Shaindel’s goal has always been clear. Her songs cover the pursuit of happiness, connecting to G-d and getting through hard times. “My aim is to inspire women and girls everywhere to feel good about themselves.” During concerts, she introduces her songs with personal lessons and stories that have a positive impact on her fans.
She also believes that modesty can express a woman’s inner beauty. Her guitar is embellished with Swarovski crystals, which she applied by hand with a tweezer, gluing piece by delicate piece individually. It took between 20 to 30 hours and she has 5,500 rhinestones to show for it. “It’s fun, sparkly and makes it more exciting to perform with.” As a frum girl, she expresses herself with color, flowers and rhinestones in a tznius but exciting way that embraces her personality. She says, “Our essence comes out in the way we dress, so being frum helped me more because we have tznius to guide it… it shines through.”
Shaindel hopes that “Invisible,” directed by Leah Gottfried and filmed this past Chol Hamoed Sukkos with a cast of fans at a local frum high school in NJ near her home, will help girls be aware of how they treat each other. “Even being sarcastic or poking fun and sometimes just giving someone the cold shoulder. Girls tend to do that a lot and it’s very easy to miss because teachers don’t see anything going on.”
Recently, Shaindel received an email from a fan who said she wishes there was something like this when she was a girl, because if bullying is not dealt with during the school years it follows you into adulthood, and has a great effect on one’s self-esteem, which is primarily formed when we are young.
Part of the problem, as Shaindel sees it, is that “a lot of the time people pick on nice, sweet people because they don’t fight back. Often the bully herself has issues and is not as tough and confident as she looks.” She plans to address this through interactive lectures, stories and songs in the hopes of teaching girls to respect each other, to stand up for girls being bullied and to form welcoming committees so when a new girl joins a school, there will be girls to befriend her. “It doesn’t help to just say hello, you really have to include her because often the new girl doesn’t feel comfortable coming over to a group of girls and asking to sit with them. It’s also important to get teachers involved and more aware. If nothing is being done to stop it, the problem will just continue.”
In a scene at the end of the music video, a teacher walking down the hallway is oblivious to girls laughing at a new girl behind her back. “With boys it’s more physical fighting, but with girls it’s the silent treatment; it’s almost worse than physical pain, it always hurts, it doesn’t heal. The whole point of Yiddishkeit is achdus and ahavas Yisroel. It doesn’t mean you have to be best friends, but girls should be nice and respectful towards each other and feel good about themselves.”