Mayim Bialik Of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Calls Out ‘Modesty-Shaming’

Fans of The Big Bang Theory may have noticed that Amy Farrah-Fowler prefers a toned-down style of dress. Even the show writers make reference to that fact; in one episode, Penny joked that Amy’s outfit came from “Forever 63.” The conservative attire is keeping with Amy’s character, but is also partly reflected in the sensibilities of Mayim Bialik, the actress who plays her.

Bialik is no stranger to controversy arising over her non-mainstream views. She made news in 2014 by blogging about a billboard she spotted featuring Ariana Grande, which she wrote led her to believe the pop songstress might be selling lingerie. At the time, Cosmopolitan accused Bialik of “slut-shaming,” saying her blog “only perpetuates the notion that it’s OK to shame women for what they wear and how slim they are.” Bialik later tweeted that people should “chill out,” and called her post “social commentary.”

Now on her website Grok Nation, Bialik has explained her personal preference for modest dress, and asserted that she has no issues with women dressing how they want. She also says accusations of “slut-shaming” have become too much. After posting a teenager’s petition for clothing companies to offer modest options for youth, Bialik was accused of being judgmental.

“The name-calling and accusations of slut-shaming simply for asking for more options is, I think, getting out of control.”

She also said she wants her brain to speak before her body, but does not dismiss those who choose to dress in a different way than she does.

“It’s human nature to be attracted to skin. I’m just a happier person for putting boundaries around that.

“If not putting boundaries around that makes you happy, by all means, knock yourself out. But let’s not modesty-shame either. There are a lot of ways to be a woman, and I am grateful to live in a country where all of them are allowed!”

In October, 2015, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted author Wendy Shalit — whom Bialik refers to in her post as a friend — on the issue of conservative dress in the media.

“Slut-shaming is not socially acceptable, but modesty-shaming is considered virtuous, even hip.”

Shalit gave Perez Hilton’s assessment of Bialik’s Emmy dress — which he called “shapeless” according to the paper — as an example.

'The Big Bang Theory' star Mayim Bialik
Mayim Bialik appeared with the rest of the 'Big Bang Theory' cast at the People's Choice Awards on January 6, 2016. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Entertainment)

In her blog post, Bialik agrees that women should not face criticism for certain types of dress — and objects to those who take her to task for simply expressing an additional viewpoint.

“Women should be allowed to wear short skirts – or really, anything else they want – without being judged as ‘wrong’ for doing so. Dress however you want. Really. I choose not to dress a certain way, but let’s not make a fight where there isn’t one. I’m not slut-shaming simply because I don’t like to show a lot of skin.”

In November, 2014, Bialik wrote a blog post on Kveller about the prom episode of The Big Bang Theory, (“The Prom Equivalency”) describing her dress as a departure from Amy Farrah-Fowler’s normal style. The dress was form-fitting and sleeveless, so the wardrobe department made a jacket to cover Bialik’s shoulders, to conform to her preferences.

Bialik wrote then that modesty, in her view, is about “protection and value,” not “fear of sexuality or repression.”

Mayim Bialik 'The Big Bang Theory'
Mayim Bialik blogs on her own website, Grok Nation, and also contributes to parenting site Kveller. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment)

Last month, Bialik also discussed how she handled the bed scene between Sheldon and Amy on The Big Bang Theory, after the couple consummated their relationship after five years of dating. She revealed she had to discuss with wardrobe how to “look naked.”

New episodes of The Big Bang Theory air Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on CBS.

[Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images Entertainment]