"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?

Rising Voices


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