How many haredim (ultra-orthodox Jews) saw the 2006 smash hit from Twentieth Century Fox, The Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway?
Supposedly, none of them. Haredim don't watch tv or go to the movies. As to whether haredim are permitted personal DVD players to watch DVD's without the additional benefit of a tv signal: consult your LOR (local orthodox rabbi). Some would say that's all right. Some would say absolutely not.
A scene from The Devil Wears Prada occurred to me when my ba'alas habayis (my hostess for last shabbos) told me about an article she read in a magazine with an all-frum (orthodox Jewish) readership. Every week, she told me, there is an article about the worldwide shidduch (matchmaking) crisis. One week, my hostess read a quote from a shadchan (matchmaker) who said she would not "red a shidduch" (suggest a match) to a single woman larger than a size 2.
Now, I don't know much about women's dress sizes. Fashion designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen wear a size 0, which is the smallest size. Former First Lady Barbara Bush famously wore a size 14. She was quite large. When her husband George H.W. Bush, as president-elect, said, "America is going to love Barbara Bush," I think he meant, "America hates Nancy Reagan because Nancy wears a size 2." The average woman has hips and breasts, which a size 2 barely permits.
In The Devil Wears Prada, Nigel (played superbly by Stanley Tucci) tells Andi (Hathaway) "Size 2 is the new size 4," meaning the fashion industry has even higher expectations for women to be smaller. That's fine for the fashion industry, which is truly an upside-down world. But the frum community has no business following the fashion industry's lead. My hostess told me single women are making themselves sick (implying to the point that they are missing menstrual periods) in an effort to lose weight.
This is how we wait for Moschiach, our messiah? By demanding that women starve themselves in hopes of getting married?
There are two male ideals: the boy and the man. There are two female ideals: the girl and the girl with implants.
The frum community often prides itself on marching to the beat of its own drum, without regard to current trends--skirt length included. This should apply to waist size as well. I'm not saying it's okay to be overweight--quite the contrary, as obesity is terribly unhealthy. I am saying there are limits to weight loss, and that common sense must be a part of any discussion thereof. Some women will never be a size 2. And that's okay.