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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.


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Monday, October 23, 2006

Did I even have to ask?!

Well looks like "Hot Chanie" is the winning topic.
No surprise there I guess - based on the comments both here and on
Orthomom's link to my Six Flags post (which seems to have degenerated into some kind of red shul bash-a-palooza) people seem to have some mighty strong feelings on the subject. My little paragraph even spawned a mini-blog of it's own- when you merely mention a concept and it comes to life without your knowledge it's a little disorienting to say the least.

People seem to have jumped to all kinds of conclusions regarding what I think about Hot Chanies based on my purely observational post. Now that I've had a chance to think about it and read the opinions of others I'm ready to discuss the topic in more depth.
Note the word discuss - not judge- OK Ready?


I certainly have absolutely no objection to Jewish women looking attractive and physically fit.
It drives me crazy when I read that Jewish men are posting things about how no Jewish women are attractive. That's just not true. There are beautiful, attractive women of all religions and nationalities and if none of your own people appeal to you I have a feeling it has nothing to do with looks at all. I appreciate a woman who is not afraid to be herself and doesn't feel a need to hide behind frumpy clothing or dress in the identical blue suit and pageboy sheitel that all her neighbors are wearing while pushing the identical stroller down the sidewalk. Being a frum woman doesn't mean becoming a Stepford Wife and the way a woman dresses allows her to express who she is and what she wants out of life.

Before I go on to discuss the possible motivations of a Hot Chanie let me try to define more carefully exactly who we are talking about here.
I noticed in Orthomom's comment section that one of her readers hit the nail on the head:
"First of all, the Hot Chanie (TM) comment was defined in an environment where such dress didn't seem called for -- as in an amusement park, or taken further, in other "mundane" activities. I don't think the definition applies to how people would dress on shabbos, yom tov, or to a simcha."

There were two things that struck me about the Hot Chanie's I saw at Six Flags, the first was that they were very overdressed for their environment and the second was that they were dressed in a very sexy style while still clearly affiliating themselves with the Yeshivish community/lifestyle.

I grant you that frum women who dress modestly pretty much stand out anywhere they go in the summer. I know *I* do. Skirts, sleeves, and headcoverings are a dead giveaway in 90 degree weather. Add the element of being overdressed and sexy and the Chanie is sure to attract plenty of attention. A woman who is dressed up would certainly not stand out as much at a wedding or a party (or even at shul) where that mode of dress is expected, but when that look is on in full force everywhere a woman goes she has to know that heads will be turning.

As I said in my introduction, the way you dress is a way of expressing yourself - the question is what message are the Chanies trying to convey?

Honestly it's not so surprising that even frum women want to look sexy - it's almost expected of women these days. Even 10 year old girls want to look "hot" - have you SEEN the clothes they are selling in the children's department these days? It's pretty scary.

Based on my experience and discussions with many frum women it would not surprise me to hear that some of these Chanies don't even realise how they appear to men. Despite their apperance they may be quite naive. I'm sure they know they look attractive, stylish, and that they are pushing (agressively) at the borders of their cultural dress code - but the fact that their whole look screams "Take me!" would probably come as quite a surprise to them. While some of these women may be looking for attention it is doubtful that they are looking for extramarital sex and if they knew how their look affected the men around them it would probably give them quite a shock.

What really gets to some people about these Chanies is that they get to live in two worlds - the world of the sleek and stylish (and sexy) and the Yeshiva world.
Women who dress in modest pants, or long skirts with short sleeved shirts, or who live "out of town" can't be in this club, they aren't "frum enough." Their husbands don't wear hats, and their boys don't have payos behind their ears etc, etc...
Yet somehow, because of their sleeve length, these women (who would be tossed out of ANY Bais Yaakov HS for the way they dress) still get to be part of the frummie crowd - what gives?

To those people I ask two questions:
What are you jealous of?
and
Do you really think anyone is being fooled?

Most people who feel this way would absolutely hate the yeshivish lifestyle - for all I know these Chanies may hate it too and this is there way of rebelling against it in which case it's a pretty brave statement! As for having your cake and eating it too what is the "cake" in questions - Living in Brooklyn? Being considered Frummer than your neighbor? Meh, who needs that?

