For context, I’m a high school junior who’s begun the process of conversion to Judaism. I won’t be able to formally convert until I’m over the age of 18, and then I’ll be moving away, going to college, working with a new rabbi, etc etc. so I’m expecting the process to take a long time even after I turn 18. Because of my age and where I live, what I’ve been able to do has been limited a lot. I live in a small, predominantly Christian town, and trying to “be me” so to speak has been hard. On a whim last spring, I decided I wanted to be tzniut. I went to my local Goodwill and bought three skirts. I filtered out pants over the course of a month or two while I got more skirts. I started wearing more long-sleeved shirts, although it was hard during the summer, so I experimented with lighter fabrics. It’s fun and I’m more aware of the clothes I wear. My skirt collection is a lot bigger now and my overall wardrobe is more modest. It makes me happy.
I love tzniut because when I started engaging with it, I felt a lot more confident. A lot of the people where I live all dress similarly- jeans, crop tops, whatever was trendy at the time. There’s nothing wrong with dressing in line with trends in my eyes, but I never felt authentic dressing that way. It always felt like I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. I was quiet and didn’t want to rock the boat. But after I started being tzniut, I worried about that less. Growing up, I was the weird kid, and that’s part of why I tried to fit in. But who cares about seeming weird for liking speculative biology or something when people are going to think you’re weird for how you dress alone? I started raising my hand in class more, making jokes, making friends because for the first time in my life. I could wear a shirt of a cat making a disgusted face over a salad and not give a shit! It was reinforced to me my whole life my value was contained in my body and what I had to offer physically, but now that I’m tzniut I’m more confident in my own self-worth.
That’s all, I felt the need to put this ramble somewhere.