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Myth: You may wear whatever you want, and if anyone tells you otherwise, it’s just shaming and judgmental.

Truth: No one’s shaming or judging anyone. While I’ve gotten tons of compliments on my writing and the advice I offer, I have heard people tell me I’m wrong. They say I’m shaming people over what they wear or that I’m being judgmental. Here’s why that’s incorrect.

From me, you get the truth.

Whether I’m writing this column or a post for my blog, I’m usually telling people what not to wear, what to wear, and how to wear it. Those things don’t always come off pleasantly. Maybe you were wearing something you love but here I am telling you it won’t flatter you or that it won’t look appropriate. That’s not easy to read/hear.

There are those who simply disagree and who do wear whatever they want and won’t give it up on my say. Those women generally ignore my columns and posts and just do what they want. That’s fine by me. Yes, really. It’s not my job to police anyone. I can only say that if you follow my advice you will look your best, and if you don’t, I can’t guarantee anything. Then there are those who disagree about certain specifics and they might bring those up with me. Those women tend to be very respectful and they know how to disagree in a mentschlich way, and I don’t mind disagreeing with them.

There are those who insist that it’s fine to wear whatever you want and that I shouldn’t be shaming people over what they wear. My question is, who’s shaming anyone? I’m the one telling people that they should acknowledge and appreciate their bodies and not hide them, and that they should use their appearance to show their good qualities. So who is really ashamed here?

There’s a difference between self-deprecation vs. knowing your limits. Self-deprecation is when you think you’re old, overweight, unattractive, etc., and you think it’s hopeless. Knowing your limits is when you understand that certain items or outfits won’t work well for you, but that’s okay because there are plenty of others that will work well for you. I’m here to tell you that it’s never hopeless. No matter what your issues, you have your own unique beauty that deserves to be celebrated. And if you stick with the right clothing and accessories, you will celebrate your unique beauty and everyone will see it, including you.

There are those who say I’m being judgmental. Granted, I’ve had readers and others ask me if what they’re wearing is okay even though I’m not worrying about it. But who’s really judging whom?

The truth is that when people notice your appearance (and they always do and you can’t legislate that away), they’re not actually judging you. They’re reading you. Like it or not, your appearance always sends a message. When you wear clothes that fit you and flatter you, your message is that you’re healthy and active. When you’re dressed in a polished outfit with a pop of color for a job interview, your message is that you’re a professional who can do the job better than any other candidate. When you’re wearing a great dress or skirt-and-top outfit at a special event, your message is that you’re happy to be celebrating with everyone.

When I advise people on what to wear and what not to wear, I want to make sure they broadcast the right message. What is the right message? It’s the one they genuinely want others to see. But this is about knowing your limits. There are clothes and accessories that will broadcast the right message for you and there are clothes and accessories that will not broadcast that message. I advise you to stick with the things that do broadcast your message. That way, people will read you correctly.

There is one area of shaming and judging that I think is absolutely wrong, and that’s when it comes to one’s physical features. No one deserves to feel ashamed of petite stature, a plus-size frame, a large rear end, a long nose, etc. But that’s why I advise people to wear the right clothes and accessories: so that they do not feel ashamed of their bodies or faces.

The bottom line is that if you wear the right clothes and accessories you won’t feel ashamed of any part of you and you’ll broadcast the best-possible message.   


Meira E. Schneider-Atik is a wardrobe organizer, personal shopper, jewelry designer, and fashion writer/blogger and speaker. She helps women look great while saving time, effort, and money, all within tznius guidelines, and she’ll add to that with custom-designed jewelry. Read more about her ideas on her blog- www.truetzniutistruebeauty.wordpress.com.  She also has a YouTube channel, “Look Your Best in Mitpachot,” where she does head-wrapping tutorials, and she is also available for private demonstrations. She can be reached at (718) 644-6135 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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