Women & Girls Out There: I Really, Really Need Your Help!!!!

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  • #595200

    mytake
    Member

    I was just reading through an old thread entitled “Short Skirts-No Excuse”. (Some of you may remember it-but it’s from a while b4 I joined the CR)

    Anyways, I’m so embarassed to say this, but my skirt does not cover my knees all the time. When I stand and walk it’s fine. But when I sit down….

    If you’re a woman (or girl) who is/was struggling with this particular issue, please offer any advice/chizuk/inspiration.

    I know it’s wrong. I know it’s against halacha. But it’s really really hard for me. The short skirts look so good on me. Please help.

    (Guys, please don’t comment. No matter how much you may think you understand, you really don’t.)

    #747664

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Why don’t you try to explain it to us. Maybe we’ll be able to relate to our wives and daughters more easily then.

    #747665

    shuli
    Participant

    guys so wont understand…dont even try explaining, and hey i know what its like…i have such cute clothes that i grew out of and i wear them…i know its not right…just cant help it

    #747666

    mytake
    Member

    Sorry, popa, I’d rather not. You gotta be a girl to really get it.

    #747667

    a mamin
    Participant

    The Mitzva of Tznius is supposed to make us feel MORE Beautiful, not less in any way. Covering our knees in any and all positions is a chiuv acording to all dayos!When you shop for a beautiful diamond is it on display for everyone to reach? No its locked or behind a counter, isn’t it? Mrs. Friedman wrote a beautiful book on tznius. Try reading just a little bit every day. The awareness will help you!

    #747668

    csilver1516
    Member

    Gila Manolson’s book “Outside Inside” has given me a lot of chizuk in this.

    Her idea is that tznius is not about clothing – it’s about how we define ourselves. What we wear defines us to others, even if it is not the way we wish to be defined. When we define ourselves as a “neshama (something completely spiritual)”, and we want others to define us that way as well, we choose clothing that help others look at us spiritually.

    It’s a great book and I recommend it to anyone – not only those struggling with tznius.

    #747669

    ZeesKite
    Participant

    What’s the chizuk you need?

    #747670

    Ofcourse
    Member

    As a BY grad, I remember Rebbitzen Vichna Kaplan a”h offering the Mashal (and illustrating with her two hands)-

    What interests us more- the hand where we see whats in it, or the closed hand, where the contents are hidden?

    #747671

    seeallsides
    Participant

    something that helps me in such a situation is the shiur that R’ Noach Weinberg a’h gave about happiness, which do you prefer – eyes or ears, hands or feet,

    in a nutshell, if you focus on how much good Hashem has given us, your problems really get minimized.

    This works for me when i find myself in any nisayon area……

    So, short skirts or someone’s baby getting sick c’v, short skirts or tragedy c’v……..makes it easier to choose.

    Another idea –

    Did you ever see kids looking at their parent’s albums and saying, ugh look at those hairstyles, look at those clothes…..it’s all in whose looking at it – so I try to picture the celestial judges looking at me in the album, and the short skirts really don’t look so cute anymore-

    you wouldn’t think of wearing a miniskirt-so why think you can get away with a short skirt?, a little treif??? ………

    #747672

    seeallsides
    Participant

    Just another word – I just read Mountain Climbers 2, and it has several stories about people going for that extra mile (the natural part in sheitels, etc) , and the rewards they saw. It was very inspiring

    #747673

    s2021
    Member

    mytake- im so so impressed with u! It may be hard for u, but half the battle is CARING about tzniyus! Good for u! One thing that works for me is thinking about how Im such an amazing special person I dont want to look less than that.. thinking highly of myself..it doesnt “pas”.. Anyone can look good in less tzniyus clothes but not everyone looks “special”

    #747674

    shuli
    Participant

    for some of us its really hard, even though we have read all the books and heard all the stuff.

    #747675

    mytake
    Member

    Hey, everyone! Thank you so much for your posts, although some of them speak to me more than others, I appreciate all of it just the same.

    If anyone has anything to offer allong the lines of “What To Tell Yourself When Youre Getting Dressed In The Morning and That Not-Long-Enough-Skirt Is Calling Your Name” I would love hearing from you! (Something like what seeallsides and s2021 posted.)

    I am very familiar with the halachos, I just need some encouragement…I’m not strong enough (yet!)to apply my knowledge and JUST DO THE RIGHT THING.

    Thanks again!

