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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
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Purim And The Tyranny Of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers of Girls in Shidduchim


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I know I’m going to be crucified, but if the appeal I make below helps even one girl in shidduchim, then it will be worth all the fury and outrage that shall inevitably descend upon my soon-to-be beleaguered head.

The other night, I was invited to a fascinating new shidduch initiative. Endorsed by leading rabbonim and spearheaded by a few righteous women valiantly trying to transcend the spiraling “shidduch crisis” in some small but meaningful way, the concept was to bring mothers of eligible young men together with young women looking for shidduchim (members of both groups were pre-screened and issued personal and discreet invitations by the organizers) in both a balabatish setting and a dignified way.

Everybody knows that the experiences of boys in shidduchim–in contradistinction to their female counterparts–is vastly different. This is the harsh truth: The mothers of “good boys” are bombarded with shidduch suggestions on a daily basis – a veritable barrage of resumes either flooding their fax machines or pouring out of their e-mail inboxes– while those with similarly “top” daughters sit with pinched faces anxiously waiting for the phone to ring. The disparity is bare, bold-faced and veritably heartbreaking: In the shidduchparsha,” boys are constantly being courted and pursued, while the best girls’ resumes barely elicit a modicum of interest.

As a friend recently told me: “When my nephew was 19 and started shidduchim, he went out with 19-year-old girls. When he turned 20, he still went out with 19-year-old girls. He kept getting older, but the shidduchim that he was “redt” continued to be 19-year-old girls. Now he is 24 and baruch Hashem just got engaged –to a 19-year old girl.” Sadly, women do not have this same recourse.

To rectify this inequity, a few concerned mothers brain stormed together and concluded that “shidduch resumes” (which never even existed as a concept when I was dating 35 years ago) fail to accurately capture the essence of the person being “summed up” and often–especially in the case of the girls– get lost in the shuffle. One organizer told me: “The boys’ mothers barely give the girls’ resumes a passing glance–they are so overwhelmed by the sheer numbers coming their way–and it becomes a daunting task to sift through them. And the resumes themselves are severely limiting. Can you really get a genuine sense of who the girl is from the resume? What does it tell you about her personality, her character, her intellect, her neshoma? It is demeaning to reduce a girl to a few sentences.”

The rationale underlying the new shidduch initiative was this: If eligible girls would be given personal and meaningful “face time” with prospective mother-in-laws, they would be able to present their qualities far more efficaciously than a cold and lifeless curriculum vitae.

Now for my full disclosure: I am the mother (baruch Hashem) of a great boy. He is continuously sought out, “in perpetual demand” (kinehora). I should be grateful that in shidduchim, he “wields the upper hand.” But as a woman who identifies with and feels great compassion for the throngs of girls in a parallel universe who are not being chased, I feel a little sad each time the fax machine cranks out yet another resume for my son. I know full well that there are fantastic girls out there who are his equals–perhaps even his superiors–who are NOT receiving comparable treatment. They are neither being hounded nor pursued half as vigorously as he, and they are denied the latitude of choices that he receives every day. I ache for their mothers who repeatedly call the shadchanim who never call back, but are visibly more responsive if you are the mother of a boy. Inwardly, I rail against the unfairness of it all (although the shadchanim are completely innocent of any wrongdoing, whatsoever; it is the system that is at fault– not they—the stark realities of supply and demand). Thinking of the mothers who do not have the privilege to wade through as many resumes as me, I try consciously not to revel in the continuous stream that cascade over my desk. I know how fortunate my son is, and I feel for those who aren’t.

So, when one of the extraordinary women who organized this event invited me to participate, I was actually reluctant to attend. Quite simply, there was no need. But because I like and respect this woman so much, and wanted to validate her efforts, I RSVP’d “Yes.”

“How are you going to work this?” I asked. “How are you going to ensure that all the girls get equal time? Are they not going to feel degraded? Is this process not going to end up even more demeaning than a resume?”

The organizer assured me that there would be facilitators on site who would introduce each girl to every mother. The facilitator would escort the mother to the tables where the girls sat, and be hyper-vigilant that no girl gets bypassed. I wondered how many girls would feel comfortable with this arrangement and actually show up, but as I said before, I wanted to support my acquaintance’s endeavor with my physical presence, so I went.

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851 Responses to “Purim And The Tyranny Of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers of Girls in Shidduchim”

  1. Sara Weiss Davis says:

    Oy Oy Oy. Talk about focusing on the wrong thing. Holy moly. Yes, they should brush their hair, but nebach on Am Yisrael if this is the criteria. And please reread the Megilla. If all you got out of Megillat Esther is the beauty regiment, again, nebach.

  2. this has to be a purim shpiel, right?

  3. Avi Ganz says:

    "I implore you….to get a nose job" :P

  4. Daniela 'Dani' Weiss-Bronstein says:

    It's funny to think that we spent so much time in school talking about midot instead of eye color, nose size, body shape, and hair texture. I guess we were doing it wrong.
    I actually thought that this article was a Purim joke at first, but I think maybe it's a response to the recession – an appeal to get more work for the plastic surgeons and psycho-therapists who serve the frum community.

