An Emoji Worth a Thousand Words: One Orthodox Woman Uses Humor to Become Visible
When Hillary Clinton’s face was covered by the image of a hand in a 2016 copy of an Orthodox newspaper, I choked on my coffee. In the age of ‘woke’ and social activism, concealing the former presidential candidate, in all her strength and pant-suited glory, seemed downright bizarre. I immediately took to Facebook to lambast the ridiculousness of this photo. “Gloria Steinem would be so proud I tell ya,” I posted, earning just one like and one comment.
Unlike me, Adina Miles, an Orthodox 29-year-old mother of two, has the pluck and the platform to get hundreds of people talking about how absurd it is to conceal women’s faces in conservative Jewish publications.
It all started when Miles created @FlatbushGirl, an Instagram account documenting the everyday life of an Orthodox woman—comedic mishaps when baking challah, and shopping for jewelry with an opinionated mother-in-law. After posting several clever and relatable videos for the Orthodox community, Miles’s account swiftly accumulated thousands of followers. Miles then decided to leverage her newfound public persona to create a cleaner environment in Flatbush, the epicenter of Brooklyn’s Orthodox community. She partnered with Councilman Chaim Deutsch of Brooklyn to paint over local graffiti, and posed near him (and other community activists) in a photo for the Flatbush Jewish Journal (FJJ).