without judging her, I think this would be typical of a girl who was taught to look at Tznius as a school policy rather than a Halacha.

If a girl doesn't understand the values behind her choices, we can't be surprised when she makes her decisions without taking into account those values.

BTW, SG, happy birthday?

8/28/2005 8:05 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

"do you have a creative imagination about every single non-jewish woman who passes by in her spaggeti strap tops and shorts that are not even passing the tops of her thighs? i don't, nor do any of the guys i know.--halfnutcase.

Yes, lulei demistafina, I do. And so do ALL my friends. We lament the nisyonos of working in Manhattan every day.

I would LOVE to know what you and your friends are eating for breakfast because I would definitely want to try some of that.

My point, which is getting sharper with each subsequent post, is precisely what you are denying--that women DO bear SOME responsibility for the feelings they bring out in men. I don't deny that many of them don't dress for the purpose of titilating the men. However, part of being in a COMMUNITY (as in KLAL Yisrael) is taking responsibility for each other, helping one another's growth and not hindering it.

8/28/2005 11:57 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Is it your birthday???

8/28/2005 11:58 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

No its not my birthday.. What made you think it was..

8/29/2005 12:37 AM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

What's up with the birthday comment? Something we don't know?

8/29/2005 1:02 AM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Semgirl, can we expect that your next post smack of feminine self-esteem, so as not to be outdone by Elisheva? Just how much candor and openness do YOU have?

8/29/2005 1:18 AM  
Blogger Red Adair said...

In a chasidsher girls seminary, this issue was explained as the difference between attractive or attracting.

Girls need to be encouraged to feel good about themselves without necessarily attracting attention.

Tznius is ultimately a state of mind not a defined measurement or level of make-up.

Telling you to wipe off your make-up while the boy is waiting is very insensitive, and I agree it appears that he doesn't really know you.

8/29/2005 1:36 AM  
Blogger Yankel Doodle said...

First of all, you spell cajole with an "e".
What you're making is really a circular argument. Because society around you taught you to feel that "made up" looks nice and you got used to it, you feel underdressed without it. In communities where no one wears make up, (at least not the girls in school) people don't feel less self esteem for not having something they don't miss.
Instead of suggesting that bais yaakov let girls wear makeup for self esteem, why don't you suggest they do something constructive, like teach a girl to have self esteem even without makeup, or even if she doesn't look like a glamour model.

8/29/2005 2:44 AM  
Blogger Y.Y. said...

yea semgirl
you have some great points

8/29/2005 9:15 AM  
Blogger The Real Neo said...


I think your point is very valid. We know a woman's nature is to want to look good and women feel better about themselves if they are happy with how attractive they look. I think parents/rebbeim get overprotective and get overbearring about girls looking good because of the society we live in and what looking attractive means in society vs. what looking good means to a frum girl. When you are looking at someone else's sitution, it is sometime hard to see it from their perspective. The dangers of someone etting sucked into society's practics and mentalt are so great that sometimes even normal, historically similar actions like girls looking good gets people so freaked out now-a-days.

As far as your comments about how it makes you feel to not have your nails done etc. like it makes you more aware of the fact that you are not married, well, I can only tell you that you are not alone in this area. Every day I am reminde hat i am single because I do not wear a Tallis yet.

I think that you should do what you feelis right in order for you to serve Hashem best and you need to feel good about yourself in order to do that. I am not advising going againt your father or rebbeim, but since it bothers you this much, maybe ou could talk to your father and try to explain that you want to look good in an appropriate way for youself and your avodas Hashem. Maybe creating an open dialogue with him will help him see what you are all about and if he understands why you want to do what you want to do he will be more allowing and accepting.

Please god you will be married soon and you can keep your nails short and unpolished!

8/29/2005 10:17 AM  
Blogger JewishBiFemme said...

