Visually Unreasonable

A would-be shadchan called my mother about a prospective date.

“Can you fax me Bad4’s profile and a picture?”

My mother made reluctant noises. She doesn’t like this whole “send a photo” business.

“He’s looking for a really beautiful girl, so he needs to see a picture first,” the shadchan explained.

At this point I would have terminated the conversation, saying that the only person who consistently refers to me as beautiful is my grandmother, and she has both a great deal of bias and cataracts. But my mother, bless her, is more zealous for my pride, and she continued the conversation, asking about the young man. He is in college and yeshiva and plans to go to law school.

“Well, I’ll ask my daughter,” my mother said. “Can you provide a profile and a photograph?”

“What do you need a photograph for?” asked the would-be shadchan, baffled.

“Just to know what he looks like,” replied my mother vaguely.

“That’s not how it’s done,” the shadchan worried. “She’ll see him plenty on the first date.”

“True, but she may not want to, if he’s lacking in visual appeal.”

“I just wouldn’t feel comfortable asking him,” the shadchan fretted. “I don’t think he’d be willing.”

My mother insisted.

“This is very unreasonable of you.”

“Well, then I’m afraid he’s just not for us,” my mother said regretfully, and that was that.

 

You go, Ma!

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62 thoughts on “Visually Unreasonable

  1. Similar thing happened to me recently. This guy kept on insisting on a picture, and we kept saying no – not just to the picture, but to him, because if he was the type who needed one to go out, he’s not for me. They kept calling though, so finally, my dad said, “Have him send us a picture, and if we’re ok with it, we’ll consider sending him hers.” That was the end of that 🙂

  2. Shuttle, it’s because we’d like to think we’re not so materialistic and vain, even though most of us really are…

    Also, not all of us are gorgeous, and while we may not be ugly, we’d prefer to have the chance to make a impression based on the whole person, not just a two dimensional picture…

    I know for myself, I don’t want to send a picture becuase I’m terribly unphotogenic.

  3. B4, your mom really is awesome. 🙂

    I know for myself, I don’t want to send a picture becuase I’m terribly unphotogenic.

    me too. I wouldn’t want to subject someone else to that issue either.

  4. I just wanna get married so I just send the picture, I’m of the whatever it takes philosophy – I’m happy with my looks so I really don’t care – Would love to see pic of guys too, sad it doesn’t work that way *sigh* guys have all the power in shidduchim.

  5. I just wanna get married so I send the picture, I’m of the ‘whatever it takes’ philosophy – I’m happy with my looks so I really don’t care – Would love to see pic of guys too, sad it doesn’t work that way *sigh* guys have all the power in shidduchim.

  6. i have a pic on my shidduch resume because its just easier than having to attach it each time someone asks for it… but i’ve always wondered why us girls don’t get to see a pic of the guy. i mean- it has to go both ways!!!

  7. As a guy, I wouldn’t have any problem submitting a picture. (I could do a variety of poses too, as per requests – learning in the Beis Medrash, in my dorm room, reading this blog, hiking, etc. But I would *not* submit a yearbook picture (were I to have one) – I think a more candid pose would be more realistic and relevant). It seems to me that this issue has something to do with the news article bad4 (I believe) posted a while back – something to the effect that looks are (at least initially) a more significant factor for a guy than for a girl, in selecting a potential mate. (I’ll find the link when I have more time.)

  8. As a guy, you definitely notice how a woman looks first. However, having been married for almost two decades, I think the guys shouldn’t worry so much. Most women (and most men) change over the course of their marriage, especially in the looks department. These changes are not necessarily for the worse. While I found my wife attractive when we met, dated and married, I think she is actually better looking now, that she is not so skinny after having children.

  9. Very cool of your mom. But then again- I would rather send my own picture that I could choose than have a guy look through my yearbook and see that awful pic of me…

  10. Wow. I love the double standard. HE only wants a BEAUTIFUL girl, so he “needs” your picture. But when YOU ask for a picture of HIM, it’s a no go. Good riddance. Just imagine what married life would be like with a dude who’s that way now . . .

  11. sometimes I’m really happy I’m from out of town.

    Well so was this guy. Wanna be set up?

    touché.

