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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Lesson Learned from The Bachelor

I was watching The Bachelor last night (don’t even start, I know it's trash television, but it is seductively addictive) and the importance of tznius was driven home to me. For those of you who don’t waste your time watching The Bachelor, let me set the stage. One of the women vying for the Bachelor’s attention, Kimberly (who happens to be a swimsuit model), was taken out on a one-on-one date. She decided against one slutty outfit in exchange for another one that her fellow Bachelorette’s deemed a bit more suitable for an art gallery. Her outfit consisted of an extremely short dress with a very low-cut top and a jacket over it that of course was off pretty early in the evening. As the date wore on, she was very obviously flaunting her body in hopes that it would win her a rose. She went to long lengths to show off her cleavage, rub her body next to the Bachelor’s, and ended up making out in the Bachelor’s bed with him. This, of course, won her the coveted rose and a spot in next week’s episode. The show saddens me for several reasons, but what struck me most about this particular episode was the seeming lack of respect Kimberly had for herself as a person. I am a typical woman – I like to look nice, I love when a guy compliments me on how I look, I put on makeup. It makes me feel better about myself when I know I look good. But I also know that there is a lot to me that is deeper than how I look or “flaunting my assets.” And I also know that a relationship based ONLY on my body and looks is one that is not even worth my time. And that is what I saw last night. I saw a woman who didn’t feel like she could catch the Bachelor based on WHO she was, so she was selling herself based on only her body. And that cheapens who she is. Which is why tznius is really important. Without trying to sound like a Gila Manolson book, tznius does allow a woman to try to project more of herself than just the external. Do guys still look at a woman who dresses tzniusly for her body? To an extent. But they are also given the opportunity to look beyond it by a woman dressing modestly. Do women who dress modestly still not respect themselves or have a belief in WHO they are, rather than what they look like. Absolutely, but tznius does give them a greater chance and a bigger push to work on who they are on the inside, rather than flashing around flesh and hoping to grab attention with that. Tznius is not an answer to superficiality and focusing on external, but it does give one an alternate route to looking at a person. I think it is important for a woman to know that she is much more than just a body, and to force men to look at her in that manner. I think it gives a lot to both men and women to go beyond externals and find what is inside. Because the inside is what counts, even if it is fun to look pretty.

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