Solution to the Shidduch Crisis

Read this article Purim And The Tyranny Of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers of Girls in Shidduchim. The woman who wrote it basically is endorsing plastic surgery as a way for the girls to find husbands. I mean, in a nutshell, that’s it.

Want to know why there is a shidduch crisis? Because mothers of boys (and I swear, this will NEVER be something that I do) have convinced themselves that their sons are the best thing ever, that they are the creme de la creme, the best of the best, and they deserve only the finest girl. Meanwhile said boy is pimply and fat, and has never worked a day in his life, and has no clue how to wash a shirt or make an omelet or even to tie his own shoes.

Mothers of boys are the ones that want a size 2 stunner for their son – the boys themselves, who even thinks to ask them? Seriously – the mother is looking for the shidduch, she wants someone to carry on doing everything for her son that she does, and she wants that someone to look as good as she thinks she does. Let me tell you, lady, you ain’t no size 2 and your wrinkles would make a puppy look old.

I have already told my boys that *I* refuse to look for shidduchim for them. They will find the right person at the right time by themselves. If they ask me to help them, I will, but only once I understand the type of woman THEY are looking for, and I will be there to help not to run the whole shebang. MY own ideas about the perfect woman for them – not important. I want them to be happy and have a successful marriage.

I have tried to teach my boys that it’s what a person has in their heart and their soul that what matters, and although it’s lovely to have a pretty package, it isn’t everything. I have also, FOR SHAME, taught the boys to think for themselves – so that they don’t have to come running to Ima for answers to difficult questions about themselves.

This article – if ANYONE actually takes it seriously – has done untold damage. Eating disorders are already prevalent amongst the dating girls, now there will be an epidemic of unnecessary plastic surgery.

What is this world coming to??

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38 Comments

  1. mrsmelissasg says:

    There is one *teeny tiny* thread of it I can agree with, yes you should put some effort into your appearance.
    But to suggest that every young woman who cannot find her basheret through this whackadoodle system needs major surgery is disgusting.
    As someone with a life of body-image issues, it makes me sick to my stomach.

    • Mark says:

      I am *SURE* that the girls *DID* put effort into their appearance. ALMOST ALL OF THEM. But from the perspective of this nasty woman, whose son is worth twice his weight in gold, they were frumpy and not nearly good enough for her golden son.

      • mrsmelissasg says:

        Absolutely. I have no doubt that the majority of the women there made some effort. I was just reinforcing the single thing which made sense in that entire article.

        • Seriously? How much effort do men put into “looking good” for a date compared to how much effort most women have been taught to put into getting ready (appearance-wise) for a date culturally? And by culturally, I don’t mean Jewishly. You almost always see the supermodel dating the older, unattractive man, but the other way around?!

          • I was 25 when I met my husband. I didn’t have a scratch of makeup on me. I was wearing a black turtleneck, red skirt and black combat boots. I spoke to everyone in the room: men and women equally, as I am very outgoing. I had personality…and curly pigtails in my favor. I definitely “stood out.” I didn’t understand this was shocking in any way until I was discovered by my super-put-together friends who found me surrounded by a group of eligible young men, many of them younger than me by many years. These same friends had refused to join me at the party but eventually came and were shocked to fine how easily I could talk to guys. In some Jewish communities, we have made it unnatural for young men and women to simply TALK TO EACH OTHER, talking to each other’s mothers isn’t going to fix things.

          • Mark says:

            We do try to look good for our dates, it’s just that we aren’t very good at it. We generally don’t have as much sense of style as women have, we don’t put makeup on to hide blemishes, and we, well, often have unruly hair (when we have hair, that is) and lack the talent to tame it.

  2. RubyV says:

    The entire thing is vile and offensive. I’m sure she looks down her nose at the secular world, at how “those” women dress, behave, and are exploited. What she suggests is just as exploiting of these women. In some ways, it is far worse, because she had not only reduced these girls to a resume, but to a makeup job as well. They have no way to allow themselves to shine. Instead, she is advocated a mindset that encourages eating disorders, distorted body image, and a sense of self worth that is wrapped up in their appearance.

    Or looks are fleeting. We aren’t young forever. We bear children, we go grey. These pregnancies leave lines in skin, and hopefully, smiles will as well. Age makes us beautiful. How much must this woman hate hey own body?

    I love my body. It is not the body of a19 year old child. It has carried a child, and lost another. My hips are wider than she would deem fashionable. My hair is going silver. These are the signs of a body lived in. It’s made love, danced and hiked.