SEMGIRL, great post!
I grew up way more extreme than Bais yakov & make up was never an issue. my father always complimented me and was never against make up of course I am not speaking about eye lashes extentions and bright yellow eye shadow black lipstip lol I am talking about natural looking It is healthy for a woman to take care of herself.
On the other hand nail polish is a no no where I am from lol I wear them but not crazy colors and OMG they torture you at the mikvah with the whole polish mascara thing.
That was a bit wrong of your father I am sure when you entered the room again you felt complexed or not that confidence after his critic. lol but dads are like that they mean good I hope lol.
have a great day!

8/29/2005 11:03 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

SemBoy: I am not in competition with Elisheva. She did a phenomenal job this this time and I am very happy for her.

Red A: I didn't mean loud shocking colors, such as neon green eyeshadow. Rather merely, what the Gam' mentions in various places,
(do a search in Askthe or esefer) about a girl using rouge or eggs or other plants of that time to achieve a bright color on her face.

Yankee: Once again, I dont mean be a CosmoGirl. Internal self esteem and pride in being a Bas Yisroel and basic tasteful makeup especially for girls
who drastically need it for their complexion are not mutually exclusive.

Mottel and JBF: I sincerely apreciate your kind words and chizzuk.

8/30/2005 6:21 PM  
Blogger Y.Y. said...

bava kama 16:
perfume causes illicit behaviour

8/30/2005 6:24 PM  
Blogger Thoughtfullcare said...

8/30/2005 6:30 PM  
Blogger asher said...

This is your idea of taking life responsibly? Talking about your nails and eye makeup. Quite an interesting life you must lead. There will be a SEVERE shortage of nurses in the next decade....why doesn't someone go into these Bais Yaakov schools and tell the girls to do something with their lives other than being someone's wife, having his children and talking about their nails. 30 years of feminism and we get this?

8/30/2005 7:34 PM  
Blogger sonyared said...

Hey there missy! Thanks for visiting my site....sorry that had to happen with u being asked to take off your, sometimes I think if make-up were never invented we wouldn't even know the difference or what is a more appealing much media and the image of "how us woman are supposed to look" can really get to young girls and mess with their self-esteem..ahh what 2 do what 2 do.Good post!

8/30/2005 8:11 PM  
Blogger Yankel Doodle said...

"people who badly need it for their complection"?
What's wrong with a good old fashioned paper bag? (-:

8/30/2005 8:40 PM  
Blogger bleemy's blemishes said...

Thanks for all your help and support SG!

You are a good friend!

8/30/2005 9:02 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Yankee : This is a very sensitive, serious issue. Your mean, viciousness is uncalled for.

8/31/2005 12:17 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Thoughtful, if you insist on doing that, at least post a link, not a blogname.

8/31/2005 12:20 AM  
Blogger Yankel Doodle said...

Hey Semgirl
I'm sorry you took it that way. It was meant to be a joke. (hint-little smiley face? (-:

8/31/2005 3:58 AM  
Blogger Pragmatician said...

I think many people don't realize an essential objective behind the excessive obsession with constantly upgrading tznius standards.

The fact is that most single girls will make greater efforts to look nice and fresh than their married counterparts will.
Compare lovely smiling young ladies to overworked mothers and place yourself in the position of the husband.
No matter how much a man loves his wife, his basic instinct to appreciate female beauty attained with effort is still present.
Until now the problem was handled by attempting to keep girls from looking attractive.
Since this failed miserably finally, at least in my area, they are trying to educate women to make an effort during the non- niddah days to look nice and attractive despite their long days and hard work.

Disclaimer: I’m not generalizing, I’m sure they are lots of married woman who spend a lot of time in front of the mirror too.

8/31/2005 5:26 AM  
Blogger It's My Life said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Isn't it weird? (the relationship I mean) Anyway, I'm enjoying your blog. I can't believe that things are so strict. No eye make-up? No fingernail polish? Harsh. Keep speaking your voice!!


8/31/2005 9:28 AM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Semgirl, I never meant to say you were in competition with Elisheva, I was challenging you. Could YOU see yourself doing something similar on your blog?

