Article In Jewish Press

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  • #602563

    So. Anyone get a chance to read the article in last week’s JP about girls in shidduchim and their appearance? Did I read the article correctly… because I’m still scraping my jaw of the floor.

    In Short: The author was a mother of a boy in shidduchim who went to a meeting where single girls (by invitation only) would get a chance to meet mothers of boys in shidduchim. This women writes how shocked she was to discover that most of the girls were wearing little to no makeup. While I completely do not understand why the girls did not put on their best appearance….the thing that shocked me was how she went on to rant about outside appearances in shidduchim as the most important aspect of dating. She describes how as a teenager she was “homely”, and with a little guidance she went on to get a nose job, hair straightening, diets, etc. She talks about a 40 year old women who recently got engaged with the edge over other women her age because she had a nose job, caps on her teeth, violet lenses…etc…

    Is it me or did anyone else walk away feeling like the ONLY thing that is important in shidduchim is making sure you have the edge over everyone by taking every drastic measure to ensure you look like a model..

    *Still scraping jaw off the floor*

    #861834

    MiddlePath
    Participant

    While I did not read the article, I am not surprised at all. Many people unfortunately have a distorted sense of what’s important and what isn’t.

    What bothers me more is that these girls are meeting boys’ mothers, and not the boys themselves.

    #861835

    brech
    Participant

    +1.

    The article would have been more appropriate for Vanity Fair.

    #861836

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    Yeah, I don’t know how best appearance = makeup to the max. Most girls look better with a happy medium.

    #861837

    BTGuy
    Participant

    Excellent point.

    You know, I recently read a great article, and I am sorry I dont remember much about where or who wrote it, but it was about ‘finding’ one’s beshert.

    The author asserted people confuse finding one’s beshert with a ‘list of things’ they want about the other person.

    In short, the rabbi spoke about how couples evolve together and one’s beshert is not someone who necessarily comes “preinstalled” with all the things you would like. The main ingredient he suggested was if the two people feel comfortable together.

    Even if they are nervous, but for the most part are having a pleasant time together, then that is what should be a sign to move to another date; and not if they have “this or that” or went to “this yeshiva or that yeshiva”.

    While nothing like this is simple, the chemistry part seems to be way overlooked, and even thrown under the bus for the more surface things.

    #861838

    blinky
    Participant

    NOMTW- I actually did find the article confusing though not for your reasons- i thought she was advocating that girls should really on their natural features rather than try to enhance them! Only towards the end was i clarified.

    The writer did not say that girls have to look like a model- she just said that girls should make sure they take care of their basic appearance. And i totally agree. Unfortunately we do find that some (not all) older singles tend to have “that look” (hair in a pony, no makeup, outdated clothes) Though nose jobs and violet lenses are a bit extreme, definitely makeup and hair goes a long way in enhancing your appearance.

    #861839

    littleapple
    Member

    BT guy: It was an excellent article, in Mishpacha mag. @ 2 weeks ago, by Rav BTz. Shafier (The Shmuz)

    #861840

    blinky:

    “The writer did not say that girls have to look like a model- she just said that girls should make sure they take care of their basic appearance.”

    She most certainly implied that model-esque features are to be coveted. She even wrote how since models wear makeup and most people do not look like models how much more so do we have to wear makeup. She also mentioned nose jobs/hair straightening many times throughout her article, to me that is not “basic appearance”.

    I completely agree that nice clothing & enhancing makeup will take you a long way in shidduchim. I was just waiting for words like ‘middos’, ‘intelligence’, ‘personality’, ‘inner beauty’ to crop up next to ‘nose job’, ‘violet lenses’, & ‘hair straightenings’…..sadly, it did not.

    #861841

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    I don’t read the press. It’s very low on content.

    #861842

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Women should always look their best for husbands. This mother was right on the money. If a girl does not take care of herself before marriage and certainly when meeting a prospective mother-in-law; she will not care to make herself attractive to her husband down the road.

    #861843

    Queen Bee
    Member

    I found the article and read the entire thing, and I want to smash my computer screen!

