Rabbis in Borough Park have decided to ban hipster glasses at the Bobover Yeshiva B’Nei Zion, according to a Gothamist report. Gothamist had Raghav Krishnapriyan translate the missive issued to parents of children who attend the yeshiva explaining the decision. Here it is:
It’s a well-known midrash that the virtue that guided the People of Israel in Egypt was that they “did not change their names, languages, or clothes,” and the same strength guides us going forward and supports us in Exile in every generation. Seeing as recently some students have taken advantage of a loophole in the matter of clothing, and in order to make sure this was not intentional, we feel it is important to sound the alarm that our students should behave entirely in accordance with tradition, as a Hasidic student should.It’s really very difficult to set forth a clear rule as to what kind of glasses a student should wear because these things continuously change, and glasses that were once wholesome can today be considered “modern,” and vice versa. But the clear rule that we can certainly set forth is that one must stand up now and not follow any new fashions. Therefore today we have set forth the following clear instructions:
It has recently become the fashion for glasses to be entirely black outside and inside (with the false justification that this makes them stronger). Per the legal rule “according to the majority,” everyone knows that this type of glasses gives a child a completely vulgar appearance. We certainly need not judge each child to see whether he indeed makes such a vulgar impression. (If one must judge, it’s a clear sign that it’s not appropriate for one of our students.) Therefore in general we will not allow these thick black glasses in the yeshiva.
The same goes for the type of glasses that have a dark blue or dark brown color all round. Students in our yeshiva, no matter what age, may not come to the yeshiva with these glasses.
We recommend buying only plain glasses that are entirely light colored, with flat, thin temples.
The new kind of glasses, with mixed, showy colors and with various “designs” or unrefined inscriptions, etc. are not acceptable for a student in our yeshiva. (Please keep in mind that even if these glasses were allowed (?) for very young students, people don’t buy themselves glasses that often and if you get used to buying these sorts of glasses for your child when they’re young, they wouldn’t change them very quickly when they get older.)
We depend on the parents to pay attention to what the students are wearing and not to depend on the businesspeople who say this is what people go around wearing these days, nor on the children who say that this is what all their friends are doing, but rather to seek those things that give a student the appearance of being a Hasidic student.
We request from the parents, that those who have already bought these kinds of glasses, which are not in accordance with our spirit, exchange them for the previous kind. The result of this would be a wonderful education for the child in these our times, to see that we will not ape modern and vulgar “styles.”
Through these merits we will help God to see the delight of divinity in our children so that they can grow up to be upright, noble Hasidic children, fearers of God and brilliant scholars for the delight and joy of their dear parents and teachers who will live for good days and years.
Basically, the rabbis at this yeshiva don’t want children accidentally following fashion trends, which is kind of funny considering how hipster stylized glasses were once incredibly dorky, and not in a fun way.
Confession time: I wear hipster glasses. They are a green thick-rimmed plastic pair I got when I had health insurance once upon a time. As a 29-year-old professional internet blogger, it is important I look the part, so I actually consider my sturdy pair of spectacles as part of my office uniform.
Despite my efforts to look cool, I actually really do need glasses. I have been blind as a bat since I was 4-years-old and during the majority of my life it was not always trendy to be seen wearing them. I have reveled in this new age where glasses have become chic and sexy and are no longer seen as a sign of weakness [Ed. – Willie is neither chic nor sexy and is in fact very weak]. I’m hoping that this new mindset translates to all glasses styles, no matter how woefully unfashionable they look, giving kids confidence to feel comfortable with their vision disability and not ostracized, like they have been traditionally. Keep strong kids, and wear your glasses with pride.