The truly hard core charedim have no tolerance for this kind of envelope pushing and neither do the serious MO's so perhaps within their own niche their style is accepted and who am I or you to begrudge them the acceptance of their peer group.

I think we all know that the interesting part of this post will be the comments section- so get typing!



54 Comments:

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Mrs. Balabusta said...

This post is fun!

Mrs. Balabusta loves rollercoasters, but would never wear a Sheitl to six flags. It just doesn't go well. There are many places where "frumwear" doesn't translate well, six flags is one of them.

For Six Flags I wear a long short sleeve T shirt with a jeans skirt with ample fabric to get me in and out of rides, but not so much that it sweeps the floor. Tichel or my own homemade adjustable snoods. No stockings, (argh) but socks and sneakers.

Waterpark is another good one. Pretty much the same thing but with a jersey stretch skirt, long T-shirt, and no shoes or stockings. I do go on water slides, love em.

I work at an all women's college in Wisconsin, where weather and fashion don't often mix. There is a new trend here to wear a sexy camisole over a stretchy T. It occurred to me that if you had a long sleeve T, this fashion could migrate into the frum world, and it still may. I hope it doesn't because after all, it's still a sexy camisole. I think the new stretchy microfiber fabrics have really complicated things for frum women, because you can be completely covered in them and reveal everything at the same time. So sometime, somewhere you have to ask yourself, what's it gonna be.

 
At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Ariella said...

I am very much not a Hot Chanie TM, but I must say something in her defense. Even though her choice of outfit seems too formal for Great Adventure, do remember that the outing was on Chol HaMoed, and many people do strive to dress -- if not in Shabbos clothes -- a step dressier than they would on regualar weekday. The Chassidim wear their long coats, etc. (I used to see them in shtreimels, too, though they seem to leave them off of late.) So HC may really mean to do the right thing. The tsnius issue is a problem, though. Obviously, if one's look communicates "Come hither," then it is not tsniusdik, no matter how long the sleeves are.

 
At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Leah said...

I get the impression that many of your commenters on this topic are not from Metropolitan NYC. NYC women(and men)in generallook really well put together, more than in most other communities. Maybe it's because they are Wall St execs, professionals, or fashionistas, but I've heard it from so many visitors to NY. They feel that NYC women are better groomed, coiffed and dressed. The frum women in NY are simply a natural part of this trend, without even realizing it. Hot Chanies do not stand out among the crowd on the streets of New York.

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

Why am I the first guy to comment? Ugh.

I have to disagree with Leah. The Hot Chanies *do* stand out, even in NYC. Serach (my wife) is from Monsey originally, and she was questioning why there were so many people in an amusement park dressed to kill. While there is certainly some truth to the idea that NYC people will generally dress a bit more fashionably/trendy, there is a far cry between that and the way these people are dressing.

My wife is (according to other people, since I have no clue) a "great dresser". She dresses nothing like the "Hot Chanies", though.

 
At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it very hard to believe that they are clueless. If they are, are there husbands clueless also? Why don't they say something?

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger Elie said...

To expand on Shifra's point in the post, the reall issue is not beauty, but modesty. These are not opposites, as some commenters seem to feel. On the contrary, modesty is the most attractive trait a woman - or man - can have.

The Jewish ideal of modesty - tznius - is not about looking "frumpy", ugly, or weird. And it's about behavior a lot more than about clothing and makeup. It means not being a showoff, not being pushy and loud and obnoxious in public. It means acting like a mentch wherever you are, but especially when among non-Jews and non-observant Jews.

And yes, it means dressing in a way that the society and locale you live in would deem appropriate and unpretentious. I believe with emunah shlaima that this is what the Torah really wants of us. The specifics were really just meant as examples for that time (I know many readers will disagree with this point of view), not ritual rules that have no rationale or context. A woman who wears pants and no kisui rosh, in America of 2006, can be extremly modest. One who wears "frum" but slutty-looking clothes is completely missing the point.

But I'll go back to my comment in the last post. I fear that modesty, like so many of the most important things in life, just can't be taught. You can have 500 technical rules about clothing and hair covering, and the Hot Channies of the world will still find a way to project an immodest image, because that's their fundamental goal.