8/31/2005 7:22 PM  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Excellent post, sem-girl.

There are, of course, always two sides to the story. It seems as if the issue of presenting oneself to the outside, tsunis, for unmarried women, is more important than the inner issues of self-esteem, which will probably follow them more into their marriage and subsequent adulthood.

I hope some of the educators take a good hard, look at your comments.

I never thought of makeu- as inciting anyone, especially a man, to sin! But I suppose, if we look at Cleopatra, in her entirety, although not a Jewess, there may be something said about that proposition.

Be well.

8/31/2005 7:47 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

SemBoy it so sounds like you are just trying to get SemGirl to talk about her undies. Like we see on al the blogs how hard it is for guys not to go there, but like she doesn't have to do anything. She'll do it for the guy she wants to, right SemGirl?

8/31/2005 9:20 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Thank you, Elisheva.. I was really tempted to say, when SB first commented. That this is a serious discussion; its not a peep show for his amusement. But I was trying hard not to be nasty.

8/31/2005 10:49 PM  
Blogger turquoiseblue said...

Semgirl - great post!

And to think I will be moving to Lakewood because I assumed it might be better "balanced" in this regard than the community I live in now...

Where driving, nail polish, and other silly stuff are all bunched together as "not tznuasdig" for a Jewish woman.

Though I feel very strongly about not dressing provocatively, I feel equally strong about dressing attractively (yet "not attracting").

I actually liked Rabbi Falk's book, because it made clear (to me) what is "halacha" and what is "a tznuas thing"... so I can make my own decision in regards to those non-halachik issues...

So for example, while I agree whole-heartedly that a slit - even in a long skirt is not "aidel" and provocative... even if its just there to "help walk better"... that peek-a-boo effect with every movement definitely catches the eyes... I totally cannot understand what is wrong with wearing clear or light pink nail polish... putting on (natural looking) mascara... etc.

All these non-halachik "hashkafa" things should be given over as just that - it should be taught as a "concept" as opposed to a
"set of rules". Otherwise it can, no, it probably WILL backfire.

9/01/2005 2:07 AM  
Blogger brianna said...

"In a chasidsher girls seminary, this issue was explained as the difference between attractive or attracting."

Thats's one of the nice little cliches they use that sound nice but don't actually make sense. There is NO difference between being attractive and being attracting. The defintion of attractive means that you look appealing which means that guys will be attracted to you.

9/01/2005 8:04 AM  
Blogger turquoiseblue said...

You're right brianna. Attractive sounds/means just that. A better word for it would be "Classy, well-dressed etc"... (but the word attractive IS used in that context many times...)

9/01/2005 12:48 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

how about dressing beautifull and not... well i'm sure you get the point

9/01/2005 2:50 PM  
Blogger Tova said...

I always feel that the fact that we're fully dressed in the summer attracts more attention than we would if we'd just wear short sleeves and comfy summer clothes.

Wearing long sleeves and a long skirt and tights in 90 degree heat is much more attention-getting than wearing short sleeves and capris or short skirts, in my opinion. Tough luck on me, though; I've gotta wear 3/4 sleeves and knee-covering skirts. At least I've tossed the socks. :)

9/01/2005 8:19 PM  
Blogger KiddushClubGuy said...

I think a woman should always look hot

9/01/2005 9:25 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/01/2005 10:45 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

"Wearing long sleeves and a long skirt and tights in 90 degree heat is much more attention-getting than wearing short sleeves and capris or short skirts, in my opinion."--tova

Perhaps, but, lulei demistafina, take it from a man who works in the big city--it's still not nearly as attention-getting as a tight top with spaghetti straps. Sorry.

9/01/2005 10:47 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Tova I was thinking the very same thought when I read TQ's comment about attractive and attracting. While I personally find capri pants to be very low class and somthing straight out of a trailer park.