    #747676

    cshapiro
    Member

    omg mytake i know exactly what u mean… i struggle with this too. i actually just threw out a jumper, because i knew it was too short but it was so convenient to just throw on with a cardigan for a classy work look. in the summer its really bad idk, i think its a sensitivity that i just lack….i would love to hear suggestions on way to improve.

    #747677

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    So the issue here is money? That you don’t want to throw out old outfits and buy new ones?

    This shouldn’t be a big problem, since after you are 16 or so you won’t be getting taller anymore.

    #747678

    cshapiro
    Member

    popa get outt here….u wouldnt understand. it has nothing to do with money. i will try on a dress, see its too short, and buy it anyways cause my y’h says its okay…go back to learning popa and stay outta womans stuff…

    #747679

    s2021
    Member

    PB- whyyyy r u so interested in this topic?

    #747680

    m in Israel
    Member

    seeallsides — That idea of imagining the Celestial Judge looking at you in “an album” is one of the best ideas I’ve heard on this topic (and I’ve heard a lot!!!) Thank you for sharing it!

    mytake (and Shuli) — On a practical note — although this is tough, a good way to idea to avoid that “getting dressed in the morning” issue is to take a moment when you are inspired and motivated and GET RID off any clothing you have that doesn’t meet the standards you are aiming for. Sometimes the best way to deal with a nisayon is to do the best you can to remove yourself from it!

    If that’s too much at this point, at least make a commitment to yourself that anything new you buy will be 100% according to Halacha — and avoid trying on anything that isn’t,so as to avoid that feeling of “but this looks so good on me. . .”

    I know this doesn’t exactly address your request, but the concept is very effective in many areas of Avodas Hashem. All the inspiration in the world wears off eventually, if you don’t act on the moment in a concrete way.

    Big Yasher Koach to you for being honest with yourself and doing your best to “do the right thing”!

    #747681

    Jam
    Participant

    “This shouldn’t be a big problem, since after you are 16 or so you won’t be getting taller anymore. “

    We may not be growing taller, but some of us are unfortunately still growing wider. 😉

    #747682

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Why am I interested? It’s fascinating.

    I think what I am finding so interesting is that you are pretending that the issue is that you found a great outfit, or you had a great ourfit, etc.; as if the issue is that you want this particular outfit and it is not replaceable.

    The issue really is that you have a y”h to dress specifically in a non tznius manner.

    There is nothing wrong with that feeling; it is natural and intended by G-d. It is one of women’s nisyonos in this world.

    Maybe the better approach is to recognize the real issue?

    #747683

    m in Israel
    Member

    pba, If you read this thread you will see that this is exactly what we are discussing – the y”h to dress in a not tzniusdik way, and how to deal with that nisayon. As far as how that y”h manifests itself in our emotional perception of ourselves and our clothing — as mentioned before — you are not a female, please don’t attempt to “understand”.

    As far as your practical questions — even when one is no longer “growing”, women are constantly changing size and shape, and outfits that were ok at one point may no longer be appropriate, but since they are sitting in your closet, they present a BIG nisayon on a regular basis as a result of this y”h.

    Now go find a different thread!

    #747684

    s2021
    Member

    U r a dude-how would u know what the real issue is? but ok, apparently u know everything.. so – with the better approach- what advice do u have?

    #747685

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Me? I have no advice.

    #747686

    s2021
    Member

    didnt think so

    #747687

    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    mytake (and others)…

    Please forgive me for being a male, but let me give you this to think about…

    We know that the Torah forbids a Moavi from joining (i.e. converting) to become a Jew.

    Yet we know the famous case of Rut who came from Moav, returned with Naomi, converted to become a Jewess, married Boaz and became the grandmother of David, from whose line Mashiach will come.

    How was this possible?

    Because the Rabanim poskened that the halacha refers to a Moavi, but not a Moavi’a, i.e. only males from Moav, not females.

    Why is this the case?

    Because the Moavim were cruel to B’nai Yisrael, but this cruelty was NOT done by the Moavi’ot (the females).

    Why not?

    Because it was accepted practice, even among the people of Moav, that out of a sense of female modesty, women did not come out to deal with foreigners (i.e. Am Yisrael) when we made our request to the Moavim, so they were not involved in the sin.

    Where did this accepted concept of tzniyut for a woman come from?

    From Sara Eemainu, when Avraham told the 3 malachim (when they asked where Sara was) he replied “Heenai hee ba’ohel” -She is inside, in the tent.

