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Why do frum girls always slouch?

Hey Hesh, I’m sure you can help me out, as you are my go-to for all things that have to do with the frum world. Ever since I became religious I’ve started to notice that frum girls rarely stand up straight, they seem to be in a co0nstant state of slouching. I used to think it was just in pictures of girls with large chests, but since I’ve been shidduch dating I’ve noticed it more regularly in almost all of the frum from birth girls I date. What’s the deal?

Your fan,


Hey Ben,

Thank you for bringing this very important issue to light, sometimes I feel that the “frum girl slouch” as I have termed it is one of the leading causes of the shidduch crisis. You may have noticed that the shidduch crisis rates for frum from birth girls are about double that of girls who are converts and baalei teshuva and I think the slouch has a lot to do with it. Since the advent of facebook and the fact that stalking and fact finding on the internet is perfectly acceptable it seems that the frum girl slouch allows frum girls to be a little less honest wih pictures of themselves online.

The frum girl slouch is a little exacerbated by the Pritzus Crisis, which has begun to effect not only the Charedi world. People standing up straight are generally thought to be haughty and have a lack of tznius. Bais Yaakov’s around the world have it as an official policy that girls never stand up straight, in their older years they can also brag about all of their backbreaking labor in the home when they need to defend their higher spiritual level roles in the home. What is a feminist to do when faced with a slouching older lady who claims to have bent her back through real hard labor.

Yes, the slouch is unattractive, but since when do we look at what’s on the outside. It’s unhealthy, but leading a lifestyle of standing up straight, showing your body off and having no oral limits is also unhealthy.

Find our about the frum girl slouch on 4torah.com

{ 50 comments… add one }
  • A. Nuran August 8, 2012, 3:59 PM

    Speculation: If this is true a couple possible factors come to mind.
    1) Emphasis on modesty
    2) Culture of subordination leads to taking up less space
    3) Look at the other chumras – Don’t drive. Get out of the way when a man approaches. Wear clothes which minimize your physical identity. All of these things make a person more likely to pull in and stop drawing attention to herself

    • Yechiel August 8, 2012, 4:29 PM

      It’s most likely the emphasis on mdoesty, even the girls who don’t come from families that follow a bunch of chumros slouch.

      • CM in SF August 8, 2012, 6:02 PM

        Agreed, but what are “oral limits”? You mean like how I don’t brush as often as I should?

  • Shragi Getzel August 8, 2012, 5:00 PM

    Straight up hashgacha pratis (which, of course, proves that there’s a god but let’s not open that can of worms again), just today your go-to blogger on life in Williamsburg confesses to the world that she was a sloucher, or at least, that her mother considered her to be one.

  • Seriously?? August 8, 2012, 5:22 PM

    The approach to modesty is entirely misplaced. Modesty in Judaism is not thinking little of oneself – that is a Xian notion. Modesty in Judaism is caring about others. As we read motzei Shabbos: to care about the orphan and the widow.

    Stand up!

    • thinking outloud August 8, 2012, 11:17 PM

      what’s an xian? is it pronounced zion? – is that a new way to say tziyoyni?

      • Seriously?? August 9, 2012, 6:31 AM

        Xian is shorthand for followers of JC. It has been in use as such since the early medieval period, when monks referred to JC in writing as X.

        • Puzzled August 9, 2012, 8:29 AM

          As you know, hatred of those with different beliefs is something Jews never do.

        • A. Nuran August 10, 2012, 9:18 PM

          I just call them “Blood Drinkers”. Easy to remember.

          • Anonymous August 12, 2012, 6:52 PM

            Not “Flesh Eaters”?

    • A. Nuran August 9, 2012, 2:27 AM

      It would be nice if this were true. But according to the tznius ruler crowd, the Vaad Ha’Tznius types and the rest it’s all about how much women can repress and negate themselves. Don’t drive. Don’t talk on the cell phone in public. Ever-stricter dress codes. Erase all photos of women. Stone the ones who are dressed in ways you don’t like. Emphasize that women who don’t conform to the ideal are prostitutes.