You are right about everything else. As I see so many non-Jewish ladies in the mall in short sleeve polo shirts and loose fitting pants and they appear so wholesome and refined. Whereas so many Yeshivishe ladies and girls wear tight skirts and sheer p-hose which is very attractive AND attracting in an alluring way.

Before everyone attacks me I am NOT like advocating Yiddishe girls to wear pants or polo-shirts, but by all means be comfortable and LOOK WHOLESOME and modest, even, if perish the thought you have toss the socks.

9/01/2005 11:31 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Ben you seem to made a wrong turn or wrong click as the case may be.

There are many porn sites out there for those comments, this isn't one of them..

9/01/2005 11:33 PM  
Blogger shlomohamelech said...

Semgirl, I would like to challenge your notion of feeling good about yourself.

Do you put on make up when you alone at home and you have no plans to go out of the house until tomorrow? Do most women were make up the day they don't get out of the house? The answer is, NO. This is why, I believe, that it is not the self-esteem, but rather wanting to look good for others and claiming self-esteem. Those people who suffer from little self esteem, not in the context of good looking, have problems when they are up, sleep, eat or drink. It constantly haunts them and it makes them depressed. That is why your notion seems to me as a myth.

On the other hand, those girls who really need it because they look ill otherwise, in my opinion should be allowed to put on make up. Not for their self esteem, because they don't necessarily suffer from a lack of it, but rather to look good for other. What I mean by that is the first impression. When people go out of their house and they are dressed ridiculously or if their face has no color it makes people think that something is wrong with them. When it comes to shiduchim or whatever, people may have a negative impression about them. The bottom line is, this is all about how others perceive you and not about self-esteem. However, we must remember that this is just about the first impression. As we all know how many times are surprised that a person is not what they appeared in the first place, for better or for worse.

Yet, to say to one girl you should put on make up and you should not, is very subjective. And that is why the schools really discourage make up. The schools are dealing with teenagers, who, for the most part, cannot really distinguish between right or wrong on such issues. There will always be those girl or boys who are looking for trouble. If it’s possible to avoid such trouble by banning make up for girls, I have no problem with it. We must remember that if we save even one soul, it's worth the effort. As for those who look bad without it, those who really need to know the truth about them will know. Still, I am not saying that a girl who goes to a wedding or even a date or any place they want to make a positive impression, yes for others, that they should not be allowed. As a general practice I believe girls should refrain from having make up.

TB, about the difference between halacha and hashkafah that you wrote, a basically agree with that and you have a valid point.

Half.., your point that most men don't care about the non-Jewish women around them. You cannot generalize about it. I know people who get turned on by any women just passing by and other who don't. There are men who produce more testosterone than others.

9/02/2005 10:11 AM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

ShlomoH. I have to admit to me it seems you have a real valid point and I like never thought of it that way. The truth is lots of times I will put on basic make-up even just at home, cause like I do feel good in the morning putting on my make-up. Only on lazy days like when I am just not in the mood and have no pressure of doing so, I don't.

But I will grant you that maybe it's not all self esteem. I still think SemGirl's point is the same. Maybe just the term self-esteem was not exact. It is the common term used these days. But as you admit girls who need it still should be allowed even if they do have self-esteem just because they need it and it isn't right not to allow them.

About schools not allowing it because of the troublemakers, I think you are so wrong. You are avoiding the problems with certain girls but are making new problems with other girls. What do you mean even if you save one soul? What about the souls who will be turned off and disgusted because of how you make them look? You are making them have problems. Just because it is easier for the schools this way, does not mean it is right. A school is responsible for all the girls it has. This is my opinion.


9/02/2005 12:41 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

eFirst let me say that I have followed your comments on other blogs and always found them to be helpful and informative. In fact I told one or two bochurim who emailed me that maybe they should email you and discuss some matters, that I felt uncomfortable hearing about.

Based on my perception of you I am very surprised that you would visit girly blogs; be that as it may, thanks for your comment.

