When Adina Miles created @FlatbushGirl, an Instagram account documenting the everyday life of an Orthodox woman, she didn’t know she’d be getting hundreds of people talking. After posting videos intended for the Orthodox community, followers accumulated; then Miles decided to leverage her public persona to help create a cleaner environment in Flatbush, Brooklyn. She partnered with Councilman Chaim Deutsch of Brooklyn to paint over graffiti, and posed near him in a photo for the Flatbush Jewish Journal. But the paper informed Miles that her face needed to be blurred. Instead of complete erasure, Miles chose to slap on the “tears of joy” emoji on her face. Her tongue-in-cheek use of the emoji soon grabbed more media attention. Since then, she’s had a platform to ask: “If we don’t show strong, intelligent women’s faces in our newspapers, who will the young Orthodox girls see?”
REBECCA MORDECHAI on the Lilith Blog.