Last word: I feel about modesty what Ann Landers said about class: I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Last word: I feel about modesty what Ann Landers said about class: I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

Snarky Correction of the Day:

...actually, that was a quote for a supreme court justice in the 60s talking about obscenity.

 
At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Ariella is a bit naive. The Hot Chanis at Great Adventure are not dressing that way for Chol Hamoed. They dress the same way on any random Tuesday when they meet their friends for lunch. Or go grocery shopping on Thursday.

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger SephardiLady said...

There is a new trend here to wear a sexy camisole over a stretchy T. It occurred to me that if you had a long sleeve T, this fashion could migrate into the frum world, and it still may. I hope it doesn't because after all, it's still a sexy camisole.

I've seen it, or at least something close to it.

Sorry to burst the bubble, Mrs. Balabusta.

 
At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an aside, for the past few years I have noticed the Hot Chanie Maternity model - skintight maternity wear among frum women. While I'm glad to have seen the end of the bows and sailboats my mother was relegated to wearing during her pregnancies, I wasn't compelled to wear a catsuit during my own recent two. I don't know when this became acceptable in general, and then in the frum community, but I'd rather not to see the exact shape, front and back, of a very pregnant woman's body on display for all to see.

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Elie said...

"Last word: I feel about modesty what Ann Landers said about class: I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

Snarky Correction of the Day:

...actually, that was a quote for a supreme court justice in the 60s talking about obscenity.


I've heard that one too, but I remember Ann Landers using the "class" version more than once. She may well have been paraphrasing the Justice's original line.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

dressing like a 'hot chanie' to go to places like amusement or water parks or on hikes or whatever is just impractical! don't they realise that you can't have proper fun if you're worrying about your sheitel or designer shoes?! it's a bit snobby!

i'm with mrs balabusta: the old denim skirt and 3/4 sleeve t-shirts are fine for those sort of things if you actually want to make the most of outing!

i get that they want to look attractive but, as you say, there's a time and place for that.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Ariella said...

Anon., I'm not naive. I'm just bringing up a possible point that should count in their favor. More casual dress was expected because they were in Great Adventure. On the other hand, it was Chol Hamoed.
If you want truly self-delusional, I'll paraphrase what a woman once said in a shiur. She said that it's not just that we [women] like our pretty clothes, it is that we are making the point that a frum woman looks good.

 
At 7:11 PM, Blogger Eliyahu said...

how are we supposed to figure this out without the photos?

 
At 8:08 PM, Anonymous holy Hyrax said...

Why am I the first guy to comment? Ugh.

::snicker:: I know why, I just don't want to say it here.

I get the impression that many of your commenters on this topic are not from Metropolitan NYC. NYC women(and men)in generallook really well put together, more than in most other communities.

I have heard this too, and maybe even true, to a certain extent. Perhaps people here in the west coast dress a bit more casual. We have a friend taht complained about east-coast woman before. To tell you the truth, I actually prefer the long denim skirts that are up to the floor with the t-shirt of a long shirt. There's something very "Jewish" but not Charedi, about it.

how are we supposed to figure this out without the photos?

My sentiments exactly :)

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

The specifics were really just meant as examples for that time (I know many readers will disagree with this point of view), not ritual rules that have no rationale or context.

I'm totally with Elie on this one. Reminds me of that scene in Life of Brian where he says something like, "take this gourd" and they all start worshiping the holy gourd.

 
At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Sarah G said...

Many girls raised in sheltered, "yeshivish" environment are UNAWARE of how men react to clothing that is alluring. At least before they get married. One hopes they get it afterwards, but, by then, they may be used to dressing that way.

I kid you not. A naive Bais Yaakov girl who just wants to look different than her frumpy Mom knows that her teachers say a sweater shouldn't look tight. But she never heard the word "sexy" and she doesn't know what happens when she wears it. And her teachers are reluctant to be too explicit so as not to ruin her innocence. The most they'll say is, you should look nice but not "attractive" - where "attractive" means that you "attract" attention.

Unfortunately, we can't get a really accurate poll here because most of the girls I'm describing are NOT ON-LINE! (Or they sure shouldn't be).

However, you can all state your opinions based on knowing any such girls.

 
At 11:54 PM, Blogger Chana said...

Honestly it's not so surprising that even frum women want to look sexy - it's almost expected of women these days

Evidently the Bais Yaakov teachers have failed to communicate a key point -it's OK to be attractive - but not attractING!

