Julia Haart is the topic among My Unorthodox Life viewers on Netflix, having left her old Haredi community behind after a strict upbringing. She weighed 73 lbs when she decided to leave and bring up her kids in a different way.
The Netflix star spent 42 years as a wife and mother in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, before she made the dramatic decision to change her name and launch her own line of wearable high-heeled shoes.
Julia’s height without those heels and how she looked before delving into the western society are on fans’ minds. She told LA Times that she was told her clothes were “too tight-fitting” but then escaped away from Monsey, New York.
Trigger warning: Sensitive content that includes issues around eating and suicide is mentioned.
Julia Haart once weighed just 73lb
When Julia decided to leave the Orthodox community, she weighed 73 lbs (33kg), LA Times reports. In the year before she left, she thought about committing suicide but worried about how the stigma of mental illness would affect her children.
Julia admitted she tried to starve herself to death, dropping down to 73 lbs. She added that her daughter Miriam is the reason she’s alive today as she would often ask questions about why she wasn’t allowed to do things, like ride a bike.
Once, the My Unorthodox Life star was pulled into the rabbi’s office for dancing too provocatively around other women. While living as a Haredi Jew throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, she became increasingly uncomfortable.
Julia claims she was told she hadn’t been blessed by God with more children because her clothes were too form-fitting. As a married woman, she was often reprimanded for dressing in bright colors but refused to stop.
Men were expected to study the Torah, and women were to raise large families and dress with extreme modesty. Access to the outside world, via television, the internet, radio, and newspapers, was virtually prohibited.
My Unorthodox Life: Julia’s before photos
In her previous life, Julia was known as Talia Hendler. This was her prison name, she says — “the name I had when I was told that I was nothing.” She wanted to re-create herself, so she came up with a new name: Julia Haart.
Julia was born in Moscow and moved around the world with her family as a child, settling in Monsey at the age of 11. The eldest of eight children, she is 10 years older than her next sibling and, as an adolescent, became a caretaker.
At 16, she taught herself how to sew and read fashion magazines in her house. She got married to Yosef Hendler at age 19, who was five years her senior. It comes after she attended Bais Yaakov Academy in Brooklyn, New York.
Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Haart worked as a Judaic Studies teacher at Yeshiva Atlanta. After leaving the Haredi community in 2013, Haart founded a shoe company, which she simply named, Julia Haart.
Julia’s height without shoes
Julia is 5ft 5in, and a size four in shoes. She’s always dressed to the nines and is usually wearing heels, which leaves many fans asking just what her real height is. Her passion for shoes began when she was just five.
Growing up, the Netflix star stayed in an Italian internment camp with her family in Moscow. She told LA Times that a five-year-old boy who ran errands for the camp bought her a handbag that she kept for over 30 years.
The gesture is what initially started off her accessories collection, particularly for shoes. She added:
I am five feet tall. If that’s not complicated enough, I’m a size four shoe. Between the two, it was almost impossible for me to find shoes my size and I wanted to wear super high heels, but they were tortuously uncomfortable.
Now, she often dresses up in designer clothes with matching accessories, from a luxurious handbag to a great pair of heels. Julia said she would never stop wearing bright colors, and she kept her promise.
If you are affected by any issues raised in the article or would like someone to speak to, please call the Samaritans for free on 116 123. You can also email them at [email protected] or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch in the UK. In the US, please visit Samaritans USA for more information.
You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text 741741 to get in touch with the Crisis Text Line. Americans can now call or text 988 to reach out and speak to a counselor.
If you or someone you know needs support, there are many eating disorder helplines in the UK here to help. Beat can be contacted at 0808 801 0677 while Mind’s contact number is 0300 123 3393.
If you are based in the USA, you can call NEDA on (800) 931-2237.
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