As a matter of fact, I always put on foundation and rouge, unless I am swimming or going to the gym. I had a neighbor years back who looked like a page out of Vogue and I thought why would a Collel lady look like this, I was only 15 at the time. But then, I seen her one day w/o the makeup, it was a scary creature from a horror movie.

As for schools, I personally know of girls that were traumatized by this. Some are off the derech and some are real basket-cases today. I dont think the teachers and Morors should as a general policy
single out girls and humiliate them like that. There should be a counselor who speaks to them privately in the beg of the sch year.

How others percieve us directly has a very big effect on our self--esteem. You talk about saving one soul. I believe many more souls are lost by traumatizing young girls with insensitivity based on nonsense.

As for boys, trust me, I dont wear makeup on Shabbos and Yom Tov, yet
I find that I am ogled or looked at inappropriately much more than during the week with m-up, so boys will be boys, and girls shouldn't be penalizerd for that.

And that last point is totally naive. Yes, emotionally and culturally frum men are drawn to frum women. But in the absence of that, or if the Shiksa is very provocative, the Yetzer Hara doesn't differentiate.

9/02/2005 1:22 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

But Elisheva, the other problem for schools, lulei demistafina, is that they have to have ONE standard for all girls. It would be very difficult for a school to allow some girls to wear makeup, because otherwise they will look pale and sickly and it will hurt their shidduch chances, and tell other girls no. Who is going to draw that line?

9/02/2005 1:24 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...


First of all, I think it's HILLARIOUS that you misspelled Moros as "Morors"--are they really that bitter?! LOL

Second, you say that "boys will be boys, and girls shouldn't be penalized for that." Actually, lulei demistafina, that's not quite true. It's not a question of "penalized" but girl do have to take into account how their dress and behavior will affect men. Sorry, but that's the way the world works. It's called "Kol Yisrael areivim zeh lazeh."

9/02/2005 1:27 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

I think the boys totally don't inderstand the diference between basic make-up and going all out.

If a school has to have a standard it could be not to put on more than basics. Don't worry, maybe the boys can't tell, but any teacher knows the difference between a girl who put on foundation and a drop of blush and someone with lipstick, eye-shadow, the works. If it makes the job of the moros harder, so should we destroy girls because it is too hard?

Therfore, while luli etc. it might not be right to like call guys attention with all the works, putting on basic stuff is different. Then SG is right. Look at the guys stare on Shabbos. If they will look anyway, they will, but it is not us calling their attention.


9/02/2005 1:41 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Umm... truthfully I was challenging you to open up more. Why would I care what undies you wear? Do I know who you are? What would that do for me? If I was desperate for sexual gratification, I would look at porn.

9/02/2005 2:14 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Maybe it's time for semboy to retire. Semgirl thinks I'm prust and Elisheva hates me. Whats to do?

9/02/2005 3:00 PM  
Blogger shlomohamelech said...

Semgirl, thanks for your compliment. Yes, I do read girlie blogs. Why wouldn't I want to know what Jewish women have to say? I am a Democrat... For the most part you all make a lot of sense and I try bring my two cents. The blogsphere is wonderful because here everybody can say what they want and still go home alive. (I cannot understand why bleemy gets so upset with the emails she gets. One of the beuties of email is that you can delete it and not even know that you got it. The person who tries to humiliate you will go nuts when they see that nothing happened to their email. On the other hand, by your response they won.) However, I usually don't respond to emotional posts. I only respond to posts that there is something to argue about. And still I don't have time to respond to each of them. This does not mean that no one should post emotions, after all, a blog is a place to think aloud.

I will just reiterate my point. Make up and self esteem are not one and the same. For a school to decide which girl can and which cannot put on make is very difficult as cloojew said. Outside the home it should be the parents' call.

As to what you say that many girls are lost because they can't put on make up, I don't buy that. This is not the straw that breaks the camel's back. Usually, there so many other factors that are involved.