  5. Vivi B says:

    ick.

  6. Pnina Shields Eilberg says:

    Really sickening to read!!! And I know people who have collections of these "resumes" It makes my stomach turn.

  7. Maya Carni says:

    While I understand the negative backlash from everyone regarding this article, I can’t say strongly enough that I couldn’t agree more! I have been to many many singles events where the girls are obviously there to meet their potential match, and they show up looking like they just left the gym, or still in costume from a play rehearsal for lLittle House on the Prairie.I am a girl and therefore I am able to look past the exterior and appreciate these girls for their wonderful personalities, kind Midot and great sense of humor. But we expect a guy to look past the long frizzy hair, glasses from the 80s, and bare faces? So many times I just want to shake a girl and tell her “put on some makeup, blow dry your hair, shop in store that sells up to date clothing and tweeze your eyebrows for goodness sake!!! I dont think that’s too much to ask. And I think everyone is lying to themselves if they say that the “good guys don’t care”. I dated a full time learning yeshiva guy who dumped me because I had brown hair instead of blond! Can you imagine what he says to the girls who don’t put on a dash of makeup?!!?? Something needs to be done. There is a reason girls put on makeup on Shabbos and make themselves look the best they can, and the girls who don’t have anyone at home to teach them why need others to do so. No is telling them to make themselves into a model, to completely change their look, to focus solely on the externals, and to judge your self worth but your appearances. What we are saying is that looks matter, and guys, no matter how frum, appreciate a girl who take the time to look her best.

  8. Cheryl 'Chani' Dym says:

    Dear author, I can see why you wrote this. You don't want women looking yuck and feel it will help them land a man. Got it. You have a point and boys and girls should generally put their best foot forward when dating. But there's a limit. Endorsing surgery? People can die during surgery. Even routine, elective surgery. Also, have you ever thought that your particular taste in women is not the same as your son's or other men out there? I know many guys who prefer the "little makeup" and "natural" look. I think one of the problems in the "crisis" is that the girls can't get past the mothers' idea of what's attractive – when in reality, a boy may have found that girl to be pretty. PS. the story about the Satmar Rebbi actually horrified me. The fact that he would allow this woman to risk her life to provide the Rebbi with kosher just seems really horrible. What if she was killed for him? Also, in the story of Purim – Esther applied the minimum of cosmetics that was given to her and requested nothing extra as compared to the other ladies. So the comparison doesn't really work in this scenario.

  9. Tom Dratler says:

    To the author:
    May I suggest a simplification to your solution?

    Let the overwrought prospective mothers-in-law stay home and let the kinderlach mingle amongst themselves (Perhaps you will find this scenario more acceptable if you think of it as a play date?).

    Thus the male children will be able to experiment with their under-developed (or non-existent) social skills in a safe and supervised environment. (I’m sure one could find a few kindergarten teachers available to supervise. As they will be dealing with adult children, tasers can be issued to prevent any improper activity).

    At the end of the evening, the male and female children can indicate their preferences to each other and (gasp!) exchange phone numbers. Once some common interest has been established, the prospective candidates can submit their resumes for parental review.

    As an added bonus, you should send invitation to all of the local plastic surgeons and make-up artists. Let them set up booths offering their services, but charge them for the privilege. That should help fund the gathering.

    Just a thought.

  10. To the author: You are part of the problem.

    I know you'd like to think you're a part of the solution, and I give you credit for trying to help within the framework of your understanding. But once a person is neat and clean and dressed properly, it should be enough to go forward. People should get dressed up for Shabbos. People should even get dressed festively for a simcha. It's not necessary or even desirable for someone to get fully decked out for a date. I assume most people make themselves presentable when going out in public. I even understand if people take a little extra care in preparing for a date. But don't go overboard!

    In married life, do you expect the women to spend lots of time preparing themselves before their husband gets a glimpse of them for the first time every day? No? Then when does he get his rude awakening? During the first week of marriage? After the first year? The first baby?

    I think a better approach would be to educate the young men to not expect girls who they date and marry to look like models. This is artificial. No one looks like that in real life, and trying to look like that can be dangerous both physically (ever hear of anorexia?) and emotionally. For all that we protect our young men from seeing unclean magazines, movies, and television shows, often their concepts of what is beauty are shaped by what they see in the outside world as well as what we teach them to expect. This is unfortunate and damaging. The answer should be more along the lines of us teaching our young men and women to appreciate people for who they are rather than what they look like.

    I don't mean to look down on girls who choose to follow that path, as long as it's a personal choice and will make her feel better about herself. But to presume that girls who do not are somehow lacking is wrong and is not a fault of either the girl or their parents, and their choice should be respected.

