"Jewish homegirl style"
In yesterday's Style section of the New York Times, there was a very short article with a mention of Sarah Silverman's "sedulously cultivated Jewish homegirl style." Now, I don't usually read the Style section, nor do I have a vested interest in Sarah Silverman, but this chic-sounding phrase - without a qualifying description -- had me a bit perplexed. So I needed to inquire: what exactly is a Jewish homegirl style? And how does one "sedulously cultivate" it?
Thinking that I was just out of the loop, I asked a few of my co-workers for an explanation. They were equally stumped, though one suggested that it reflected a resistance to the JAP stereotype and an embracing of a more "down-to-earth masculine form of the feminine." Interesting. Then I asked a few of my Jewish friends who are (a) more fashionable than me, and (b) seemingly more tuned in to pop culture references. They first asked for a definition of "sedulous." Then they both suggested that "a sedulously cultivated Jewish homegirl style" referred to owning your "Jewish look" or getting in touch with your "bad a** Jewish roots." "Or maybe," another friend suggested, "it's about embracing some kind of counter-cultural Jewish self-presentation."
While my friends needed to consult a dictionary to define "sedulous," what I needed was a proper definition of "homegirl." That was the word in question. So here's what I found:
1. a girl or woman from one's neighborhood, hometown, or region.
2. a girl or woman who is a member of one's peer group.
3. an inner-city girl or woman.
Now, Sarah Silverman grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire, and I don't know if the Jews of Bedford share her "homegirl style," nor do I know if her peer group shares it; and I'm not sure if she qualifies as having "inner-city" stature. But I do know that a ubiquitously monolithic "Jewish homegirl" doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Jewish is just too broad a category, no? Unless, of course, if there are multiple "Jewish homegirl styles." Could this be the case? So I ask you, Jewesses: do you have a Jewish homegirl style? Is it something you sedulously cultivate, or is it just something you are?
How to cite this page
Namerow, Jordan. ""Jewish homegirl style"." 16 November 2007. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on September 30, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/jewish-homegirl-style>.