Reuters: JewishMOM Mayim Bialik Stands out at Emmys

Reuters: JewishMOM Mayim Bialik Stands out at Emmys

Reprinted from Life in Israel
Fashion is everything in Hollywood and at the recent Emmy Awards Mayim Bialik, a religious Jewish actress who has played Blossom and currently stars in The Big Bang Theory, has been noticed for her modest dress.

From Reuters:

Mayim Bialik in her mostly modest dress

Playing up one of the most popular colors of the fall season, the red carpet was awash in a variety of crimson and scarlet dresses at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday.

“One of fall’s hottest trend colors is crimson, and the stars didn’t miss a beat on the Emmy’s red carpet this year,” said style expert Sam Saboura, citing Lea Michele, Kate Winslet, Nina Dobrev, Kerry Washington and Adrianne Palicki among the many stars wearing the bold color.

Even actor Allan Cumming opted for the hue, wearing red pants with his tuxedo jacket.

Additionally, bright blues and aquas — showcased during this past week’s Fashion Week as colors to wear next spring — showed up on stars like Cobie Smulders, Claire Danes and Amy Poehler.

“Sleeves were everywhere,” observed fashion watcher Shara Koplowitz. “Actresses wore sleeves that best accentuated their arms.”

That meant short sleeves on Michele, Poehler and Gwyneth Paltrow, capped sleeves on Winslet and Christine Baranski, and long sleeves on Laura Linney, Melissa McCarthy, Loretta Devine, Jayma Mays and Mayim Bialik.

For Bialik, wearing long sleeves was not a fashion choice, but a religious one.

JewishMOM Mayim Bialik at this year's Emmy awards

“I’m a Jewish person, and for me, my goal was to try and cover up at least to the elbows, and (a hem that goes) all the way to the ground,” said the “Big Bang Theory” actress. “I’m a modest dresser, so I was looking for something that wasn’t strapless.”

With the inordinate amount of sleeves came less jewelry. “The more dress you have on, the less jewelry you wear,” said Koplowitz. “You can’t go for flash. It has to be understated.”

Good for Mayim. She has shown she can remain true to her ideals even in Hollywood.


  1. I appreciate her thinking about tznius while planning what she would wear, but she didn’t quite make it. The neckline and slit are not halachically tzniusdik (flatly).

  2. I think we are missing the point here. Same as the comments on the “sexy tsnius” video….
    Tsnius is not just about how many inches away from your neck the neckline of your dress reaches. It’s not just about that peeping collarbone or the knee that sticks out a bit when a woman sits down. It’s about the overall look and the way a woman carries herself. We have all seen women dressed tsnius and not acting it or wearing something very tight or transparent and innapropriate even though “technically” they are dressed to tsnius standards.

    Somebody actually commented on the “sexy tsnius” video that everything one observant interviewee said should be discredited because we can see her collarbone!!!
    Dressing (and ACTING) tsnius or modestly is not black and white. Yes, there are halachic requirements, but this actress’s efforts to wear a long dark dress with long sleeves in the midst of California heat when everyone else’s effort is to be as outwardly sexy as possible is, in my opinion, deserving of praise.
    I think that any mitzvah you try to do–whether it be keeping shabbat, eating kosher, or dressing modestly–is really just great, even if you’re not quite hitting the mark just yet. Jewish life is about growth.

    I’m always so frustrated when people challenge me on my level of observance by saying “well you don’t do this or that mitzvah” or “a REAL orthodox person would not do that….: I hear these things often and always find myself in a situation that I have to defend myself. I believe that doing any mitsvot is great and (although we should be doing them all), not doing everything to a 100 percent perfect halacha standard does not discredit the beautiful mitzvot we are fulfilling!

    So kol hakavod Mayim Bialik on your efforts!

  3. Thank you Cassandra! That is exactly what I was going to write but you did it for me! In any case not everybody follows Rabbi Falk and I have even heard a respectable rabbis tell women not to read his book because it is not suitable for them at their level or in their community because of the way it presents chumra as halacha (although in the community he lives in it is very relevant and suitable because one is obligated to follow the way of one’s community). As far as I understand, there are in fact sources that would seem to allow for a neckline like the one the lady wore in the “sexy tznius” (yes, AWFUL name for a video!) and maybe she is following those opinions and maybe rightfully so? Anyway, even if not, who are we to judge?
    I think defining tzniut by centimeters is missing the point. Tzniut is about being an internally-focused person and not flaunting one’s body. That is an attitude, not just a way of dress (although obviously dress is important). Just focusing on centimeters and judging women just by that is focusing on the external and tzniut is the antithesis of that. Anyway judging people without knowing why they are doing something is not very Jewish. I’m sorry that it is something that would come up here, although I do understand the point of the importance of keeping halacha diligently and the sadness about the truth that many Jews don’t.

    • I agree with the theory behind your comment, when you say that “Tzniut is about being an internally-focused person and not flaunting one’s body.”

      Wouldn’t you think that a large slit such as Mayim’s is provocative and decidedly un-tznius?

      It was a noble effort, though. The general feel is an ATTEMPT to cover up.

      She surely is more modest looking than the average red-carpet-er!

  4. Sharon Saunders

    I sell antique and vintage jewelry and take exception to the comment that the longer the sleeve the less jewelry! Tzniut dressing is perfect for jewelry as the pieces are shown off. Wearing jewelry on SKIN doesn’t do very much for the jewels!

    BTW – I’ve seen women wearing technically tzniut dress who looked like, excuse me, “street-walkers” – very tight long skirts (with a slit) with skin-tight blouses. I think that the fabric you are wearing should, at the most, skim the body and not define the body. Just one woman’s opinion!

  5. The Tznius guidelines also include the fit and transparency of the material, not just the length or position of the collarbone. So a skin tight shirt, or one that shows the outlines of your undergarments doesn’t meet the standards. (same goes for skirts)

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