    But her son won’t understand this. He will believe himself, warts, zits and all, deserving of a prime piece of flesh. He, and boys like him, are given a sense of entitlement.

    These girls are entitle to men, not entitled boys. Men who can pick up after themselves, make breakfast, and ffs, ignore their obnoxious mothers who insist that girls get themselves turned into something unnatural.

  3. Tzip says:

    Thank God I was married before I sought conversion! I am only half way through that article and I’m mad enough to spit. It’s like a damn cattle drive! What on freaking earth!? Sickening. I would NEVER do that to my daughter nor on behalf of my son.

  4. L says:

    Everyone needs to calm down. This is a sign of a crazy woman, not indicative of the average girl or guy.

  5. I feel for her future daughter-in-law, whomever she turns out to be.

    • kelliatpixelpointpress says:

      I can’t help but hope that prospective brides for her son will now run the other direction…
      My plea to mothers of girls in shidduchim: Don’t let your daughter marry into a family as crazy as this one…

      • Mark says:

        Don’t let your daughter marry into a family as crazy as this one…

        In other words, punish the son because his mother is crazy.

        • OlyC says:

          Punish the son??! Really, are we talking about 7 year olds? If he grows up into a man, he can find a wife on his own, and be an adult enough to distance himself and his family from a horrible mother. That’s how my husband and I met, and my mother in law is a lovely woman.

    • Me, too. My G-d. That was horrifying!

  6. all i can think of is wow. except for the fact this woman included plastic surgery in her list of things women need to do to hook a man i would say that she is not alone in her thoughts. i have heard it all before. its white noise and its a bit odd coming from people who pride themselves for being so spriritual. when i read that woman’s article i thought i was reading a magazine article about ‘the swan’ tv show or an of those other plastic surgery shows.
    but you know what it does not even offend me anymore when i hear all of these men talk about how thin or beautiful they want their wives to be. a man like that does not make a good husband, he will also expect a woman to never gain a pound even after giving birth,, she must wake up with a full face of makeup, never want to see his wife wearing a denim skirt and the list goes on. i dont know what this type of guy will do when his wife has the flu. no one looks too cute when she has the flu.
    it is not just the women who are being put down when yeshiva bachurim are encouraged to only look for super models to be their wives, the young men are being taught to be shallow husbands.
    hence the shidduch crisis.

  7. Leah-Perl says:

    Methinks you’ve been had — “Happy Purim” anybody?
    It’s a clever mix of real people and vignettes with some very over the top humor…

    • HSaboMilner says:

      IF this is Purim Torah, then it’s a sad day that it is indeed so believable. The shidduch world is out of hand. It may be satire now (possibly) but will probably be fact soon enough.

  8. Four points:
    1) The article is disgusting.
    2) I think boys are more interested in the size 2 stunner than you think.
    3) Its not the parents job to find the size 2 stunner, it’s their job to to make sure that the son isn’t only looking at the externals(sorry but that is the want of many boys that age). It saddens me that this mother will quite obviously so impair her son for anything but the most superficial relationship.
    4) Since when did a Bat Yisrael stop being a Bat Yisrael and thus worthy of respect?

  9. Benji Lovitt says:

    Thumbs up, Hadassah.

  10. Ha_Safran says:

    If a young man can’t be bothered to spend the time to find his own life partner, he does not deserve said partner.

  11. What a horrible thing to teach young girls they aren’t good enough to be married unless they’re deemed ‘pretty’ by some aging bitty who wants a maid for her son, not a lifelong companion.

    What a travesty among our people to make how a girl looks a priority for marriage. These young men need to find a better reason for marriage, and do so on their own. Setting people up is one thing, but base it on something more than ‘she looks hot’. These women should be ashamed!

  12. Dr. G says:

    Oh this article killed me. I feel, as a doctor to the frum community but not a member, that the major advantage of this community is the planning and intentionality of each part of life. How, then, have the rabbis and lay leaders allowed this to get so far out of hand?

  13. fille says:

    but shidduchim are already all about looks. What this author said in her article is what is practiced already in the shidduch world: Girls have to be slim, pretty, etc. They do not even dare go out on the street in sloppy dress, lest a potential mother-in-law might see them and refuse them before they even could show their other qualities.

  14. Tanya says:

    Good for you Hadassah. Your sons and future daughters-in-law (B”H!) are extremely fortunate. I am sick to my stomach to read the article you read. One would think that a potential mother-in-law would be intentionally looking past looks…What a terrible message to young women that no matter what qualities they possess, their ‘beauty’ as perceived by potential mothers-in-law is what really matters.

