Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bikinis on the Beach

When I was about nine-years-old (pre-frum years) I remember asking my mother if I'd be allowed to wear a bikini to the beach when I became a teenager. I thought that wearing a two-peice bathing suit was like the greatest thing in the world, and I guess I thought it was a privilege or something or else I cannot understand why I asked my mom. Anyway, I will never forgot how my mom answered me, I didn't understand what she said at the time she said it, but I did remember it, and to this day I think it was one of the greatest things she ever said.

She responded "You can, but I don't understand why you'd want to."

I remember asking her "Why wouldn't I want too" and to that she said:

"You'll see when you're older."

I remember thinking "wow, thats so cool" and not really understanding what she meant. I thought she was a complete really, why WOULDN'T I wanna wear a bikini like the girls in Saved by the Bell or California Dreams did?

Sure enough, when I got older, I realized that I didn't want to walk around the beach in a bikini (and I had about 1.5 years as a teenager before I was frum in more ways than just keeping kosher and mildly keeping shabbos).

A few months ago at work, my coworker (22 yr old- dating 38 year old guy) was telling me about the parties she goes to with her boyfriend. She was telling me how theres drinking and drugs. And because its a Russian party, the guys are really drunk and all smoking (if not drugs, then definitly cigarrettes). She said that the parties tend to be fun in the beginning, because of the dancing, and if she watches her boyfriend she can have him leave before he gets himself in a really bad state. Anyway, she was like "you should come once." I was like "I don't think its really my thing" and she was like "Oh right, you probably wouldn't be allowed to go anyway."

I told her "I don't think I wouldn't be allowed to go, I don't think my parents would prevent me from going, its just that why would I want to go?"

She was like "yea, I wish I had a good relationship with my parents."

And truthfully, I really am thankful to my parents for raising me like this. I don't feel jailed when my friends go out Friday nights. I don't feel like a psycho religious idiot when I'm not wearing a bikini on the beach, nor do I feel jailed that I cannot experience a party with drugs and alcohol like my coworker so often does. And I do not feel jailed simply because I was taught to RATIONALLY make my decisions as opposed to just being told what to do.

This whole thing reminds me of a really bad date I was on. The guy asked me "What would you do if your kids came home and said they didn't want to be frum anymore" -at this point I already hated him- so I was like "I don't know, cry?"

He was like "well its good you said cry, but do you want to know what I think?"
So I was like "alright , tell me" (in my head I was like 'Enlighten me oh wise one!" and rolled my eyes)

And he responded "I would prevent it from ever happening. My kids would not come home and tell me they don't want to be frum."

I was like "Ok, so how would you do that?" And he went on blabbing about some nonsense. I hated him, and I had no patience arguing. I mean, Moshe Rebbienu's kids were basically "off the derech" you really think some idiot in "Flatbush" would have a sure way to keep his kids ON the derech?

If anything his kids would probably be at the highest risk - but what the hell...what do I know?

There are a few other stories like this, but I cannot really remember them. But my point in telling them, was that the frum community is full of crap. Fortunately, there is a bright side, and that is that all communities have their share of crap. The problem is, is that the frum community points out flaws in secular communities and says "look, you see, they're full of crap, thats why you should be frum" Or "hey look at that tramp, she wears a bikini on the beach and 5 guys dumped her after she naively thought they wanted more than just a one-night stand"

My parents raised me to see the crap in my own community, and to think "really, what about the crap going on here?" or "yea, but I know about 3 girls that wear bikini's and are in monogomous relationships" and judge bikini wearing by the statement it makes about MYSELF not about the trampy girl.


~Lady E~ said...

Good answer that your mom gave you...i think its horrible when people say things like you cant wear it, because its not tznious. Just saying that doesn't develop the kids sensitivity of displaying her body to the world. The answer your mom gave you allowed you to see for yourself why you wouldn't want to wear a bikini!

asher said...

You didn't explain why wearing a bikini was such a great thing. So few women look good in a bikini that the ones that do always get the stares on the beach. Does it make them flirts? Does it make them great cause they have good genes and flat stomaches? Or are they buying into what they think men want to see and buy?

Jessica said...

This isn't a problem with the frum community. It's a problem with the frum community in Flatbush. Back in the midwest, sure there are some of those abnormally over-frums, but for the most part, everyone gets along.

Jewish Sceptic said...

I've noticed the definition of "psycho frum" or "fanatic" always usually tends to be anyone frummer than the one making that comment...

The Babysitter said...

My mother said the same thing to me about the "shrugs" people started wearing a while ago. She didn't say it was untznius, but she said she didn't understand why people would want to wear it. Although most people wear it these days, or some variation of the idea.

Anonymous said...

I feel like a religious psycho and miss bikinis and parties with booze and alcohol :). I agree with Jessica, frum communities out of Brooklyn (and by extension, Monsey, Lakewood, and partially Passaic) are very very normal and tolerant of all. However, it should be noted that they are also tolerant of super frummies. Cant we all just get along?

jewish sceptic...I totally agree, I think that the "less" frum are just as critical of the "fanatics" as the fanatics are of them.

what are shugs?

fav. anony.

The Babysitter said...

Shrugs are like sweaters or a form of shirt that goes on top of another shirt, but its not a full length sweater/shirt, it stops higher up.

frumskeptic said...

Most of my firends are frummer than I am, and in comparison they are "super" frum. Its nothing offensive.

When I mean to be offensive I usually just say frummies...cuz I'm in a rant and I have no patience to specify "super" No point.

Plus, yes...If I had any desire to be "super" frum I would just do it. theres a reason I dont do it, and its cuz I think they're nuts.

Its like my mom asked her coworker, why do you have to be frum and take upon all the stupid crazy chumras, why can't you be frum without the nonsense?
lady had nothing to answer!

Obviously "normal" is relative, but theres a reason I'm not super frum myself, and that is why I'm critical of their ways. If i werent critical of their ways I would be a hypocrite for NOT being one of them.

It would be like "I think they're right for wearing seams on their stockings, and the fact that they wear clothes 10 sizes too big in the name of tznious, is sooo right," But not actually wear the seams or the loose would make no sense.

As long as I'm critical about my own choices and LISTEN to them when tehy speak, I do nothing wrong by calling them "super" frummy.

I dont understand why people dont get that. Generally speaking.
If i were the type of person who was like "OMG the super frummies are diong that, thats soo silly" I could understand why people constantly see something wrong with "super frummie" But if I hear what they're saying, think about it, THEN react with "oh, thats silly" I see nothing wrong with thinking they're nuts or referring to them as "super"