Full Disclosure

There are lots of things you have to remember to mention before you marry someone: if you’re taking anti-depressants, if you’re an illegal alien, and if you’ve previously been married. But you might not have realized how important it is to mention that you’ve had cosmetic surgery. Your spouse-to-be may love your (new) face, but (s)he is buy in to the entire package, including your genes. Take warning from this tale out of China.


HT Relarela


Oh Why Not: More Nose Job Links

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.

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.

  • 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?

Thursday Link: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on Nose Jobs

I don’t  want to fan flames that don’t need help, but I really liked parts of this response article by Rabbi Boteach (HT to the Kansas Rabbi again):

…perhaps the young women felt relieved that they were actually going to meet creatures with greater depth than some shallow guy. In attending a shidduch event where they would meet Moms, rather than immature men, perhaps they felt relieved that they could actually be themselves. Maybe, just this once, they would be looked on as a man’s equal, someone who is judged by how much she has developed her intelligence and emotions, rather than bust size, cheek bones, and leg length.Alas, it was not to be. Even the women, even the mothers, have had their ideals corrupted. And if these are the values with which orthodox Jewish mothers are today raising their sons, then it’s no surprise why their sons are so shallow, immature, and lost.

Two-in-One Package

If my defense of the Jewish nose did not impress you, and you have decided to trim your tooter, you can now get it done over vacation for merely the price of a plane ticket.

A Floridian plastic surgeon is offering his rhinoplasty services pro-bono to eligible singles who would really benefit from a rebuilt rhinos. Take a week off for some fun in the sun, come back with a new nose. What could be a better deal?

Even better, you can see his work showcased in the topical music video by the Groggers – the lead singer has his nose done in exchange for the song. The credits in the video roll between a before and after profile.

HT to the Not-in-Kansas-Anymore Rabbi

Not Something to Sniff At

I suppose I should weigh in on this Jewish Press article that has so many people in a tizzy. (Thanks Mother for alerting me; thanks O and everyone else for producing it.)

The article, in brief, is about a mother of a short-term learner who went to an event for hopeful wives of long-term learners, and was affronted by how little glitz she saw in the room. The aidels were barely wearing makeup, most had not chemically straightened their hair, and none seemed to have a nose job or stomach staple. Really, how did they expect to get married?

She goes on to describe how her life changed once she put her own proboscis under the knife, including her switch from single to married status.

Well, you can imagine the resultant horror among the JP readership. She lopped off her nose? Our European ancestors, in the alte heim, were persecuted for that nose! And she just ditches it because it became inconvenient?  The very idea!

Moreover, that nose she discards so carelessly was once considered quite regal. It was good enough for Caesar. It was good enough for Augustus and Octavius. It was even good enough for Caligula, who had no compunctions about taking a knife—or even a sword—to anything he didn’t like. And he left his nose untouched, thank you very much.

Caligula's Schnozz

Caligula's Sniffer

But it’s the betrayal that bothers me the most. I don’t know how you feel about it, but my nose has been with me since birth, through thick and thin. It’s the first thing to greet me when I gaze into the mirror in the morning. It has always let me know when my mother was baking, so that I could sneak into the kitchen for a sample. It warned me when the water in camp was sulfuric. It keeps tabs on the milk in the fridge, alerts me when the veggies I forgot in the crisper pass over to the other side, and lets me know when someone has made a fresh pot of coffee in the office.

We’ve grown from these experiences together (although not always at matching rates). I consider my nose an old friend. What kind of person is so cavalier about excising such a loyal companion? If this is how easily she lops off a friend who has been at her side (so to speak) for her entire life, imagine how she treats friends of lesser duration when they become inconvenient. I’m so relieved we didn’t go to school together.

Besides, there is more to a nose than its mere physiognomy. How it is treated, presented, and carried, indeed, the very attitude of its bearer toward it, will create the overall effect of the nose much more than its actual topography. A charming, graceful, feminine woman can carry off a beak of less delicacy than herself. The trick is not to walk around with your head hanging in shame, as if your nose is weighing your face down. Carry it with pride! Pride for your heritage, pride for its regal cast, and pride because it’s a part of you—and you’re worth being proud of. However, I will concede, that if a woman is still single at 23 she should probably go to charm school to learn a more demur carriage and delicate bearing.

Cleopatra's Beak

Cleopatra's Beak

Another technique is to remove the focus from your nose entirely by being so lively and flirtatious that nobody can spare the time to focus on your schnozz. There is an ancient Egyptian saying: “She who can flirt with the pros can rock any nose.” It dates back to Cleopatra, who, according to legend, was well endowed in the nasal way. And yet she was a talented seductress, seducing no less than J. Caesar himself, who had no shortage of beautiful women chasing him.

How did she do that? Legend relates that when Caesar came to town, Cleo didn’t wait for an invitation. She had herself rolled into a rug and delivered to Julius as a gift. When he unrolled the rug, out she popped, batting her eyelashes, patting down her hair, and asking to hear in person about how he tamed those Gauls.

I recommend that the self-consciously benosed maidel try something similar for her next date. Instead of shyly sidling nose-first into the dining room where your date is making polite small-talk with your parents, wrap yourself in the living room rug and roll in with a bang! Leap out and announce, “I’m he-ere!” Ask him something flattering and personal. Start the date like this and do you think he’ll even glance at your nose for a second? I sincerely doubt it.

JP's unairbrushed schnozz

JP's unairbrushed schnozz

There is one more non-surgical treatment for an unbeautiful nose. Think of the many famous people who have had unartistic sniffers. Due to rhinophyma, JP Morgan’s nasal organ was a different shape and color every day. Yet he was well beloved by his two wives, four children, and the ever-insolvent US government. And consider one of the more famous big schnozzes of the silver screen: Barbra Streisand. Although her nose was the subject of public criticism, she married twice. From this we can derive a very simple solution to the nosily impaired—one simple step that will have men beating a path to your door: become rich and famous. Because, it is well known, you cannot be both rich and ugly at the same time.

And that is the real way to solve the shidduch crisis.

Beautiful Barb as God Bequeathed Her

Beautiful Barb as God Bequeathed Her

Cultural Relativity

I always get a kick out of how so many preferences are culturally specific. 200 years ago, ‘work’ was a four-letter-word among the elite, whereas today, ‘idle’ is. Romans adored their aristocratic noses while nowadays nose jobs abound. Chinese meekness versus American confidence.

So I was naturally entertained by this article about how tall women are more desirable in Sudan, even if it’s not exactly for beauty reasons.

But there were two things in the article that struck me. The first is the chief’s sunglasses. It’s kinda hard not to be struck by them. The other was his bafflement when asked what women think of the matrimonial arrangement. Like, “What? They think? Do you also ask your cows what they think of your herding?”

So I was wondering: where did Western man slip up and allow Western woman out from under his thumb?