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Sep 16 2011

Mayim Finds an Emmy Dress Amongst Stylist, Friends & Urine

By at 12:49 pm
mayim bialik golden globes

At the Golden Globes. Tune in Sunday for the Emmys.

Operation Subdued Sexy (aka Operation Hot and Holy) ended tonight amidst thousands of dollars of satin and lace, and a puddle of toddler urine.

When last we spoke, I was trying to work around a dress that my stylist found for me that conformed to the standards of tznius (modesty)… except for the left arm and shoulder which were as naked and exposed as my hairless cat on a cold day with no blanket to hide under. The plan was to add a sleevelet to said dress and at least cover the shoulder of the naked arm. That plan, sadly, was making even the most delicate and tactful friends and co-stars of mine say, “Um, no. No. No way. I can’t let you do that.”

The pricey but hard-working stylist came to my house tonight with more dresses. I had one girlfriend here, another girlfriend on Skype from Atlanta, and my super funky publicist with me. They all had a look of determination about them and it made me a wee bit scared. Picture the “Star Wars” theme music.

All of these women got to see me in a SPANX and not much more, and that’s how much i trust them- now’s not the time for that level of tznius; we’ve got an Emmy dress to find. I tried on 6 dresses with the potential for buying the one that worked best. This opened up more possibility, since big-time actresses can “claim” a designer so that other actresses can’t be loaned the same designer, but if you want to buy a dress, all designers are fair game. Money talks.

Two  dresses were stunning but only covered the shoulders and I was holding out for elbow coverage. The stylist, publicist, and one friend looked at me skeptically. I wondered if Operation Hot and Holy was not long for this world. I started to panic. On to the four dresses with sleeves. Three lacked vavoom, including one that I actually thought was vavoom/perfect/the one, but I was out-voted. One dress was the winner. Truth be told, it’s not “my style,” but it is flattering, smartly-priced, and covers my elbows and legs (there is a slit that hits at the knee which is kosher by me). In addition, it really highlights my chest, arguably the most (only?) improved aspect of my body post-childbirth. Not to brag, but my chest looks awesome. And I think we are still within the realms of tznius. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 13 2011

Getting Ready for the Emmys

By at 10:31 am

Mayim in NOT the Emmys dress. You'll have to wait until Sunday for that.

Operation Subdued Sexy (aka Operation Hot and Holy) is underway and in effect. The search to find a dress to wear to this year’s Emmy awards on September 18 that satisfies the standards of tznius (modesty) is in theory going fine. In practical application, it’s not going so fine. Here’s why.

These are the things that occurred when I met the stylist last week.

1) She was indeed very nice, organized, on time, efficient and not too “Hollywood.”

2) She brought with her some dresses from London (and some from here as well) for me to try on.

3) We found one dress that we think looks dy-no-mite. It’s edgy, unusual, funky, very flattering, and really makes me look pretty darn Hot and Holy, if I do say so myself.

These are the things I did not know which I found out when I met the stylist last week.

1) Some very famous actresses (those who are much more famous than me) can put a kind of gag order on what other actresses wear. They sort of “claim” a designer early on and that makes it a wee bit of a more narrow pool of dresses for the rest of us to choose from.

2) When stylists bring you dresses, they only bring one size of each dress, and you are not allowed to tailor or alter any of these dresses. So you are effectively looking for the absolute perfect dress as it is, no changes allowed. And at this stage of the game, what she brought is sort of what we’ve got to choose from. Are you reaching for the Xanax yet?

3) The dress that looks dy-no-mite is Operation Subdued Sexy compliant…except for the left arm which is completely exposed in a very sexy and not at all subdued kind of way. So my left arm is completely and hopelessly ervah (indecently exposed), as it were. Yes, I am being slightly dramatic about my left arm; just for effect.

Some other things I have come to realize after ruminating over this all weekend.

1) I am not skinny teeny tiny like most Hollywood women and I don’t want to be. But I need to realize that not being skinny teeny tiny but rather a small-ish curvy and – by the tape measure – disproportionately busty-for-my small-ish frame woman who has birthed children and nursed them for the better part of the last 6 years makes me somewhat of an oddity when stylists try to dress me.