    #861844

    MorahRach
    Member

    That is not always true. I know many women who always had their hair perfect and eyes perfect when dating. And now they are comfortable or more comfortable to let their natural beauty show.

    On a different note:

    My friend is a shadchan for a well known yeshiva and she told me that the 3 things boy looks for/demand for her to find is, size 2-4 girls, blue eyes, longer then shoulder length hair. So… I ask, when did the length of a girls hair become more important than her midos? My friend told me that he has mothers of bachurim screaming at her over the phone ” this girl was bigger than you said he would be don’t you think my son can do better what are you setting him up with”! .

    Found it very interesting. And a little disappointing.

    #861845

    blinky
    Participant

    NOMTW- I hear. Im sure the writer agrees that middos and personality…etc should be the main focus in a shidduch. But that wasn’t the point of the article. She was only commenting on the innitial impression she got just from seeing what the bulk of the crowd was like.

    #861846

    MorahRach
    Member

    Sorry about the typo he instead of she, I am on my phone.

    #861847

    apushatayid
    Participant

    I dont like to comment on an article without reading the article first. In this case, hearing that the article reports on a meeting of girls in shidduchim with mothers of boys in shidduchim…..What a stupid idea.

    #861848

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    Hey, QB! Long time no see! 😀

    #861849

    msseeker
    Member

    “My friend is a shadchan for a well known yeshiva and she told me that the 3 things boy looks for/demand for her to find is, size 2-4 girls, blue eyes, longer then shoulder length hair.”

    There’s something terribly wrong with this yeshivah – or the whole yeshivishe chinuch system.

    #861850

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I dont like to comment on an article without reading the article first. In this case, hearing that the article reports on a meeting of girls in shidduchim with mothers of boys in shidduchim…..What a stupid idea.

    This is the credited response.

    #861851

    MiddlePath
    Participant

    Thanks, QB. And nice to see you back here! Also, great post.

    #861852

    squeak
    Participant

    Au contraire, popa, his first sentence ruins the response. How can you, of all people, give credit to someone who refrains from comment simply because he hasn’t seen the article?

    #861853

    MorahRach
    Member

    Yes, I agree. I could never handle being a shadchan in times like this. I know wonderful boys coming out of this yeshiva but the shallowness is disturbing.

    #861854

    PBT
    Member

    I don’t subscribe to the Jewish Press. However, my wife doesn’t wear makeup. She didn’t on our first, or second, or 20th date, and hasn’t since we’ve been married. After over 17 years she’s still as beautiful as when I married her. Looks are definitely a part of the equation, but the difference in maturity is in what attributes besides that people are looking for.

    #861855

    writersoul
    Member

    Ugghhhh…. Ewwww…..

    This is making me despair for the time when I will be in shidduchim;.

    You see, I am not at all pretty. I am not thin, I have gross hair, I have a terrible nose, I have a really bad-looking face. I’m not just saying things out of insecurity; it’s true. And until I read this article I didn’t feel too bad about it.

    Okay, so I try to look my prettiest when I need to go places. I don’t wear make-up or anything, but I wear nice clothes, and I never felt I needed much more than that. I never felt THAT gross. Thank you, Mrs. Halberstam, for making me feel like a future spinster mutant freak.

    No, everyone, you don’t need to arrange for a psychiatrist. I’m okay. But this article is just disgusting. It should come with a tagline FWD TO ALL GIRLS WHO NEED A GOOD BOUT OF DEPRESSION.

    Like my grandmother said, “There are seven people who will ALWAYS, no matter what, think you are a sheine meidel- your grandparents, your parents, and one day your husband.”

    So yeah, Mrs. Halberstam, one day, most if not all of these girls will get married. Maybe they’ve just put on their mother-in-law-like-her repellent— no makeup. Smart of them.

    #861856

    Queen Bee
    Member

    Hey, Wun Uv Meny =)

    Thanks, MP -). Not sure if I’m here to stay, though.

    writersoul, that was such a terrific post! Don’t worry about how you look. One day a guy will love and appreciate you for who you are, not what size you are, how pretty your hair is, how “terrible” your nose is. Don’t get depressed over the stupidities of these ridiculous people. Just have confidence in yourself and your husband will treasure you =).

