One of my biggest regrets in life is the dress I chose to wear at my bat mitzvah party. And no, I’m not being dramatic. It was from Free People and I wore a camisole underneath to hide my 12-year-old cleavage. I appreciate my mom giving me the reigns to choose my own outfit, but seriously, who wears an Old Navy camisole with a built in bra to their bat mitzvah??
I’ve always envied people who look back on their bat mitzvah albums with pure joy, beyond satisfied with the Betsy Johnson dress they celebrated their coming of age with. But when I recently discovered that The Politician star Zoey Deutch also despises her “slutty” bat mitzvah dress, that envy was instantaneously replaced with pure joy — aside from our age and chronic acne, my favorite Jewish actress and I have another thing in common! And nothing brings people together more than a shared hatred.
On the first episode of “What I Wore When,” a new podcast hosted by Glamour digital director (and fellow Jewess) Perri Samotin, Deutch shared what she wore during the pivotal moment in her life. I’m obviously going to break down the best, Jewiest parts, but fans and enemies of Deutch must listen to the full episode because it’s drizzled with adorably candid anecdotes.
So, what did 12-year-old Zoey wear to her bat mitzvah!? She began with a very important accessory: her eyebrows. “I was about to be 13 and I had resilient Jewess hair,” the 25-year-old said. “My unibrow and I had a complicated relationship, so I asked my mom for my bat mitzvah if I could get my eyebrows waxed.”
Her mom fought her on stripping her Jewish hair from her face, but eventually Deutch “won the battle” and got thin eyebrows, only to find a new plague unleashed: “But God struck me down and I broke out with an extraordinary rash,” she said. “It was so bad that I had this thick, thick layer of makeup… so I had thin eyebrows and wax figure makeup.” So you see, she was pretty much doomed from the start.
📷 Zoey Deutch durante o seu bat mitzvah pic.twitter.com/ix1L23vOF8
— Portal Zoey Brasil (@PortalZoeyBr) November 19, 2019
But let’s get to the important part: the dress. Deutch wore a silver strapless BCBG “nightmare from hell” (on sale) with a bunch of ruffles and layers. As for the shoes? Heels that she couldn’t walk in, naturally. “I was basically trying to play the part of an adult ‘cause I was a bat mitzvah, you know, you’re coming into your own, you’re becoming a woman,” Deutch said. “So I was trying my best to become a woman and I failed miserably.” Oh, Zoey, if only 12-year-old you could see the fashion icon you are today!
As for the ceremony? She became a bat mitzvah at Temple Israel of Hollywood, which she describes as “the most Jewish place in the world, more than, like, Jerusalem.” She then gives us the deets on her totally rogue bat mitzvah speech.
“Continuing to be the most Jewy, I decided I would fight the Torah portion,” Zoey said. “It was about Jacob descending the ladder and I wrote my entire portion about not believing in heaven or hell, or not knowing if I believe in God, so I was already fighting and debating and arguing.” You heard it here first: Tween Zoey was a total badass.
Deutch then briefly discusses the bat mitzvah party that followed the ceremony at her parents’ house. Whether it was the dress or the embarrassing dance she performed upon entering the dance floor, she said that she never wants to have a wedding or a birthday party because her bat mitzvah “quelled any sort of desire for a big ass function.” Welp, sounds like some intense childhood trauma… but according to an Instagram post, she did wear a gorgeous dress at her “second” bat mitzvah party, AKA the launch party for her cover photo on Harper’s Magazine.
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Thanks people for coming to my second bat mitzvah, otherwise known as the launch party for my September cover of #Harpers, but also my second bat mitzvah party🔯. 'Twas a very very fun night, indeed! Also no one ever let me do a collage edit again, this is tragically done, I know. #harperbyHBZ
Also like me, Deutch discarded her traumatic and “offensively ugly” BCBG bat mitzvah dress and donated it to Crossroads, a vintage store.
“I went too slutty, I went flashy, and you can hear the deep regret in my voice,” she said.
Zoey, if you’re reading this, from one 25-year-old Jewess to another, we are so much more than our hideous bat mitzvah dresses. And I just hope that somewhere, someone finds treasure in our absolute trash.
Image via Angela Weiss/AFP Photo/via Getty Images; Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash