Mayim Bialik has achieved a high level of fame in recent years for her portrayal of Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on the mega-hit television show "The Big Bang Theory."
If her TV character's scientific intellectualizing sounds surprisingly authentic, it is because Bialik's acting expertise actually mirrors her professional credentials. In addition to being a neuroscientist on the small screen, she is one in real life as well, having earned both an undergraduate degree and Ph.D. from UCLA in the field.
Standing in contrast to many in the Hollywood community, Bialik is very thoughtful with regard to religion and takes her faith quite seriously. She has even used her fame to spread a message that is highly unique, if not altogether a rarity, when it comes to young actors, singers, and other entertainment professionals, in that she encourages modesty and chastity.
"Being a modest dresser, that for me is a certain amount of my religious faith — privacy and chastity. Just because I have a body, doesn't mean it means to be on display," Bialik told the Fox News website.
Refusing to bow to the notion that dressing in a more reserved style is simply a relic of a bygone era, Bialik is doing her part to promote modest dress, even in the Hollywood beltway.
"It's important, especially for children and men and my sons to hear I'm not ashamed of my body, I just don't feel the need to display it with two tiny pieces of fabric when I want to go swimming," Bialik explained.
Her approach to raising her children also differs from a majority of her left coast counterparts in that her children are part of a home schooling community and do not watch television. In fact, they have never seen the end products of their mother's latest successful TV run.
Bialik describes herself as an "aspiring Modern Orthodox" Jew and is candid about the challenges and difficulties with which religious adherents in the industry are confronted.
In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Bialik was asked whether she could easily practice her Jewish faith in Hollywood.
"I would say that it's close to impossible," the actress replied. "There are Orthodox writers that I know and there are a couple of Orthodox producers. I think it's very hard being female and being in acting largely because of the publicity and the public aspects of it that revolve around a sense of fashion."
The pressure to conform to the entertainment industry's fashion dictates, which typically push the envelope of society's popular trends, frequently conflicts with Bialik's personal standards.
"It's more the aspects of the "the red carpet" and needing to wear designer clothes that are strapless, and all those things that I don't do and that are actually extremely stressful and difficult to work around because it is a big part of the industry," Bialik explained. "The goal is to be competitive."
The actress has written numerous articles for a parenting website, which have focused on issues that relate to the Jewish laws of modesty.
Bialik does not exactly expect that the faith-oriented state of mind is one that will eventually catch on in Tinseltown.
"I think in general it's never going to be trendy to be observant or religious in Hollywood circles," she told the Fox News site. "There are people I know of faith and we tend to congregate together. I study Jewish texts weekly. That's something really positive to me when you're a person of faith, it stays with you all the time."
Because of her own academic background and her additional celebrity image as a science scholar, Bialik is often questioned as to how she reconciles her scientific knowledge with a belief in God.
"Being a scientist and a person of faith . . . leads to a lot of interesting conversations that I welcome but a lot of people want to open up a conversation just to tell you, you're wrong," she said.
Despite some religiously-based ideological challenges and work environment hurdles, Bialik remains unshaken in her faith and undeterred in her outspokenness.
"I have an unwavering faith in a power greater than myself and I don't think that will change any more than my belief in gravity will change," she stated.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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