On the other hand, those girls who do put on make up with no bad intentions, may become victims of those who do have bad intentions. There are bad boys who know how evaluate girls and then they stalk them and so on. One of the factors that the boys consider is make up.

9/02/2005 3:55 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...


I'm much better, lulei demistafina, differentiating between cheftza and gavra than between foundation and makeup.

So I'll trust yo on that one.

9/02/2005 4:44 PM  
Blogger Lost said...

I happened across your blog and was mostly very impressed. However, your last post really bothers me. You honestly believe that HS administrators are "damaging by girls self esteem" by telling them they can't wear makeup and nailpolish? I'm pretty open to ideas on reforming the by system, but give me a break. HS girls are free to express themselves and their individuality when they are outside of school. And trust, they do. When one starts dating, they can put on all the slutty makeup they want..

9/02/2005 6:06 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...


When one starts dating, they can put on all the slutty makeup they want..

So let me get this straight, you want to date (or dated if you are married) ugly girls.

A self-righteous jerk is the worst kind of jerk.

And with all due respect, how do you define "slutty" ?

9/03/2005 9:52 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

CJ :

I'm much better, lulei demistafina, differentiating between cheftza and gavra than between foundation and makeup.

Can you also differentiate between arrogant and smug.


I am not trying to be offensive or confrontational, but the point of this blog is to express my feelings, and I really don't appreciate when the boys are condescending and patronize you.

9/03/2005 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rochel,

I'm glad I found your blog, and the article about makeup at school was very eye-opening.

Rightly or wrongly I know how much feeling good has to do with looking great.

In fact I have a blog dedicated to the subject of makeup.

If you are interested you might want to take a peek.


Ally Saunders
Hollywood Makeup Secrets Blog

9/03/2005 10:08 PM  
Blogger Lost said...

Semgirl.. first off I'm a girl.. privy to knowing all about makeup and what makes a girl feel good. About the slutty makeup.. I just foudn that girls that start dating tend to believe its the race of the dragqueens. No need to jump down my throat. Also, the whole jerk thing.. being in the world for 20 years really should be long enough to teach you name calling stops at age 5.

9/04/2005 2:57 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...


I sincerely apologize to you, you initially came across as a guy, and seemed a bit preachy.

And I pereived "slutty" as namecalling. Maybe I was being too sensitive. There really is a lot of pressure in Shidduchim. Either, you are too "plain" looking, or you are "turning the guy on".

9/04/2005 3:28 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

HNC says blame the guys.

9/04/2005 10:10 AM  
Blogger Ben Sorer Moreh said...

SG, your post raised some important points and missed others. A girl/woman's sense of self-esteem should not be dependent on makeup. It's also not outrageous for a school to create a level playing field and say "no one is to wear makeup here" and to gently discipline those who don't follow. That said, based on my own experience, the frum community, especially its authority figures, as exemplified in its schools, tends to go overboard in finding halachic grounds for suppressing its members' individuality, penalizing creativity and experimentation, however innoccuous and doing so in a manner that deliberately humiliates the individual. Lulai demisterrogers, self-esteem is not a desirable attribute.

BTW, it seems like there's another "Ben" here, but we're two different people.

Ben Sorer Moreh

9/06/2005 2:55 PM  
Blogger Tova said...

I also don't like capri pants, or loose shorts, but I was trying to make a point. No one looks twice at a woman in a t-shirt and comfy bottoms...people stare at my tzniusdik self in the summer. And no, I don't have blong hair flying in the wind; I'm usually in a bandana in the heat to keep sheitel hair clean.

9/06/2005 3:02 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

tnznius isn't the only thing they use to humiliate people.

really its anything that doesnt conform with a narrow view of right according to what ever administrator

9/06/2005 6:20 PM  
Blogger berel said...

Tova, well duh.. Probably because you all glammed up. Most frum ladies in BP dressed "Tzniusdik" (??) are still way hotter then the casually dressed Shiksa.

9/06/2005 8:36 PM  
Blogger Tova said...