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going to Six Flags on Chol HaMoed for a Hot Chanie (TM, grudglingly acknowledged to Shifra) is not about going on rides, as that's my DH's job.

Chol HaMoed is about dressing right for the occassion. I wouldn't go rock climbing in my Chol Hamoed Great Adventure ensemble, but would chose something else just as chic.

An authentic Hot Chanie would never dress "hot" to impress other DHs.

Ezzie: The name "Serach" may not be "Chanie", but is definitely cool enough a name for inclusion in the Hot Chanie club. And if she dresses the part and has the right mindset, then more power to her. Perhaps your aversion to being the first male commenter has to with your own blog insecurity? Seems like you and the Hyrax need to have a chat.

Apparently, going back to the times of the Chumash, Jewish women were very beautiful and highly attractive -- on a physicial level, not only spiritual. Our Jewish gene pool has probably been messed up due to pogroms and other awful things.

 
At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Ariella said...

On BY education and dressing. BY schools spend an inordinate amount of time harping on tznius. (That's why I am mildly shocked that there are some Hot Chanies (TM) teaching in my daughters' school, oh well, that's what comes of proximity to the 5 Towns ;-)) However, they also require uniforms that guarantee the shirts and skirts will be right. As a result, the girls do not always learn how to put together an outfit that is both nice (attractive?) and tznius. B/c their out of school clothes will not be held to school standards, they can choose whatever appeals to them as fashionable, so long as the sleeves and skirts are long enough. They may see other Orthodox girls around them who wear short sleeves and skirts, so they believe they are quite virtuous even if the skirt is slung low and the top is tight. This type of thing really has to be checked by mothers, but mothers really are the last ones teens want to take fashion advice from.

 
At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Ariella said...

One of my daughter actually had a Hot Chanie type as a teacher one year. I found it ironic that this woman, whose tight skirts rise above her knee when she sits to reveal legs clad in shee stockings, took my 9 year-old daughter to task because her socks did not come all the way up the knee (not bobby socks, though) But teachers don't have to wear uniforms!

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

Sarah said...
"don't they realise that you can't have proper fun if you're worrying about your sheitel or designer shoes?!"

Yes, Sarah, they're all mindless bimbos, who put hours of thought and shopping into purchasing the outfit, but then got up in the morning, knowing full well where they were going, and put absolutely no thought into what they were going to wear. OOOORRRR, since they have already grown up, they have no interest in going on any rides, and are only there to bring their kids, and socialize with their friends. And, whenever they get together to socialize it is a contest to see who can look (for lack of a better term) sluttier.

"...it's a bit snobby!"

How insecure one would have to be to view the way a total stranger dresses as snobby. Do you really think they are dressing this way to out dress you? They are dressing this way for either the attention it will draw, or the admiration/validation of/by their friends.

"i'm with mrs balabusta: the old denim skirt and 3/4 sleeve t-shirts are fine for those sort of things if you actually want to make the most of outing!"

That would depend on the purpose of the outing. The outing here is a social event for these women,and therefore calls for whatever clothes they'd wear for any other social event.

"i get that they want to look attractive but, as you say, there's a time and place for that."

Yes, there is a time and a place for a woman to dress atractive, the time is-always, and the place is-everywhere. Although in this instance I'd hardly call the way they dress atractive. Other adjectives come to mind. (trashy, slutty, etc.)

5:51 PM

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger SephardiLady said...

Glad Ariella said it and not me. I was going to mention that we have a Hot Chanie or two teaching in one of the local educational institutions.

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger Honestly Frum said...

Anyone who thinks that the Hot Channies are not aware of the effect they are potentially having on men are fooling themselves. If they know enough to dress that way they know what kind of effect their looks are having.

 
At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Ariella said...

Mr. Flatbushrenegade, the terms "bimbo" and "sluttish" are far too harsh and inaccurate due to their connotations of easy virtue, as they used to say in the old days. Hot Chanies are not looking to pick up men or even to compete for male attention. They dress to keep up with each other.
BTW I checked for your email to make a he'ara on your favorite film listing, but I couldn't find your email on your profile page.

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger littlejerseygirl said...