      That isn’t “caring about others”. It’s pathological hatred of women.

      • Seriously?? August 9, 2012, 7:27 AM

        I think you are mostly right. But as someone who lives inside the Charedi world, I can tell you that it is not really hatred of women so much as a misinterpretation of modesty having to do with repression of sex. Sex in Judaism is a great and wonderful and beautiful thing. It should be the closest we can usually get to Hashem’s presence!

        Instead, the attitudes we see are really more Xian than Jewish: that sex is embarassing and sinful, that holiness comes from separation not elevation. So while you can laugh at me for being a mystic, the fact is that these kinds of mystical ideas define entire generations of Jews. If you think holiness is separation, then Charedi chumras about women are right. If you think holiness is elevation/combination, then in fact there is greater holiness in the sexual act than there is in the separation that precedes it.

        The charedi world’s attitude to history, and photos of women, and extra tznius chumras are all wrong – but are, for the most part, motivated by good intentions. These “mystical” foundations *matter*.

        • A. Nuran August 9, 2012, 10:15 PM

          Strange to say, I agree, and as a fellow theist and mystic.

          What I see here is not the Numinous, contact with the Divine, the Coming to Rest of Named Things, or Remembrance of God. It smells more of ego, the desire for power over others. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

        • A. Nuran August 9, 2012, 10:17 PM

          That’s why I didn’t say “Chassids” or “Charedim” or “the Orthodox” but things like “the tznius ruler crowd”.

        • A. Nuran August 9, 2012, 10:35 PM

          Communicating by written word is different than in person. If you are ever in Oregon or I am in your neck of the woods I would sincerely like to meet you. We would almost certainly get on quite well that way. And that would be a Good Thing.

      • anonymous August 9, 2012, 10:30 AM

        It is true. You are just looking in the wrong places. People that advocate all the chumros that you mention are creating myriads of opportunities for chilulei hashem to occur. They are disgusting, in their perversions of tznius, and misrepresent Judaism to suit their own extremist bends. Shame on them.

        • A. Nuran August 9, 2012, 10:31 PM

          It also has the effect of driving Jews away from God.

          “If piety makes you act this way, why would anyone want to come within a mile of religion?”

          Let’s grant that Torah as revealed is perfect and Prophets are incapable of error when they’re passing on what God has told them them. The moment the Tablets come down from Sinai or the first Scribe writes down what has been revealed it becomes religion.

          Religion is a human creation larded with the faults and weaknesses of the people who create it. Institutional inertia. Assumption drag. Human frailty. Self-deception. You name it. Pretty soon you’re worshiping the religion or religious leaders instead of God. And that is the most dangerous, insidious form of idolatry.

          That’s why so much mystical practice is correct perception and fighting the ego. Staying honest, especially with yourself is hard work. Jewish, Sufi, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Shamanist – they all recognize this basic truth and have methods to accomplish it.

          • Dan August 9, 2012, 11:19 PM

            If you’re granting that it was G-d given, you should also grant that G-d intended it to be followed, and therefore set up a system that wouldn’t be corrupted.

            It wouldn’t make much sense for a G-d to give it intending for people to think like you.

            • A. Nuran August 10, 2012, 1:41 AM

              Your logic fails.
              Back when we were supposedly holy and closer to Sinai we fell away from Torah many times.

              We have free will. That includes the free will to screw up.

              And if it were all perfect and self-evident there would have been no disagreements. It would all be crystal clear. It’s anything but that.

              Ergo, you’re dead wrong.

            • A. Nuran August 10, 2012, 1:44 AM

              There would be no additions, no customs, no shifts in perspective, no cultural factors in religious thought, nothing that is re-examined in the light of new evidence, no changes in Jewish thought.

              Not a single one of those statements is true. Judaism has changed and evolved. If you still have a shred of intellectual honesty you’ll agree with that.

              Torah may be from God. Religion is absolutely man-made.

              • Dan August 10, 2012, 8:07 AM

                Come now. If you are granting an omnipotent G-d, you need to grant that whatever happens in history is according His plan. So that means He must have envisioned all those changes and divisions, and still intended for those who want to follow Him to know what to follow.