Actually, Berel, I'm not all glammed up. I'm usually in a 3/4 sleeve shirt from Old Navy and a denim skirt. I don't even wear makeup all the time, either.

And thank God I'm not a Boro Parker, either.

9/06/2005 8:51 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Tova, thats exceptional polite of you to respond to such a comment. But it has been my experience that the Berels of the world will have something to say (and think, lol) regardless of what you do.

9/06/2005 10:53 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

I assume your parents don't know about your extracurricular activities or about your blogging. So where do you blog from? The library? Work?

9/06/2005 11:15 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...


Wouldnt you like to know..

Actually from School.

9/07/2005 12:40 AM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

I wouldn't consider the average non-Jewish lady in the summer to be dressed "respectable", but I totally agree that dressing tznius should not mean but tight, snug, etc. to show like every curve.

Of course guys still look at us like way more than the plain dressed shiksas I think, but I think it's like a cultural thing.


9/07/2005 1:06 AM  
Blogger Ben Sorer Moreh said...

...I meant to add, lulai demichelangelo, that ideally, your parents and teachers would gently convince you that you are "beautiful" regardless of how much makeup you have on, how much skin you do or do not show, etc. Unfortunately, IMHO, a key part of a frum upbringing is that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you're never good enough. So the above scenario is highly unlikely.

9/07/2005 8:42 AM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

They're okay with college?

9/07/2005 10:09 AM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

You're in school at 12:40 AM? Wow, that's burning the midnight oil!

9/07/2005 10:50 AM  
Blogger ClooJew said...



But re your comment "a key part of a frum upbringing is that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you're never good enough"--I thing that's ashame.

That's not the frumkeit I was brought up with, and, lulei demistafina, I don't think that's the attitude most of the people commenting on this blog intend to raise their children with (although perhaps some of them had that experience themselves).

9/07/2005 11:55 AM  
Blogger Ben Sorer Moreh said...

Cloo: :) (I like to make people laugh) and lulai heemantilirotbetuvhashem, I hope you're experience is more typical.

9/07/2005 6:48 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

sadly enough alot of people never intend to do that, but they do anyway. it's just kind of the way people dp things. you have kids and you turn in to your own perent, or who ever you look up to

9/08/2005 10:37 PM  
Blogger kishmech said...

As someone who absolutely loves makeup........don't let anybody near your makeup bag or your face. Sheesh.

9/14/2005 11:02 AM  
Blogger Mata Hari said...

i've been reading the comments back and forth and i'm just wondering - what about common sense? moderation?
in my opinion, yes, frum girls do bear responsibility for how they present themselves. the issue is to be attractive while still being fine - classy - modest. i don't think it takes a brain surgeon to figure out when you're crossing the line.
as to all the comments (josh et al) about instilling self esteem so girls won't need to worry about their looks - gimme a break! what exactly do you want from these poor parents. teenage girls (and grown up women) have always cared about looking good. it's part of our makeup. it's part of why guys like us. what you should be saying is don't put ALL your emphasis on looks.

9/25/2005 9:37 AM  
Blogger Littleredridinghoodie said...

There is a billion dollar market out there for people with insecurities, you are not alone. Nail grooming for women is part of our torah and culture, I think Bais Yaakov should encourage manicures. Make them mandatory. A woman’s beauty should be celebrated and celibacy exonerated. We are all good girls. It’s the sheltered naïve good hearted one’s that get taken advantage of by the wolves in sheepskin / black and white.

11/04/2005 1:34 PM  
Blogger Benji said...

Your thoughts are valid. Well said. A case in point of educational institutions taking something too far by using religious connotations.

I read in Taryag Mitzvot that men are prohibited from dyeing their hair from grey to another colour (obviously with exceptions to the rule) but females are allowed to. I think this pretty much reiterates your message that although females are spiritually higher than males, they still have a need and a want to be attractive to the opposite sex.


1/26/2006 10:13 PM  

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