    So we see that it was this concept of tzniyut, originating with Sara Eemainu, that ultimately enabled Rut to convert to Judaism, and will ultimately lead to the birth of Mashiach tzidkaiynu!

    So dear nashim tzidkaniyot, take this message to heart, realize the depth of the importance of dressing (and acting) modestly, and what it can lead to, and you will certainly understand how incredibly more important it is than the quickly passing pleasure of “feeling cute” in a too short skirt.

    #747688

    observanteen
    Member

    Hey, this is funny. I had a wedding last night where it was hard having my knees totally covered at all times, and I debated whether I should open a thread in here about this issue. My friend gave me some chizzuk. Here’s basically what she said:

    There is halacha, and then there’s something called “giving a look.” It’s the halacha that our knees be covered AT ALL TIMES. When your skirt covers your knees but, it just “looks short”, well, that’s when we’ve gotta use our Binah Yeseira Hashem has granted us.

    Y’know, tznius is just plain using your senses. We had a bochur at our shabbos table this past shabbos, and I felt uncomfortable serving the men while he was there. I wouldn’t have felt that way a year ago or even a few months ago. It’s all about keeping your eyes open. Before putting on a short skirt, think: “What would any bochur/yungerman think when he sees this? What kind of thoughts will cross his mind? How can I be responsible for this??”

    And of course, keep in mind that Lefum Tzara Agra. The harder it is, the more Schar you’ll get. Hatzlacha!! (For me too…)

    #747689

    Yatzmich
    Member

    Hey poppa,

    Get out of this room. You have no idea what you’re spewing.

    My Rosh HaYeshiva told me TWENTY YEARS AGO, when I was dating, “You and I cannot understand the yetzer hora to dress with the style, but it doesn’t mean she’s a bad person.”

    My Rosh HaYeshiva, who is a talmid of R’ Aharon Kotler Z”TL told this to me 20 years ago when I was going out.

    Please poppa, stay out of this one.

    #747690

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    yatzmich:

    Firstly, what are you doing in here?

    Secondly, I said exactly the same thing as your Rosh Yeshiva.

    #747691

    observanteen
    Member

    Cshapiro:Wow! I really admire you for throwing out your jumper. What courage! It really is amazing. Keep going!

    #747692

    wanderingchana
    Participant

    Why don’t you take your skirts to a seamstress and ask her if there’s a way to lengthen your skirts in a cute way?

    #747693

    cshapiro
    Member

    its not so easy to turn a cute dress into a ‘longer cute dress’ altho ive attempted a few times. the thing with tznuis is that you need to really have that sensitivity feeling, which i cant seem to find myself and idk how or where to find it…

    #747694

    okay then
    Member

    As soon as u decide something is too short THROW IT OUT CUZ IF YOU WAIT U MAY NEVER HAVE THAT FEELING AGAIN!!!! It definitely is hard and pretty scary but let me tell u its the most empowering thing. And seeallsides – I never thought of it like that!!!

    And just another thought – we all daven for mashiach to come in every single shmone esrei… but if he came today would we be embarassed to see him in our skirts?? Will we even be from the good people who will be alive to greet him?????

    #747695

    yoyo56
    Member

    i found many cute skirts that cover my knee while sitting and standing and its VERY pretty you just have to look or go to a jewish store which sells longer skirts

    #747696

    I once heard great advice

    if you have an “adoooorable” skirt or shirt that’s not tznius that you just cant get rid of, put it in the back of your closet cuz “out of sight out of mind” and whenever your having a weak moment put it on

    I tried it and it helped me alot

    #747697

    observanteen
    Member

    OK Then: Well said!

    Cshapiro: Those things don’t come flying through the window, y’know. We’re all here to work, aren’t we? Just like you wouldn’t get kavana while davening without working, so is the feeling for tznius. Hashem created women with a feeling for tznius, but, as the years go by, it kinda fades away. We have to work hard to retrieve it. Try hanging out with ppl who respect tznius, listen to shiurim, and most of all ACCEPT what rabbonim say isn’t tzniusdik. They can still look at it with a Torahdike Blik, cuz their yetzer hara isn’t hard at work like with us.

    #747698

    cshapiro
    Member

    yeah but u havta really internalize it…if ur not sincere about it, its meaningless…thats prob how i lost it to begin with

    #747699

    pumper
    Member

    The more you are exposed to something, the less sensitivity you have towards it.