                Don’t accuse me of intellectual dishonesty. We’ve been fighting with each other for years, and you know that isn’t true. In fact, you know that if there is one intellectually honest person on this website it is me. (If there are two, it is lex luthor. After that I give OTDWB.)

  • The Law August 8, 2012, 6:38 PM

    this is akin to the “mouth breather” phenomena.

    frum girls who almost always wear glasses look like they cant breath though their noses. Mouthbreathers. (which would undoubtedly impact the oral limitations…)

  • Yechiel August 8, 2012, 7:10 PM

    The problem is is that you aren’t supposed to necessarily slouch, in the Kitzur Shulchon Oruch it says that you can’t have an upright posture or an outstretched neck. The requirement is you have to able to see your feet and the face of your fellow from four cubits away. So that ends up being not such a low angle on your average person and certainly doesn’t require actual slouching.

    • A. Nuran August 12, 2012, 12:14 AM

      Then the person who CREATED the Shulan Aruch was a putz.

      And yes, I say “created”. This wasn’t Adonai talking. It was a fallible, culturally-bound man of his time who impressed his own prejudices and neuroses into his book. He’s not the freaking Pope in Rome.

      • Dan August 12, 2012, 8:11 AM

        Nuran, you are an asinine old fool.

        The shulchan aruch was written only a few hundred years ago. When it was published, the author’s contemporaries did not rise up and say “where did you get all that from, we have never heard of these things!”. You know why? Because they had heard of all of it, and saw it as merely a codification of what everyone else thought anyway.

        And in fact, you can easily trace almost everything in the shulchan aruch to previous works of the few hundred years previous.

        I don’t know why you feel such a strong need to opine about things you know nothing of.

        The only thing you are correct about is that he was not the freaking Pope in Rome. You see, we Jews don’t believe in infallibility, and when something is wrong, we call them out on that. And that’s why the ashkenazim eat fish together with cheese, even though the beis yosef apparently says not to.

        • bratschegirl August 12, 2012, 9:48 AM

          No cream cheese with lox? Total deal-breaker.

        • A. Nuran August 12, 2012, 10:54 AM

          Fool? Maybe.
          Ignorant? Nope.
          The Shulan Aruch is a summary and compendium made up of commentaries on commentaries and reflects one man’s quirky and sometimes borderline insane views. It’s a human creation, not divine.

          I’m sorry, but you always assume your conclusions and systematically exclude all contrary evidence. That means you are incapable of actual discussion.

          The author was human and a product of his time. So were Rishonim, Chazal, your rabbi, and the rest. They aren’t farking Infallible Popes. And they only represent one strain of historic Judaism that happened to win out over the others through historical accident

          The supposedly authoritative Sacred Writings are dead wrong on pretty much every detail which can be checked in the real world. An honest person would admit it and alter his views accordingly. But you are not an honest person. When faced with this you simply stuff your fingers in your ears and scream until the problem goes away.

          • Dan August 12, 2012, 12:25 PM

            IOW, you were incorrect when you claimed that the author of the shulchan aruch made anything up. Your real claim is that the people he is citing made the stuff up, which I’m happy to discuss.

            As far as my practices, I have never stuck my fingers in my ears, and have always explained when there are questions on my practices. This is quite apparent to anyone who reads this site, except eggheads like you, apparently.

  • frumenough August 8, 2012, 8:33 PM

    holy cow, we dont slouch on purpose or for tznius reasons. insecurity is the only possible explanation if u honestly think u see some sort of pattern.

    • A. Nuran August 9, 2012, 2:51 PM

      The demonization of women and their bodies certainly contributes to insecurity

  • FFB Girl August 9, 2012, 1:24 AM

    My mum always told me stand straight so I wouldnt get back problems. It may be less tznius, but at least Im fulfilling Ushmartem et Nafshoteichem.

    • Michael K August 9, 2012, 8:26 AM

      But you’re violating zokfeif k’fufim!

  • Seriously?? August 9, 2012, 6:33 AM

    I am convinced that girls need to take lessons in posture and walking. Slouching conveys to the girl, and others, that she is somehow embarassed or inadequate.