    #861857

    Sam2
    Participant

    I just read it. I was beyond saddened and disgusted. And she learned the wrong thing from the Purim story. Ester refused the makeup and was the pretty one anyway.

    #861858

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Au contraire, popa, his first sentence ruins the response. How can you, of all people, give credit to someone who refrains from comment simply because he hasn’t seen the article?

    ????? ???? that I read his comment before commending it?

    #861859

    writersoul
    Member

    QB: Thanks :)— trust me, I was writing from the heart. I definitely understand what you mean, and I hope and believe I am a good person who people like, but as someone who has had doubts about herself, reading this article was like banging nails into my eye.

    I mean, sure, I can see her original point about looking nice before going out —- and I mean anywhere, not just a fashion show (excuse me, SHIDDUCH INITIATIVE) —- but she took it waaay too far. I know she expected to be crucified, but let’s draw and quarter her as well for good measure. (Figuratively speaking, of course, though I’m not even sure of that anymore.)

    My grade just had a speech about anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders. If you want to make that an even worse problem than it always is, post an article like this.

    #861860

    squeak
    Participant

    Touche!

    And bravo.

    #861861

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    thanks.

    #861862

    farrockgrandma
    Participant

    Really?? I remember one young man who felt that the girls who met him with no makeup were not interested in looking their best, or not attaching enough importance to the occasion. (Just picture a man showing up at your door with a rumpled suit or in need of a haircut.) I knew another who didn’t like to see anything artificial. This is very much a matter of opinion, based in part on what one is accustomed to seeing. There is probably nothing wrong with a little light makeup, but do what makes you comfortable.

    #861863

    147
    Participant

    Can the next meeting be arranged for boys & fathers of girls?

    After all, this must be a 2 way traffic.

    #861864

    cherrybim
    Participant

    “Ester refused the makeup and was the pretty one anyway.”

    That was part of the nes, remember. B’derech ha’teva, Esther was not supposed to have been chosen without make-up. So if you girls want to rely on a miracle, go ahead and look unappealing and see how far that gets you.

    #861865

    writersoul:

    Oy, don’t depricate like that! Mrs. Halberstam obviously has a distorted perception of beauty and the extreme lengths one must go to in order to get married. Unfortunately, the shidduch world IS a very shallow and often painful experiance. The important thing is to look the best that YOU CAN. This does not (& SHOULD NOT) include nose jobs, outrageously expensive hair treatments and fake eye coloring. IMHO confidence and personality is what makes someone truly attractive.

    cherrybim:

    “Women should always look their best for husbands. This mother was right on the money. If a girl does not take care of herself before marriage and certainly when meeting a prospective mother-in-law; she will not care to make herself attractive to her husband down the road.”

    No one (Or certainly not me) is saying that a girl in shidduchim shouldn’t look her best. Absolutely she should! If you look at my OP you will notice that I started off by stating my utter surprise that the girls showed up with little to no makeup. My surprise at that notion was quickly replaced with shock and disgust at her “helpful suggestions” for beauty treatments.

    She is promoting exactly what Hollywood and Madison Ave try to push on us every single day. & then people are surprised when their children start dressing/acting a certain way…Look at what a frum women is promoting!

    #861866

    I have a funny feeling this article is satirical…

    #861867

    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi littleapple.

    Thank you for that info. It really was a very good and memorable article.

    #861868

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    This is exactly what the Jewish Press wants, to publish an article that will draw negative attention to their paper. This article caused much agmas nefesh and I hope an apology will soon follow. If not, I call on all those who buy this paper or suscribe to stop buying and cancel their subscription.

    #861869

    Logician
    Participant

    NOMTW wrote a very sensible OP (though a bit clearer in the follow-up post). She simply said “looks are not everything”. That’s a very reasonable, important statement.