    For example, when I came home from seminary in E”Y I was flabbergasted at the lengths of girls skirts back in America. Everywhere I went I saw people wearing short skirts and I just couldn’t understand it.

    Now, a few years after sem, it does not bother me as much. I try to keep my knees covered at all times, but my sensitivity has definitely lessened.

    The first time I wore a skirt that was shorter than I was used to, I was conscious of it the whole day and it made me very uncomfortable. The more I wore the skirt, the more comfortable I became, until I barely noticed it at all.

    It will be very hard for you to gain a sensitivity toward something when you are still amongst it. You have to take a step back, and only then can you build a sensitivity. Take the plunge now, even if you don’t feel it, and the sensitivity will come later.

    #747700

    cshapiro
    Member

    nice pumper…but i dont work in boro park anymore…

    when i was working in boro park i was more concious of the way i dressed but now working in a modern orthodox/secular setting its hard to gain back that sensitivity…but it goes along with many other sensitivies that i unfortunatley lossed as well….

    #747701

    kapusta
    Participant

    To be really honest here, I dont like the way I (or most other people, but thats a whole separate issue) look in short. A few things to mention quickly if I may.

    Similar to what was mentioned, the idea that you bothered starting a thread about it means you want to do something about it. And the resolve to change something is the hardest part.

    I know when something is hard for me, I think to myself that any zchus gained from doing it should be for a certain thing. What also may work, is not letting yourself wear anything short even just one day a week. You’ll think twice before putting it on even on an “ok” day. Like someone I know would say, if this is how far the yetzer hara is going, its probably more important than we realize.

    Maybe most importantly, you are completely normal. We were put on this world to perfect ourselves, and even taking what may seem like a small step is really a big step.

    Habah l’taher misayin oso.

    (Some things I mentioned were similar to things mentioned by other people. I wasn’t trying to copy anyones comments and my apologies if I did.)

    *kapusta*

    #747702

    pumper
    Member

    cshapiro

    This shows you the importance of a good sevivah (which is another whole topic)

    But now that you find yourself in that situation, you have to work doubly as hard to keep/regain your sensitivity.

    At least when you are not at work you should associate yourself with people who dress the right way, and you definitely should not expose yourself to the secular media (videos, magazines) because if you compare yourselves to them, even the most untzniusdike skirt will seem very modest!

    #747703

    When getting dressed in a kiddush skirt( you can’t wear it comfortably all shabbos,you can’t sit down but you think you look great to run into the kiddush for a minute and wish mazel tov…)first think would I be embarrassed if ______ were there.fill in the blank with whomever works for you,your high school principal,rav moshe, your mother in law(or future mother in law).There are alot of long cute skirts out there think if the great shopping chances.

    #747704

    I have to second what pumper said. In my community, I have no yetzer hora to wear short skirts because it’s completely unacceptable here. I would be the odd one out and definitely feel out of place. When you’re in an environment where “everyone does it”, it’s that much harder. It’s not so simple to pick up and leave your neighborhood, job, etc., so it takes a tremendous amount of resolve to make a change like that. I give you credit for taking the first step, having the ratzon to change, and I wish you much hatzlacha in succeeding in this. You do have the koach to do it–and it will get easier with time if you keep at it.

    Popa–Most women can’t wear the same clothing at 16 and at 26. Firstly, things goes out of style (and there’s nothing wrong with dressing in style, as long as it’s not a tznius problem). Second, as other posters wrote, women’s bodies change. Tops are suddenly too fitted when they were never a problem before, skirts become too tight, etc. A few kids down the line, very few women can still fit into their sheva brachos clothing.

    #747705

    Kol Hakavod for doing something about it!

    I guess there ARE frum girls out there who care!!

    When I first noticed the style of short skirts here in Israel, I was totally shocked. Girls that I knew to be really frum were wearing skirts that are sooo obviously against halacha! I mean, you could argue that you don’t approve of certain styles and stuff, but anyone religious could tell you skirts above the knee are out!