    Yet this is still very surprising (and disturbing) for me!

  12. Wait, a shidduch resume? This is almost as fantastical to me as the day I discovered the idea of an eruv techumin. What do you put on there? I hope I never figure out absolutely everything about being Jewish – these little bits that pop up make my day….

  13. Hey Another Anonymous –

    A shidduch resume is not something that all shidduch-daters possess. Personally, I find the whole idea unpleasent and counterproductive so I do not have one. I know many who agree with me (most of whom are now married).

    So while an eruv techumin is something universal (and undisputed) in the Jewish world, a shidduch resume is not. However I do agree with you that both are very interesting!

  14. Bad4, I don’t get what your issue is here. It is a universally accepted phenomenon to send a pic of yourself to “the other side” if it’s requested. Don’t get me wrong, it might sound interesting and maybe even weird but that’s a big part of “arranged marriages.” How the heck is this guy supposed to react when he see’s you for the first time on your date? Men and women alike have different tastes, likes & dislikes…beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m a girl (yes, dating) and I have gotten such requests like, maybe 3 times. The only difference in my situation is that in addition to the potential prospect viewing my pic -my parents ask for a photo of him! And it’s never a problem! It’s usually one of those pic’s where the bachur is standing at the Kosel (nice learning-in-Israel-momento.) I, for one, am VERY into looks. Not in a materialistic way! I was just born that way, my siblings aswell married good-looking mates both inside and out B”H. In case your thinking I’m vain -think what you want, this is of utmost importance to me. And no, I’m not expecting to marry Zac Efron but hey, ya never know! Peace.

  15. 29 , i could understand how resumes are unpleasent, but counterproductive…really? no i dont think thats true.
    you dont have a resume…your not married…corrolation? ding ding ding.
    seriously from a guys perspective…fact we like good looking girls,
    most guys will go out with girls that dont look all that great on a picture because we understand that not all people are photogenic and a picture doesnt show the persons true looks.
    why do we want pictures you may ask….because we want to make sure the girl isnt hideous. seriously thats the only reason guys ask for pics.
    in other words,
    guys dont ask for pics to make sure the girl is beautiful,
    they ask for pics to make sure shes not ugly.
    its really that simple.

  16. There was an article in the Jewish Press a while ago, like Yomim Tovim time, about that in the Teens and Twenties page. The author discussed pretty much the same thing you said!
    Here’s a link:

    http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/36610/Dating_Double_Standa.html

    I agree. This picture thing is way out of hand. What it comes down to is the fact that they think we girls are desperate enough, we don’t care what the guy looks like. Or at least we shouldn’t.

  17. Send a picture of someone else. What’s the idiot going to say then, “Hey, you’re not the girl in the picture.” and you say “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Even in today’s market he’ll come off sounding loony. It’ll work even better if it’s a shadchan who never met you.

    I’m liking this idea more and more it would be hilarious. Just do it to guys who NEED beautiful girls.

  18. 29 , you dont have a resume…your not married…corrolation? ding ding ding.

    hmm.. #32: you DO have a resume and you’re not married… corrolation? ding ding ding.

    And if you, in fact, are married, then I hope you give yourself (and your wife for that matter)a little more credit than two pieces of paper matching.

    In any case, my point was not that shidduch resumes should be used by no one; that is for each person to decide on their own. My point was simply that not EVERYONE who shidduch dates uses them.

  19. “He’s looking for a really beautiful girl, so he needs to see a picture first”…yet, “I don’t think he’d be willing” to send a picture of himself?

    Honestly? Sounds very creepy to me.

    Kudos to your mom.

    What sort of shadchan puts up with creepy behavior like that? I’d probably want to keep my kids away from the shadchan as well.

    (then again, what sort of name is Jameel for a nice Jewish blogger…)

  20. The logic these guys use is: it would be a waste of time. I’m doing her a favor.

    Ha ha a lot of the guys I know that were looking for beauties married objectively ugly girls so either they’re not as shallow as they appear or they have bad taste.

    I opt for the latter.

  21. Send a picture of someone else.
    😀 Love it. Now I need to trawl through model shots to find my alter ego.

    to What’s your problem Bad4?:
    I send pictures when requested. I don’t write off guys for every minor thing that I don’t like. But this guy wasn’t for me if he wants a gorgeous girl as his first criteria. Would you like him? You seem made for each other.

