I always thought it was just the yeshivish community that had an unreasonable grudge against curly hair, perhaps dating back to when straight was in fashion. Or when curly was in fashion. We tend to be slightly out of step with out prejudices. Sometimes the line is “That’s in fashion! It therefore can’t be modest to dress that way!” But other times, the argument is, “Nobody wears that, so it’s completely unacceptable to stand out like that.”
Curly hair, sadly, gets the negative end of both approaches. When curly is in, it’s fashionable-and-therefore-wrong. (“Why would you want to look like some pruste bum from Hollywood?”) When curly is out, it’s outlandish (“It stands out and screams ‘look at me! I want attention!'”).
So, I always thought it was a frum thing. Until NMF#7 sent me this link about curly hair in the general population, making me wonder if the curly prejudice isn’t more widespread than I thought. Really? A mainstream woman in a liberal artsy field complaining about hair discrimination? We totally need a support group.
What on earth is wrong with curly hair?
I found this post about the “disability” question on SYAS intriguing because, well, it’s something I’ve never thought about. I disagree with the author’s fundamental premise that the questions on the profile are irrelevant. Yes, they can be narrow, personal, and even a little weird. But the point is to help shadchanim narrow down the possibilities, and until someone thinks of a better way, leave it.
Some of the questions are there specifically to prevent people from going out with someone they’d later find objectionable for reasons that could have been clarified beforehand. Like “are you a ba’al teshuva” or “are you disabled.” I’m not saying whether I believe it is wrong or right to discriminate based on these factors – merely that people do. And if those people found themselves on a date with someone who they discovered to be a BT or disabled, they would probably reject them immediately. The result is that everyone has wasted their time and the daters are frustrated or hurt.
But what about the people who don’t care or have never thought about it? Having to choose a box to check off means they have to make an impulsive decision, and, well, the very fact that the question is being asked suggests that one’s answer should be “no.” People who might have cheerfully gone out with either label won’t give themselves the opportunity.
So, good or bad? I don’t know.
Weigh in below.