"As an aside, for the past few years I have noticed the Hot Chanie Maternity model - skintight maternity wear among frum women."

I was visiting my parents in the five towns and my mom and I were going to shul and a woman with a huge belly with her clothes practically painted on her walked by. It was bizarre.

I wore a denim skirt on Chol Hamoed (ack, I'm gonna burn in...)
I understand that not everyone does that, but you can be comfortable and fashionable without wearing denim AND without being a Hot Chanie. There is middle ground.

I agree with the fact that frum women should not be trying to look like sex pots (TM), but that point aside - I will very plainly tell all the hot chanie's that wearing tight short skirts and high heals to amusement parks makes you look STUPID. You just stick out like a sore thumb.

I'm gonna run over with my kids to the next Hot Chanie in an amusement Park and yell "hey kids, look, Sleeping Beauty is here, let's take a picture with her."
(Then I'll post the picture for eliyahu)

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

Ariella said...
"Mr. Flatbushrenegade, the terms "bimbo" and "sluttish" are far too harsh and inaccurate due to their connotations of easy virtue"

Which is why I used neither of those terms. The term I did use, was"slutty", which is describing a mode of dress, and is no indication as to their virtue.

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

Oh, and the "bimbo" was simply used sarcastically in response to the commenter who assumed the HC's are all too dumb to realize that their clothes wouldn't be comfortable on a ride.

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Ariella said...

Unless you mean it in the sense of "slovenly" (which certainly does not apply to the put together look of Hot Chanie TM) any adjective based on the noun "slut" carries the same pejorative sense associated with promiscuity. As such it reinforces that connotation of the word "bimbo," which suggests brashness and vulgarity about a woman.

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger Ayelet said...

if they knew how their look affected the men around them it would probably give them quite a shock

Personally, I think that is tres naive. It's the way they make heads turn and the "whistles" that motivate them. I don't think there'd be any shock but, rather, they'd be quite pleased. Forgive my cynicism. I hope I'm wrong but I doubt it.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Many girls raised in sheltered, "yeshivish" environment are UNAWARE of how men react to clothing that is alluring.

This type of comments irks me. It suggests that men have no will power or self-control.

 
At 2:37 AM, Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...

jack's shack:

we do?

still wonderin':

it was actually a case about pornography in specific, not just obscenity. but in any case, maybe the quote was appropriate for the topic of the post according to some commenters.

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Living in Flatbush said...

I'm sorry but anyone who lives in Flatbush and has seen many of these 'Hot Chanies' walking around here or experienced how they dress cannot state that most of them are not aware on how they dress.

My wife is not one of those woman (she is from out of town) who dresses like Flatbush girls but she has made friends with many of those who have grown up within NYC. Their attitude is to dress as good as they can, and if it means a killer look then they go for it. They know that they look hot and hot = looking good so they feel why not?

However my comment is really not about that. My proof for how these girls keep going for this look even after they are married is because they are so used to it before they get married. My wife goes to Touro College and the girls are touching up their make up before class! They go to class looking like they are expecting a boy to walk into class and see if they are good enough to marry.

If you are in a society which is about 'dressing to kill' you will of course dress to kill. But do not tell me that many of these woman are not aware of what their fashon is shouting out to the entire world. No one can be that oblivious to the fact that their skirt is a tad too short or tight or that their top accentuates their chest, or that their skirt is going to flare up when the wind comes along, or that every guy on the street is eyeing them up and down because they are walking by.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

The argument against the Hot Chanie (TM) is that the point of the dress code directed at frum women is not to make them look bad or ugly, but to keep them from being attractive to men who are not married to them.

Hence the covering of the hair, collarbone, cleavage, elbows, knees, etc.

The fact that these Hot Chanies (TM) keep within the code but use it to accentuate all of these areas means that they miss the point entirely.

If you don't believe in the dress code, don't follow it!

 
At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack's Shack- I don't understand your comment. No one is suggesting that the men in question are about to go over to a Hot Chanie and ravish her in front of her husband and children in the middle of Six Flags. The issue is that seeing her would make any normal,healthy male have certain physical and emotional reactions that are also either prohibited or inappropriate for a God-fearing man. Let's say this man's wife is a niddah at the time. And he is so excited by HC that he needs help over here, so maybe he will have the willpower and strength to survive until mikvah time, but why should he have to be miserable and stressed out when he just wanted to go with his family together with other frum people to a nice park for chol hamoed? Obviously there are lots of immodest women around, especially in the city, but why must a "frum" woman be the cause of what can really be termed "suffering" for a man?