  22. I, for one, am VERY into looks. Not in a materialistic way! I was just born that way, my siblings aswell married good-looking mates both inside and out B”H. In case your thinking I’m vain -think what you want, this is of utmost importance to me.

    ::hands pressed to forehead in agony::
    Too…many…jokes…must…mock…

  23. I, for one, am VERY into looks. Not in a materialistic way! I was just born that way, my siblings aswell married good-looking mates both inside and out B”H. In case your thinking I’m vain -think what you want, this is of utmost importance to me. And no, I’m not expecting to marry Zac Efron but hey, ya never know! Peace.

    Are you… real?

  24. The grandmother of someone I know was asked by a shadchan to provide a picture of the girl under discussion . . . she ran upstairs, cut out a picture of a model (a famous one, I just don’t remember who), put it in a frame, and ran back down. The shadchan replied that the guy could do better. (!!!)
    There are just so many problems with that story, don’t ya think?

  25. Shuttle: it doesn’t, but when the shadchan prefaces the request with “He wants to marry a gorgeous girl” she kind of gives the game away…

  26. 31 here, responding to Bad4’s reply:

    Look, if this guy is only looking for someone “gorgeous” then I send you my personal condolences. I thought you only had issue with the asking-for-a -picture-request. Totally understand you.

    To “The Apple”: Re: Are you… real? Yup, I’m real & available. Question is: What would make you think otherwise? Just because looks are important to me. To each their own.

  27. Hmm, I don’t know, maybe it was the “I’m really into looks but not in a materialistic way!” attitude you were espousing. That’s never been a hindrance in your dating?

  28. The only difference in my situation is that in addition to the potential prospect viewing my pic -my parents ask for a photo of him! And it’s never a problem!

    Well clearly IT WAS A PROBLEM HERE. If someone’s going to request a photo, they should provide one of their own. THE END.

    There are two separate problems in this post: the issue of asking for pictures, and the double standard that the guy wouldn’t send his own. If the first one wasn’t enough to send me running for the hills, the second one certainly was.

  29. why not take a picture of a girl with the same hair color and eye color of you but who is terribly, terribly plain and simple. 🙂

    then if they actualy decide you’re fine you can show up in all your gorgeous glory (cause all girls are really gorgeous which contradicts the above but whatever) and let him say “but you don’t look like the picture” and you can tell him “yes, that was the point. I don’t want to waste time with someone who is looking only at my looks!”

    or you could tell the shadchan (as I wanted to do) “sheker hachein, v’hevel hayofis, yiru es hashem. . .”

  30. A:I, for one, am VERY into looks. Not in a materialistic way! I was just born that way, my siblings aswell married good-looking mates both inside and out B”H. In case your thinking I’m vain -think what you want, this is of utmost importance to me.

    B:Yup, I’m real…Question is: What would make you think otherwise? Just because looks are important to me. To each their own

    –Yeah, sure…cuz those two statements are the same.

    & available – I’m shocked…SHOCKED!

  31. Pingback: Objectification of Me « Bad for Shidduchim

  32. Pingback: Friday Repost: How to Turn Tables | Bad for Shidduchim

  33. My mom at one point organized shidduch meetings and at one point she was collating a lot of resumes and making a spreadsheet. She had STACKS of resumes, probably 60:40 girls:boys. Every single girl’s resume had a picture. ONE boy’s resume did as well.
    She nearly quit the whole thing on the spot.

  34. Just to add a little balance here… once, I approached a guy about a shidduch idea, and when I started to give a general description of her appearance – he interrupted me “Oh! I don’t care about that!”

    At the time, I was very impressed.

    I don’t remember whether he went out with my suggestion or not, but he did marry the suggestion of another friend. But soon after they were divorced.

    Apparently, he was very fulfilled with his life the way it was, and wasn’t really seeking a wife for whom he’d have to modify his full routine of learning, chessed and kiruv (and develop a personal relationship with?). Neither of them had family or anyone close to them helping them with the process, so I guess it made it less likely for them to actually discuss this issue effectively ahead of time.

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