    Being that I live in Israel, styles seem to filter down here slowly and I personally don’t feel the need to wear short skirts, but since I’m not that ancient yet, I remember struggling with the need to look good and tzanua at the same time, and I’m sure if I lived in America now, I’d be struggling with you. But I remember shopping with my mom and arguing with her that the outfit I wanted is okay, since it covers my knees and elbows…

    But please try to keep your priorities straight. I don’t know if you’re in shidduchim or whatever, but you should know that a couple of guys in shidduchim have commented to my husband that they want girls that look good but dress tzanua, and specifically mentioned girls that cover their knees! and anyway, don’t you want a home that is run by Halacha? Imagine yourself telling your kid that you want them to do, I don’t know, something Jewish,say, that they can’t turn on lights on Shabbos, and them turning to you and saying, “But we also learnt in school that you need to cover our knees …”while staring at your knees.

    Where will it end? If we cannot keep a blatant Halacha, what about other stuff, that people cannot see?

    Well, thanx for letting me vent, and I hope I wasn’t too harsh, but this topic really hurts me, I guess cuz it’s so close to home.

    You are a future mother of Jewish children. How do you want them to look??

    Remember that and throw out that skirt quickly, and then go out and buy a Slurpee to celebrate!!

    #747706

    mytake, as a woman I certainly understand…but if you are already asking and care to serve Hashem the right way, you are almost there. It is a hard nisayon but from personal experience, this is what helps (in every type of behavior, taiva, anything you don’t want to do or should not do…) just daven to Hashem, talk to Him and ask him for siata d’shmaya. He will answer your tefillos 100%. So, if you want to dress like a bas Melech should, AND not like…. I don’t want to say what…than He can certainly help you, give you understanding and inspiration, chizuk to do the right thing. This “simple” method so works!!Period.

    #747707

    p.s. And you are strong! If you were not strong, you would just bury your head in the sand and rely on the fact that everyone else does it. You are trying to do the right thing and that is Tzidkus = Strength.

    #747708

    hanib
    Participant

    Mytake: even when working on the same issue (tznius), we all have different things that “speak” to us. First of all, i found “inside, outside” excellent; though what helped more was hearing her in person give a speech. (also, the 6 diaries was interesting, though i read it after tznius became a non-issue for me.)

    i still had issues with how i dressed – different than yours. but what really helped it become a non-issue was something that i think may apply to you also. from reading your posts, it seems to me that you’re a person who truly is trying to grow. What may be happening is that the way you are dressing externally does not reflect anymore who you are internally. this may have an effect on the type of shidduchim that you are being redt – for you may actually be misrepresenting yourself.

    popa may not be so far off. best advice may be to go on a shopping spree and look for outfits that you look great in, but are also perfectly tznius. you should look nice, but they should reflect how and who you are internally. and then, throw away all your old clothes. even if you do not have the money for it, charge it on your credit card. i did – and the next person who i went out with later confided to the shadchan that he really liked my style of dressing. that guy ended up paying for all those new clothes after we got engaged. 😉

    #747709

    kollel_wife
    Participant

    I think – that getting dressed in the morning is also part of the problem. When we’re in a hurry, it’s hard to try on one thing, then reject it, pick another etc.

    Can you allocate the time to go through your whole wardrobe – decide how many outfits you want to have (start with winter everyday clothes), divide them up into 100% acceptable, so-so, no good, and then try to go shopping to buy enough new things to have let’s say 5-7 100% acceptable every day outfits.

    There are lots of sales now – if you will enjoy wearing your new things, you will then have the courage to get rid of the old “unacceptable” ones.

    Good Luck

    #747710

    Just listened to a shiur on Modesty by Rabbi Yossi Mizrachi on TorahAnytime.com This shiur can be listened to, seen on computer or downloaded onto your MP3 to be listened to at your convenience. B”H i am not challenged with this subject and thank Hashem for it.Eventhough, i did benefit from the shiur, as in the shiur Rabbi Mizrachi mentions halachos related to tznius that i was not aware of. Listen or view and share with your friends!

    #747711

    hanib
    Participant

    cshapiro – i only got that sensitivity feeling after i completely changed my style of dressing. before then i did not naturally have the sensitivity. now, after many years, i think i have more sensitivity than most.

    #747712

    mytake
    Member

    Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts (and helping to keep the guys out!) on this issue.

    I was thinking about this thread this morning, and it didn’t make my skirts less cute, but at least I was well armed for the battle…

    This thread aint no magic wand that makes the short/tight stuff look ugly, but it’s a great inspiration for me.

    BTW- My winning argument to myself this morning was: “Mytake, you are not seriously gonna go out looking like this! You look way too good in this to be sharing it with the general population out there! You will save this look for your husband one day (hopefully really soon). Husband, wherever you are,this one’s for you….”

    Thank again everyone!

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