 
At 8:16 PM, Anonymous ck said...

elie (and everyone else) the phrase you borrowed from Anne Landers was in fact uttered by US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in the 1964 obscenity case of Jacobellis v. Ohio. Justice Stewart's actual, though much paraphrased statement was "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it..." The case involved a French movie called Les Amants (The Lovers).

That's your bit of trivia for the day. Now onto substantive issues. I once dated a woman who was an extremely stylish dresser. She was studying business at McGill and would even dress up for class. She told me that she didn't dress that way (with meticulous attention to detail) for men! What normal man would appreciate the difference between a Tahari skirt and something a bit more pedestrian? Do men really care if the shoes are by Blahnik, Prada or Jimmy Choo as opposed to some plastic knockoff purchased at Payless or JC Penny? No. She dressed the way she did for the other women in the University so that G_d forbid they wouldn't think she was uncool or unstylish and then talk about her behind her back.

As for men's reactions, well, frankly, we can be quite piggish. If a woman is attractive it doesn't really matter what she wears. We'll notice. The hottest frum woman I have ever seen was wearing clothes form a thrift shop, so there. In all cases, no matter what the woman in question is wearing, men ought to either avert their gaze or recite tehillim or something if they notice their mind wandering. All the blame cannot be laid at the stilleto encased feet of a Hot Chanie.

As for leah's comment about well dressed New Yorkers, I say feh! You should see some of the frum French men and women here in Jerusalem! They have New York beat by a mile! And you rarely see a corpulent Frenchman, which is more than I can say for some of the frum New York men I see fressing at Dougie's, Le Marais and other Kosher establishments.

Anyhow, I have a super zoom lense on my Canon. Maybe we'll do an illustrated Hot Chanie post on Jewlicious. We'll let ya know - there's every variety and level of tznius here in Jerusalem...

 
At 1:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a number of you are missing the point about whether HCs recognize the "effect" of what they are wearing. In most cases, the answer is: Yes, they realize they look good and attract attention. They might even realize they look "sexy," where sexy to them just means that people can tell they have good figures. Most of them do not think their look screams "take me."

And quite frankly, if you compare what they're wearing to what other (non-Jewish) women wear, I doubt their clothes do scream "take me" to the "entire world," or even to the vast majority of American society. If you're standing in line next to a woman in hot pants and a skin-tight halter top, it's really hard to imagine that the half-inch of your knee that's showing, or the fact that your shirt is tight, is going to be the big attention-getter.

 
At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a piece nobody's mentioned yet, that has long been my biggest complaint about the Chanies: They know better. The difference between a HC and the "out-of-towner" who doesn't cover her hair and may wear pants is that the latter is dressing exactly as she was raised to do, while the HC is actively rebelling against what she was raised to do. It's because of that reasoning that I consider the out-of-towner to be more frum, at least in this respect, than your typical Hot Chanie in Flatbush.

 
At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Leah said...

Many Hot Chanies do NOT realize that their manner of dress is considered inappropriate in certain circles. Their friends and neighbors dress that way, and so do/did their mothers. They are not consciously trying to send any message, other than that they are stylish.

 
At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO, frumpy looking Jewish women in their shlumpy denim skirts make a much greater chillul hashem than a well-put together woman who may look sexy (by frumpy Jewish standards, not by most non-Jews' standards).

And as for CK's comments knocking New Yorkers ("feh"!?) - what's your point?

 
At 1:02 AM, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

I have to agree with the commenters who say the Hot Chanies (TM) know exactly what effect their choice of clothes will have on others. They dress to impress. What really irks me is that they fall under the spell of materialism and superficiality while hiding behind the frum label. At the same time, I also think it's wrong to dress as frumpy as possible, the "potato sack" look some women go for. A Jewish woman has tremendous dignity and should take care of herself. Attractive? Yes. Attracting? Only to her husband.

 
At 6:06 AM, Blogger kollel mama said...

