I am posting these links because I think they have started an intriguing conversation on how much pretty is enough? How much is too much? When do we blame the girls for being ugly? When do we blame the guys for being shallow? When do we blame the system that produced both cases? When do we turn the tables and let girls start demanding rich men or best bochurim? What is an okay cosmetic surgery to have? What isn’t?
Let me know if I’m missing anything good.
- There’s this JewishPress.com cartoon about how people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
I like this one because the guys making the demands are usually not candidates for the leading role in a blockbuster. I have heard guys complaining about a girl’s hairstyle (“I don’t like those pouf thingies,” or “It wasn’t done nicely enough”), clothing (“Tell her not to wear all black”), and makeup (“She wasn’t wearing enough”) when they themselves were bald, wearing the same boring suit to each date, and had impressive equators. Hey, women may not be as visual as men, but we’re not blind.
- Gila Manolson says it’s one thing to take a stab at ugliness, but that women should not feel compelled to look like models to get married. She sounds very sensible, and describes what we wish our society could be. Her glasses are definitely rosier than any other respondent.
- Rabbi Fink says our young people are too insulated to know how to look pretty or to look for anything else in a spouse, and says he nose how to fix things: a little inter-gender mingling. There’s something to be said for this. Shidduch dates are artificial and rarely give anyone a chance to shine. IRL, it’s often surprising who you get along with and to what degree. This would explain otherwise implausible non-Jewish marriages. We never get a shot at it.
- Rabbi Farber points out that forcing guys to describe their ideal girl beforehand, we force men to create ridiculous checklists that in turn lead to the sort of situation described in the article. I think he’s agreeing with Rabbi Fink.
- Rabbi Abromowitz of the OU writes a lengthy drosha that I only skimmed because there were too many parenthetic citations, but this caught my eye:
But how would it fly if she were advised that her son could attract far more beautiful girls if he gave up his studies and focused all his efforts on making as much money as possible?
Yay! Permission for girls to be shallow! The pretty ones, anyway. Oh wait, was that not his point?
Rabbi Boteach suggests that instead of making prettier women, we should make men more mature. I think it’s telling that the indignant male respondents tend to be over the age of 35. So, maybe we should let them become old men before agreeing to date them? I was however, a little disturbed by his description of femininity:
They’re supposed to be influenced by its values and judge a woman’s beauty not just by her hourglass shape but by her incisive opinions, graciousness of character, and spiritual glow. It’s the feminine which draws the masculine, and the feminine is something subtle, noble and refined. It is vulgarized when it becomes entirely about the physical form and rapidly loses its appeal.
Wait, wait. Now I have to be subtle, noble, and refined? I have a better chance with the nose job. How do I get in touch with that Floridian doctor dude?
- This Aish.com article that says what everyone means, but short, sweet, and to the point.