The title of Avital Tzubeli’s article, “Look Good, Feel Good,” highlighted an important reality: usually, investing time in your appearance makes you feel better about yourself. Nevertheless, I wished this article would have given more constructive advice instead of ‘ripping on’ outfits worn by students and pointing out flaws of Stern women.
The main advice the article gives is to throw on a button-down and tuck our shirts in. For some (including myself), that’s simply not our style. We’re at Stern to get an education, not to impress others, as we would for a job interview.
College campuses sell sweatshirts and sweatpants emblazoned with their logos for a reason- it is considered normal college-wear. Therefore, wearing a zip up to class instead of a cardigan should not be criticized. And if, by chance, a Stern girl has an off day and wears sweats under her skirt in the winter during finals week (which I have been guilty of on certain occasions), she might look a bit unkempt, but at least she’s keeping warm and focusing more on her grades than on her outfit.
An important lesson I learned during my first week of Stern can be applied here. Before the first Stern Shabbaton, there was a lot of hype about what to wear. I was excited to dress up and put on an outfit that was extra tzinut. However, when I arrived at the services, I saw that some Stern girls had used shabbat as an excuse to don much more revealing clothing. While this caught me off guard, it also made me realize that every girl here has a different story and makes different choices. If those choices happen to be different than my own, who am I to judge?
At the end of the day, physicality isn’t everything. We are here at Stern to learn, not just to look pretty. If we do want to dress up, it should be for ourselves, and not so we can thrive off of the compliments and approval we receive from others. Beauty can only take one so far in life—we need to develop the brains to back it up. While the girls who are taking the article’s advice might come to class late because they can’t find the perfect headband to match their tucked in, freshly ironed, button-down, I’ll be sitting here in my college attire getting an education.
It’s a New Year—let’s leave the judging up to God.