  • Eli August 9, 2012, 8:34 AM

    Lack of phys ed

  • Rebecca August 9, 2012, 10:05 AM

    If I wasn’t allowed to drive, had to move off the sidewalk when a man passed by, and had to cover myself from neck to knee because the men in my community are so weak-willed the sight of an elbow could cause an erection, I’d feel like crap about myself and slouch also. Sadly, the more restrictions made on the frum community the crazier they look to the outside world. My mother told me to always stand straight, sit tall, and walk with purpose and I do. And I know how to submit to my husband as the authority in our home – he is proud of me! No slouching allowed.

    • A. Nuran August 10, 2012, 9:21 PM

      You just don’t understand. They do these things because you’re especially holy. They are protecting and honoring you with all these rules.


  • Yechiel August 9, 2012, 6:08 PM

    Maybe it’s just the Yeshivish community? I’ve been to plenty of Chabad houses and the wives of the shluchim don’t slouch.

    • The Other Mike August 14, 2012, 4:16 PM

      I think you have hit on an actual cultural difference there. After reading “Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers”, I could not imagine those Chabad girls going through life slouching. The messages that girls receive about their worth certainly contribute to their posture.

      • Yechiel August 15, 2012, 5:47 PM

        Also, going through other Chassidic communities I haven’t noticed real slouching so much. Mainly in the Yeshivish communities are where I see so much slouching.

      • A. Nuran August 18, 2012, 12:49 AM

        That was an excellent book.

  • Yochanan August 9, 2012, 7:01 PM

    I’ve never noticed this frum girls slouching thing. But, maybe it’s similar to holding the havdala candle really high. They think it’s a segula to find a tall husband.

  • david August 13, 2012, 10:11 AM

    frum girls ??you mean jewish?? girls slouch, b/c they are so inbredded gene wise that the posterior spinal muscles no longer hold the spine erect ,all turkish mongoloids have slumped over spines. look through the internet .. only truly simetic women have strong muscles to hold their spines upright. oh and jewish women have never done an honest days labor in their life anyways and everything has been handed to them on a golden arc b/c they are by the way god’s chosen peeps. LOL so the spine is inbred weak. thus the slumping froppish tude capisch?
    humble no?

    • Yechiel August 16, 2012, 3:35 PM

      I heard that goyim in some areas were so inbred they couldn’t speak, let alone chew their own food. Oh yeah, those were the rulers in Spain, England and the rest of the goyishe world. Stupid troll, spam is for kids!

      • king david August 16, 2012, 3:44 PM

        europe goyishe ends @ the pyranees leave spain out, they are the untouchables much like you peeps. yes and we learned how to suck our lot through a straw. i hope you live in isreal where you belong and where you are going to really get it.

      • king and emperor david August 16, 2012, 4:27 PM

        this all shows how you jews abuse your women lol, make them slouch and shave their head and have them wear a wig all of their married life. lol. jews are the most backward abusive and predjudiced peeps in the world. and self proclaiming they are god’s chosen people. why the jews three main axioms are all economic axioms not religious axioms.

        • Alter Cocker August 17, 2012, 12:53 PM

          You are clearly sick in the head.

          • emporer and king August 17, 2012, 9:26 PM

            batter than being sick in the cocker

    • A. Nuran August 18, 2012, 12:48 AM

      Pathetic troll is pathetic

  • spacedout BT August 19, 2012, 8:24 PM

    A frum chiropractor is getting a land office business from slouching Jewish women. The source? Lack of phys. ed programs, much emphasis on ” hiding the chest”, poor diet, many pregnancies and holding small children for long periods of time will all ultimately produce and “S” shaped posture seen in too many Jewish women.

  • William Dwek December 24, 2012, 12:42 PM

    I definitely fancy a woman that slouches.
    Elbows also have to be covered.
    And ears covered especially.
    And the hair covering is a must.
    Then after that, I’ll think about whether I will fancy her or not.
    And I’ll also go to my local Bet Din to find out what their ruling will decree in the case of un/covered women.

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