Getting Ready for the Emmys with Mayim Bialik – Kveller
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Getting Ready for the Emmys with Mayim Bialik

After the initial hysteria about my Emmy nomination abated and after my parents stopped crying with joy and after I returned from Atlanta, which is where I was when I found out I got nominated, my thoughts turned to the practicalities of Emmy night. Namely, what was I going to wear?

Last year I wrote a very in depth four-part series entitled Operation Hot and Holy, detailing my search for a tznius (modest) Emmy dress. When all was said and done, I ended up with a dress that I loved last year, but as my set of essays described, the journey there was long, complicated, and full of dresses that revealed more of me than I prefer to.

This year, I have a stylist I love, a nomination to my name, and hopefully the search will be easier. Here’s where we’re at dress-wise.

1. I felt confident enough to tell my stylist Ali that I want a “classic Hollywood” type of dress. Since she’s the stylist and I’m not, she asked for more details.

2. I gave her more details in the form of Googling actresses whose style I admire, especially when they cover parts of themselves that I like to cover as well. Examples include Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, and
Natalie Portman
. I also Googled classic Hollywood actresses I love, such as Marlene Deitrich and Ingrid Bergman.

3. I emailed Ali several paintings by the artist John Singer Sargent for inspiration, including Lady Agnew and Madame X.

As I considered the dress, my thoughts invariably turned toward my neck. Why? Because I try and wear a Jewish star around my neck anytime I’m in public, or private for that matter. I like publicly identifying as a Jewish person by adorning my neck with the Star of David. It’s kind of my thing. With all due respect to stylist Ali, she doesn’t always feel my Jewish star necklace “goes” with every outfit and I had a feeling the Emmys would be one of those nights that she would say my Jewish star doesn’t “go” with the outfit.

One of the reasons I like Ali so much is that I can be honest with her, so I broached the subject of the Jewish star literally the same day we started discussing the dress. She affirmed my desire and confirmed my suspicions, suggesting that I wear a Jewish star to every single event of the weekend, except the actual Emmys.

I thought about it and I slept on it and I came up with a proposition. I asked Ali how she felt about me wearing a mezuzah. For those of you who don’t know, a mezuzah is the thing that hangs on door frames of Jewish homes and buildings. Mezuzahs are Biblically mandated and contain a small scroll inside with the first blessings of the Shema, one of Judaism’s holiest prayers. Small mezuzahs are often worn decoratively on a chain and depending on one’s taste, can be very ornate and beautiful.

I sent Ali some images of ornate and formal-style mezuzahs and to my great delight she loved the idea and could picture something like this working for the Emmys. Thankfully, she is officially on board to search for an Emmy-appropriate mezuzah.


Dress: Old Hollywood, classic, no color preference (I hate purple), tznius.
Jewelry: Mezuzah search on, red carpet appropriate mandatory, Ali-approved.

That’s not too much to ask for. Don’t you agree?

For more awards show madness, read about Mayim’s search for the perfect dress for last year’s Emmys, her trip to Monte Carlo for the Golden Nymph awards, and her trip to the SAG awards.

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