Thursday, May 17, 2012

Can we Enjoy the Attention?

Y'know the Tznius talk? The one all girls get in high school about covering the collar bone, the elbows, the knees, etc?
Well, apparently now the schools are adding some more pointers like no slinky skirts, and no kiki riki shirts as they are too fitted.
OK, so I don't agree on the slinkys & kikis, but I'm not 100% perfect and I don't have the 4 inches for my knees either.
I'm ok with it. Sure if a skirt is a bit too short, I will let down the hem, but if it's just covering my knee, I guess it's ok, unless I'm in the presence of a Rabbi or something, in which case, I pray there is a tablecloth somewhere to cover the rest of my knee, or someone to block out my 'untzniusness'.
But here's the thing, y'see, lately I go to weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Kiddushim, etc. and see all these married women walking around looking well, like the women of desperate housewives (think Eva Longoria). They're all put together, wearing these awesome funky outfits, with nude colored skin tight shirts, or very fitted dressed, or slinky skirt/jumpers right at their knee, and they are dressed to kill. Of course, whilst they chat outside with the other marrieds, the men pass by and give them the elevator stare-I know I did a double take with some of those people. I just didn't think it was proper. Especially after being taught that women have to dress up and look good for their husbands and not for everyone else's husbands. I also couldn't understand why, even though you wanna look good, you wanna look like that kinda good infront of other people. But, in my naive mind, I just thought that these few women just needed attention and that perhaps they weren't getting it from their own husbands (maybe the hubbies were sports fans?) and therefore got dressed up like that just to be noticed.
Here's where it sorta gets odd: I recently bought this really funky pair of shoes. At first I fell in love with them in the store-like 'wear it out the store' type, but I was able to control myself enough to wait until I paid before putting them on. They're not prust, but they do have jean and leather and an awesome heel (the whole combination sounds prust, I know, but it's not) with a bow. I wore them this week and lemme tell you-I didn't think the shoes would be THAT obvious. I wore clothes that I've worn before, my hair & makeup was the same as it always was, but I realized the power of an awesome shoe. Strangers would slow down while I walked outta my car. People from the neighborhood would 'check me out' as they passed by. It felt weird with the people I knew (obviously they didn't know it was me until they saw and quickly drove away) checking me out, but then I sorta felt good about myself. It instilled confidence in me-as in, hey! I can look that good that people will double take, and take me seriously-as a woman.
So, as much as I thought it was 'piggish' on the men, I understand that men will be men. I didn't walk in any sorta suggestive way or anything, but I guess the shoes really make a diff!
Am I allowed to enjoy the attention from these heels, or should I feel bad about it?


  1. Mammaleh, as I have mentioned before, men are programmed to look. I don't even wear heels, just colorful sneakers, and I get compliments.

    But keep in mind, you liked your new shoes and that gave you a bounce. And there is nothing like confidence to make someone striking.

    Men are not supposed to look lasciviously. It doesn't say a woman should not feel flattered. Do you want your future spouse to NOT like how you look? It's also about your motivations; as a single girl, you are entitled to look fabulous to intrigue potential suitors. As a married woman, you want to ensure your husband's eyes stay faithful.

    Abba Chilkiya's wife would greet him at the gates of the city, dolled up in finery. When asked why, he replied so that I should not look at any other women.

  2. I'm confused how a swanky pair of shoes make people stare at you more? If it's something like high heels, combined with a shorter skirt to accentuate revealed legs, then I can understand. If you wore a longer skirt and the only difference was the shoes, I don't see why any guy would be interested in your feet.

    Regarding the slinky skirts, etc - guys do notice these things. ASoG tends to wear those sorts of outfits when its just us at home and not when we're out at someone else's house for a shabbos meal. There's no need to be attracting while being attractive in public - and I think some people (men and women) tend to forget that there is a difference.

  3. Princess-where is the source of Mrs. Abba Chilkiya? I would love to see it.
    Shades-a nice pair of heels makes anyone's legs look longer/skirt shorter.

  4. Any chance of a pic of these shoes?
    Actually, high heels do make you walk differently. Still, I think maybe you should just enjoy!

  5. I think it can be found in Taanis Daf 23a-23b. It is part of a whole story about a delegation of rabbis who seek out Abba Chilkiya to daven for rain, and he does all sorts of actions which are curious to them, and then he explains them all in one go.

    And the rain clouds came in her merit, rather than his.

  6. Correct me if I am wrong, but as a guy with an interest in psychology, I believe it is important for a single woman to dress in an attractive way that will interest a potential mate. It is normal for a young woman to want to dress more provocatively, within the boundaries of tznius, especially as she gets older, as attracting a potential life partner becomes more important in her mind.

    I appreciate any thoughts...