This is the eighteenth in a multi-part series called The Tzniut Project. Women from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of observances have volunteered to anonymously answer questions that I have written about their practices, people's assumptions, and more. For more information on origins the project, click here. Please continue to check back with The Tzniut Project to read more stories and comment abundantly!
Note: This post is contributed by a reader. I did include a comment, if only for posterity's sake!
1. How do you affiliate Jewishly? Feel free to elaborate on the words people use to describe you and the words you use to describe yourself.
Traditional Orthodox. If forced to pinpoint it further, Litvish/Yeshivish.
My mother grew up Conservative and dressed modestly to a degree while married to my father who grew up orthodox. When they divorced, her adherence to the laws of modesty pretty much went out the window. I went to Jewish day school and always dressed modestly, but I would wear a bikini at the beach. This is why it's important for parents to be on the same page. It's confusing for the kids. I have two brothers who are also religious and our mother looks at it as the ultimate in rebellion.
3. Are you married? How does your spouse feel about your choices for modest dress? Is it a dialogue or does your partner leave the mitzvah to you?
4. What would you wear on a typical day? On Shabbos? If you dress differently on weekdays and Shabbos, why do you make this distinction and how?
5. What do you think other people infer from your clothing and hair covering choices? Has anyone ever said anything to you outright that expresses a judgment based on your appearance? (Ex: “You don’t cover your hair or wear skirts, so why do you keep kosher?”)
6. Have you ever surprised someone by dressing more or less modestly and making them rethink their stereotypes about what it means to be an observant Jew?
7. When you see someone who observes tzniut differently than you, what are your initial thoughts? How do you deal with them?
8. I say modesty or tzniut … what does that mean to you?
9. Anything else you’d like to add about your choices, experiences, and more!