I think you're right. They don't realize what image they are portraying. they just want to look GOOD like the rest of their community. It has more to do with fitting in the crowd than with trying to look the way they do.This is what their community does, and that's it.

Ariella-they dress this way all the time.
I went to a supermarket yesterday in a "boro parky/flatbushy" section of Jerusalem. I was immediately taken aback as i saw these women with their husbands all decked out in their chassidish garb. The women, as you said were wearing a face full of makeup, a designer outfit that must have cost more than my shopping for the month, and a sheitel sexier than anything. and this was 9 at night at a grocery store.I like to dress up too, and I do like to have my sheitel perfect on shabbos and yomtov, or if I go out for supper to a nice restaurant, I will dress up a bit. But c'mon- grocery shopping? An amusement park?

I completely agree with elie.I have discussed this with my husband, since in my area there are alot of "hippy" women who wear the long flowy skirts with pants underneath or even just the huge flowy pants and they are for SURE more tzniusdik than what even I wear.

This whole topic reminds me of my first exposure to it, when I was a junior in camp. I went to a camp which was 95 percent Brooklyn. I loved it and had no problems fitting in, and didn't seem to notice anything different, until visiting day. If you are a girl and went to camp in the Catskills you know what this means.
This means the girls go crazy the night before (motzei shabbos) because they have to have their rooms spotless. Problem: how can they clean their room, if they need to stress about what to wear the next day? I remember a girl freaked out because she couldn't remember what outfit her mom wanted her to wear on visiting day. These mothers want their daughters to look perfect and not in "camp clothes" to prove that THEIR daughter, even in camp looks to kill.

I couldn't understand what the big deal was, why these girls couldn't wear their denim skirts like they did every other day of the week, until I saw the mothers.
Basically HC (TM) all over the place.
Camp was SWARMING with them!!! They tried to look like they were 18 and the kids who were 14 (?) were trying to look the same age. It was actually quite amusing to me, the out of towner. I just thought it was cute. Even at that age.
Anyway, that's that.

 
At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Shrinker said...

I am astounded at you naive folks who think these women are unaware of what they're doing. "They just want to look good." They "do NOT realize that their manner of dress is considered inappropriate in certain circles." Puhleeze! Listen up, everyone: These are adults we're discussing. They're not innocent little schoolgirls. They are mature women who knowingly choose their style and the message they want to impart. They are fully aware of the effect they have on others, and actively seek it. I am a psychotherapist by profession, so let me explain. What these women are seeking is the gratification that comes from knowing they can turn heads. It's very rewarding, and as humans we all seek that sort of acclaim. We love to be recognized, for our looks, our abilities, whatever. Hot Chanies are the ones who are simply not strong enough to resist the urge to get this experience through the wrong means. Instead of being self-secure enough to say to themselves, "I know I'm beautiful, I know I'm sexy, I know my husband finds me hot and that's enough for me," they instead choose to get this affirmation by actively seeking it out in the street. It is wrong, and should be stated as so. The fact that this stems from a very human need for affirmation does not ameliorate the wrongness of the action. This is something these mature, adult women must overcome, not capitulate to. Stop infantilizing these women and absolving them of responsibility for their actions as if they are children. There is no debate about this. Period. I hate to sound arrogant, but enough already! And this is not a dun l'caf zchus issue, either. When someone does something blatantly wrong, in the face of constant exhortation to do the right thing, you have to call it like it is.

 
At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Leah said...

I have yet to see one husband who isn't proud that his wife is a HC, yet there are many who wish their wives looked as good as a HC. I try to be a Hot Chani (not always successful, tho), and I do it 1. for my husband 2. to fit in with my friends.

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about the fact that to look like a HC, many of these women are bankrupting their husbands. What, yeshivas for the kids don't make frum living expensive enough? To me this is a bigger point than whether they look sexy or not

 
At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy!
Shake that Sheitel mammeh,
Flap those long sleeves in the air;
Oy!
Your scuffed adidas sneakers are so fetching,
Denim streches tightly on your big jewish derriere;
(Oy!)
At least it's not seminary,
No black on black is seen;
But so ordinary,
Yeshivish it would seem!

 
At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Chani said...

Nice post- but what do you have against chanies? lol. What about "Hot Saras" or "Hot Raizys" lol.

 
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