    Along come a bunch of comments, telling us that “it’s the inside that counts, lasts” etc.

    Why stop at looks ? Why do we care about money ? Prestige ? Etc, etc. Let’s aim for a utopian society!

    No – we’re humans. We care about these things. And we need to try to keep them in moderation.

    We don’t care about looks, who cares if she’s handicapped ? Deaf ? etc. etc. She’s beautiful inside! Yes such people deserve a good shidduch. But the (very normal) reality of the world is that these things cause difficulties.

    If a girl doesn’t look good, that’s a nisayon – no different than if she would have any other physical condition. But there’s no excuse for someone in shidduchim not to try to look good.

    [For the record: my wife is and always was overweight.I am very happily married.]

    #861870

    squeak
    Participant

    Not if she reads the forum…

    #861871

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    “Beauty is in the eyes of the mother-in-law.” Isn’t that how the saying goes?

    #861872

    MiddlePath
    Participant

    “But the (very normal) reality of the world is that these things cause difficulties.

    If a girl doesn’t look good, that’s a nisayon – no different than if she would have any other physical condition. But there’s no excuse for someone in shidduchim not to try to look good.”

    Logician, I understand your point. However, I don’t completely agree with it, if I am understanding it correctly. You say if a girl doesn’t look good, that’s a nisayon. Not really. If she is putting in effort, and happens to not look good, that isn’t a nisayon. For example, my parents are divorced. Is that a nisayon for my dating prospects? I used to think so, but it’s actually not. It’s a blessing, because it weeds out the ones that are turned off by it, thereby saving me time and energy for the ones that are okay with it. And looks are no different. Now, it could be I’m not understanding you fully, and that when you wrote “doesn’t look good”, you meant “not presentable”, and that is a different story, because that would be a lack of effort. But anything beyond our control is NOT a nisayon, it is a blessing, whether we see it that way or not.

    #861873

    Logician
    Participant

    Just as an example: A child born with major physical/mental handicaps. Or that develops a serious disease. Or if you do, for that matter. What a blessing! Do you wish for it.

    #861874

    MiddlePath
    Participant

    No, my attitude is not a way of escaping reality. It is a way of dealing with whatever you are dealing with in a positive way. Everything in my life I can honestly say is for my good. Was it at times difficult? Yes. But only when this positive attitude escaped my consciousness.

    The difference between our opinions is that you are saying that the reality is that the current situation someone is in, is bad, and that saying that it’s really good is escaping from reality. Whereas I am saying that the reality is that the current situation someone is in, is really good, and it’s only one’s natural instinct to see it as bad, which blinds us from the reality.

    #861875

    Logician
    Participant

    “because it weeds out the ones that are turned off by it, thereby saving me time and energy for the ones that are okay with it.”

    This argument makes no sense. If he’d be ok with it, you wouldn’t want him weeded out!

    And if what you really mean that because he’s turned off, that’s an indicator that he’s not for me – well, I really don’t like such arguments.

    #861876

    MiddlePath
    Participant

    Logician, see my above post. And I mean it in the second way you stated it. So if you don’t like that argument, fine. It works for me. By the way, I’m a guy.

    #861877

    msseeker
    Member

    MP, it seems you have reached the ?????? of ???? ??? ???? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?? ????. You’re a great man. May you find your zivug soon. (Segulah: saying sefer tehilim birtzifus on ????? ?? ???.

    #861878

    Logician
    Participant

    MP – guy, girl, makes no difference, just the example is usually used that way (especially on this forum).

    “Works for me” – certainly could be, my point was that it’s not realistic. Are you so biased by your own situation that you can’t imagine that there’s someone otherwise compatible for you, who unfortunately is turned off by your situation, and that is causing you difficulty ? And that you are meant to have this difficulty, and grow from it ?

    #861879

    Logician:

    “If a girl doesn’t look good, that’s a nisayon – no different than if she would have any other physical condition. But there’s no excuse for someone in shidduchim not to try to look good.”

    MiddlePath:

    “Everything in my life I can honestly say is for my good. Was it at times difficult? Yes. But only when this positive attitude escaped my consciousness.”