2) Add to my freakishly huge breasts (okay, that’s going a bit too far; again, I am being melodramatic for effect) my tznius restrictions, the more famous celebrities taking some of the major designers off the racks, and the fact that I am not in the position to hire someone to custom make me a dress to fit my figure and restrictions, this is not easy. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy.

3) My initial desire was to cover all the way to the elbow, which is a general tznius standard. I may be able to cover my shoulder of the left arm but not all the way to the elbow. This is a compromise that I have made for events in the past and will possibly be making again. I will try not to be grumpy about it, and I will make sure that I stuff all of my sexiness under the fabric we use to cover my left shoulder so that what is revealed of my left arm is very boring, very bland, and not seductive at all.

4) In the scope of the universe, this is all going to be okay. I am still beyond out of my mind amazed and grateful that my life has led me to star in not one but two television shows on prime time television when I come from a family that doesn’t even trace our family tree back more than three generations in Eastern Europe because of the series of events that dumped my grandparents on the shores of Manhattan to build a life for themselves. I am going to the Emmys and it is amazing.

If I can’t cover all the way to the elbow this year, God help me I will do it next year. And while we’re on the topic of God, I don’t think God will strike me down for not covering my left arm up. My dedication to a life of tznius gives me structure, makes me feel protected in a world that often violates, and allows me to have control over who sees what part of me, when, and how. And I am grateful to the God of my understanding for allowing me to grow slowly, gently, and gracefully.

And this year, it may look like my growth reached all the way from my ankles, up my thighs, over my tush, up to my clavicle, and all the way over my right arm clear to the wrist. However, that growth may stop at my left upper arm when you see me walking the carpet on Sunday. But God help me to keep growing so that next year, Kol kveudah bat melech p’nimah (“All of the glory of the king’s daughter is within”), that growth covers my left arm like the robes of a princess.

Check out the first part of Operation Hot and Holy. And read about how Mayim deals with pumping on the set of The Big Bang Theory.

Sep 9 2011

Operation Hot and Holy

By at 10:03 am

Mayim previously on the red carpet

Re: ‘Operation Subdued Sexy’ aka ‘Operation Hot and Holy’
Client: Mayim Bialik, PhD, cast member of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory
Timeline: Operation set to commence immediately for September 18 date of completion

Mission: Acquire very fancy designer gown that conforms to the standards of tznius (modesty) to wear to the 2011 Emmy Awards

Details: Tznius varies in its interpretation but in general terms, reflects modesty and decorum for men and women alike in dress and demeanor. For women who keep to tznius, the most widely accepted guidelines are to cover the knees and elbows and all of one’s cleavage and clavicle. Dr. Bialik favors jewel tones (emerald, sapphire, ruby) and is open to any color possibility, especially if it highlights her blue/green eyes with the gold flecks around the pupils which she is told are her best feature.

Modifications: In the past, Dr. Bialik has maintained the “knee” guideline fairly consistently, but has shifted the elbow restriction to the shoulder in consideration to the designers attempting to dress her for various and sundry red carpet events where even covering to the knee is often viewed as “dowdy,” “fuddy- duddy,” or just plain “not hip.” For the Emmy Awards, Dr. Bialik has expressed a strong and keen interest to hold to the more standard guideline for tznius but is open to allowing her clavicle to show and possible minimal cleavage. TBD.

Approach: Dr. Bialik has acquired the services of a very expensive and very talented professional stylist who is on target and on purpose for the execution of ‘Operation Subdued Sexy’ aka ‘Operation Hot and Holy.’ Said stylist even has Orthodox friends and a spouse who is a member of the Tribe. Dr. Bialik takes great comfort in these facts and this comfort has been converted to excitement which has allowed her to be distracted – if only momentarily – from how incredibly expensive stylists are. Dr. Bialik has had a phone conference with aforementioned stylist and has been asked to provide exact measurements of her bust, hips, waist, and shoulders so that the stylist may pursue the gown in both London and Los Angeles over the next few weeks.

Conclusion: Dr. Bialik is thrilled, as the granddaughter of poor immigrants to this country who arrived on the shores of Manhattan with not much besides the dreams in their hearts and the shoes on their feet, to be attending the Emmy Awards. She will consider it a personal achievement to obtain the Emmy gown that she feels will allow her neshama (spirit) to shine through.

Read Part II of Mayim’s dress search here.


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