    Plastic surgery??? As a non-member of the Frum community, I still wonder about messing with how HKB”H created us. That said, I believe there can be a place for it if it is affecting the individual’s self esteem to a tremendous extent. Problem is that too often an individual’s self esteem is linked to how they feel the world around perceives them and not how they feel about themselves. What this woman is suggesting not only exacerbates this problem but also recommends plastic surgery to please someone else.

    I think what’s in real need of a makeover is her view of how things are and ought to be.

  15. “Seriously – the mother is looking for the shidduch, she wants someone to carry on doing everything for her son that she does, and she wants that someone to look as good as she thinks she does. Let me tell you, lady, you ain’t no size 2 and your wrinkles would make a puppy look old.”

    So true!

  16. Borrow for plastic surgery! Borrow for the wedding! Make your daughters unrecognizable! When the kid pops out and he asks why it doesn’t look like him or her, definitely don’t tell him that it’s because she basically changed every single thing about her natural body.

  17. Notice, as I mentioned before “HAIR STRAIGHTENING” is right up there with “NOSE JOB.” Many Jewish women have beautiful, gorgeous curls and every matchmaker tells them to straighten it. It’s ridiculous! These are young women signing up to support their husbands to learn full-time and THEY are the ones who have to invest in plastic surgery? Have you seen these guys?!

  18. O.M.G. her reply was even more scary. not to mention offensive to the good, decent men out there who are the opposite of what she is describing. WOW. I am simply STUNNED. I sincerely suspect the Satmar Rebbe Z”L would be appalled. Dentures are one thing – it is for one’s health as much as looks. But endorsing all-out superfluous plastic surgery? I can’t fathom he would have thought that was ok.

  19. First, please let me say that it is extremely jarring to me to see someone else named “Aliza” in writing anywhere. I grew up in Brooklyn (plenty of Jews) but fairly a-religious (so not many “Aliza”s.) I had to continually remind myself of this blog’s context as I read all the comments! :) Hi, Aliza Hausman!!!

    Secondly, Bravo to HaDassah. I’m so glad to we met (albeit virtually) and I’m so digging this Orthodox Feminist vibe. This is a magnificent answer to this woman’s drek. I loved the response to her article that said:

    “This is how I read this article:
    Start: Aww yes totally agree.
    Yes. Yes. Still Agree.
    (21st paragraph) wait what?
    No.
    No. Diet maybe. Botox. What?
    End: Wow.”

    I cannot tell you how much HaDassah’s blog, her commenters, and the commenters on the original article hearten me and make me see how women in the Orthodox and secular world are really fighting the same fight, side by side. Hopefully we can move towards fighting the same fight hand in hand.

  20. anna morel says:

    OMG OMG OMG I cannot believe that article is for real. Please tell me it was a Purim spoof? But, alas, the tone is not satirical but deadly serious. How low have we sunk? Thank G-d my daughter was not a candidate for Ms. Halberstam’s approval, and thank G-d my son is not Ms. Halberstam’s son.

  21. Michael Makovi says:

    I’m reminded of when one girl I had been dating broke up with me, and I called my mother about it. I told her why she broke up with me, and she said to me, something along the lines of (paraphrase):

    “Well, good for her! Most girls her age would not have the maturity to know when a man was not right for her. When I was married to my first husband [before my father], I spent a whole year with that bozo, wondering why I wasn’t being a good wife, what I was doing wrong that he wasn’t happy. Women have that tendency to blame themselves. When God says that a woman’s heart will be toward her husband, it isn’t a curse, but just a plain fact. So kudos for this girl knowing that she didn’t want to date you anymore!”

    My mother ,she doesn’t coddle me. :D

  22. Schvach says:

    I never married; I stopped dating almost immediately (senior year of college) – it was too humiliating. Now that I have attained geezer status and am no longer in the running (I stopped running 38 years ago) I feel much relieved. The hunt stinks! Quite frankly, the whole shidduch/dating scene reminds me of political campaigning – salesmanship without much chance for success. What I do remember about Jewish dating is that I felt privileged if a Jewish young woman – no matter how unattractive – would even bother top talk to me. The problem was snobbery – no one, it seemed, was good enough for anyone else – forget about the mothers and their klaftakeit. BTW, this scene is not unique to us Jews; according to the blogs, Indians and Muslims have the same social junk with which they contend.

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