    I envy your bitachon, I truly do. I do agree with Logician though in regards to accepting that sometimes g-d does send pain our way. Personally, one of the major aspects of emunah that I struggle with is trying to intellectualize various events in my life. Are they Tests? Punishments? Stepping Stones? I have yet to satisfy myself with a conclusion.

    (As an aside, people do tell me that I think too deeply & not everything can be rationalized..)

    #861880

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    See, what is funny about this topic, is that there is a valid point she could have made, but she instead made a moronic point. And buried it in an article where it didn’t belong.??????? ????? ????? ??? ????.

    When women go on dates, they should try to look as good as normally possible. They should put on make-up, and if they aren’t good at it, ask their sister in law to do it for them. They should do their hair nicely, and find a nice outfit to wear.

    If they are overweight, they should think about getting to a more healthy weight in a healthy way. (I did, as well as many of my friends in yeshiva. You see it all the time. Fat guy is looking at 22-23, starts to diet, drops 30-70 pounds, marries a nice aidel maidel or hadarling. Lives either happily or unhappily but probably somewhere between ever after.)

    They should not get plastic surgery unless they have serious abnormalities. (like a cleft lip). They should not get bariatric surgery except in pretty extreme cases.

    But the author, by going way to extreme, made sure that nobody would even think about the reasonable point she should have made. Oh well.

    #861881

    oomis
    Participant

    I read that article, and I am surprised at some of the negative reactions. While in the ideal world, boys AND girls would get engaged and married easily without any problems, based solely on internal maalos, the fact is we live in a not so ideal world of gashmius (and gashmius is also an important component of life or Hashem would not have made things appeal to us aesthetically). In that real world, people have to feel some sort of atttraction to each other. If a girl is naturally gorgeous, she will be attractive (physically) to lots of people. Hopefully her middos would match her external appearance, as well.

    But when a girl is NOT so gorgeous, maybe just average-looking, or even objectively UNattractive, then she should be making every possible effort to enhance her appearance, so she at least can level the playing field and have a chance to meet those guys, so they can get to know her personality. I do agree it was appalling that the MOTHERS were meeting these girls. There should be a meeting of boys and girls with each other. Otherwise, let the girls’ mothers meet the boys at that same type of event. What’s good for the goose…

    The author was very brave and candid in speaking about her personal experience. Far from being derogated, she should be thanked for being so open about herself. I doubt that was an easy admission.

    And if getting a nose job, teeth capped/whitenened, hair straightened, getting lap-banded, whatever it takes to make a woman more objectively attractive, is needed and WORKS in getting her married (especially in her 40s), then who are we to say we are upset with that? Better to be upset with a system that encourages girls to become anorexic in their quest to be size zeroes, to please some mother whose son should not even KNOW what a girl’s dress size means. Better to be upset that so many wonderful girls are being taught that it is untzniusdig to be concerned with enhancing their appearance when they clearly are in need of some help in that area. We cannot change the desire for someone to be attracted to his spouse, and he is SUPPOSED to be (certainly not to someone else’s spouse, chalilah). Hashem put that yetzer in us for a reason. But we can and should encourage girls to make the most of what Hashem has given them. That doesn’t mean going overboard, but a little lipstick, blush, mascara, and other cosmetics to cover up acne scars, discolorations, etc. are a good thing. Carefully applied makeup is not the enemy, (especially when you are trying to catch the eye of some boy’s mother).

    The author was right on target, IMHO. Didn’t she used to write for the JP years ago, btw???

    #861882

    mewho
    Participant

    this article is indeed very sayd. however, it does work both ways. a young man should work on his appearance as well. his shoes should be shined, his clothes clean and pressed. if he is clean shaven then he should show up freshly shaved. if he has a beard it should be well trimmed and/or clean and combed. his hair should be washed and combed as well.

    he should not come looking like he fell out of bed and found his clothes in the hamper.

    nose jobs ,teeth straightening and contact lenses or stylish glasses should apply to both male and female as should the entire equation.

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