  11. First "cosmetic and surgical procedures available" SURGERY?! you're out of your mind. I think eyebrow plucking is extreme. Plastic surgery has no place in the shidduch scene. Second, many frum girls are taught that it's immodest to wear make-up – it's not allowed in schools – they're going to show their middos to their future mother-in-law, not to a job interview at Hooters.
    I would expect a mother to be concerned that the woman her husband marries takes care of the house, the kids, has a good head on her shoulders, etc. She shouldn't be a Barbie doll.

  12. Melissa says:

    I married the cream of the crop when I was nineteen – and he met me at camp – no make-up, no nose job – I couldn’t be happier!

  13. I think it's OK to look down on girls who follow this path.

  14. While everyone should consult her own rav before embarking on surgery, there are poskim that allow plastic surgery if the cosmetic "defect" is significant enough to prevent a shidduch from taking place. Poskim who oppose plastic surgery do so on the grounds hold that the person should find a someone who accepts her as she is. The halachic decision is often dependent on the psychological stress that the person undergoes as a result of the appearance issue such as a large nose. All surgery carries the risk of infection, hemorrhage, and problems related to anesthesia. The benefit must outweigh the risk.
    As far as the rest of the suggestions, no one was ever harmed by wearing a bit of make-up and some jewelry. It is definitely not an new suggestion that women who are looking for shidduchim need to put effort into their appearances. Physical beauty has always been a desired quality but in different times and places, beauty was defined differently. Also, women have long been suffering in order to look beautiful. High heels are not new but at least today's foundation garments are not as uncomfortable as the corsets of hundreds of years ago were. Rabbonim have been cautioning men for centuries, not to choose wives based on beauty but to weigh in piety as well.
    Every woman has a choice in how she wants to look but if she chooses to look unattractive, why are we blaming men for not being interested?

  15. Tom Dratler says:

    That article cried out for a sarcastic response…

  16. Tom Dratler says:

    That article cried out for a sarcastic response. I was happy to respond:

    To the author:
    May I suggest a simplification to your solution?
    Let the overwrought prospective mothers-in-law stay home and let the kinderlach mingle amongst themselves (Perhaps you will find this scenario more acceptable if you think of it as a play date?).
    Thus the male children will be able to experiment with their under-developed (or non-existent) social skills in a safe and supervised environment. (I'm sure one could find a few kindergarten teachers available to supervise. As they will be dealing with adult children, tasers can be issued to prevent any improper activity).
    At the end of the evening, the male and female children can indicate their preferences to each other and (gasp!) exchange phone numbers.
    Once some common interest has been established, the prospective candidates can submit their resumes for parental review.
    As an added bonus, you should send invitation to all of the local plastic surgeons and make-up artists. Let them set up booths offering their services, but charge them for the privilege. That should help fund the gathering.
    Just a thought.

  17. Rachel Furman Stern says:

    Dear Yitta, I am not a 20 something girl looking for a shidduch. I am a widow in my 50's. I KNOW that I look at least ten years younger (when I am wearing my sheitel and make up and dressed nicely). But I am frequently passed over by men in their 50's who prefer to date women who are at least 10 or more years younger than themselves. The men who are interested in me are at least 10 or more years OLDER than me and I find them TOO OLD for me — they frequently look and feel like my FATHER! Interestingly enough, a man close to my age told me that I should spend money and time on my appearance — neither of which I have. Perhaps, if I had surgery, a nose job, a lap band, dental implants, botox, liposuction, and could invest in a month at a spa, perhaps I would find a husband! May I send you all the bills? My regular bills will need to be paid too — after all, I will be too busy beautifying myself to work. Please email me your address so I can send you my bills.

    Rachel Stern

  18. geula says:

    It is demeaning to reduce a girl to a few sentences.”
    Kol HaKavod for saying this – It is a shame belittling and seems contraindicated to everything Torah Judaism is all about

  19. Rachel, I couldn't make it past the first page (via the web site). This is all just too too weird

  20. Jere Finer says:

    Maybe something is wrong with the whole shidduch system. A very well known, VERY frum rav met his wife in the 1950's when he (from a very religious family) was a lifeguard and she (from a very religious family) was swimming at the pool. I can't imagine people going to that "extreme" these days, BUT MAYBE YOU FOLKS SHOULD LIGHTEN UP A LITTLE! Take the corks out of your bottoms and let young men and women meet in a natural setting such as weddings, shabbos tables and the like instead of keeping the Berlin Wall up between them. Sheesh!

  21. David Heller says:

    The streets run both ways, in parallel, though not on the same roadway. There are plenty of women who choose which men to date not based on character and other intangibles, but on criteria such as income, height, etc. If a person doesn't meet the criteria of a potential match, then the potential match doesn't meet the criteria of the person in question. Both should move on and not take it personally.

  22. Andrew Lillien says:

    The main problem is that the mothers are reading the resumes. The boys should read the resumes and mothers should butt out. There is no shidduch crisis. Just picky parents with ridiculous standards.

  23. Becky Ricklis says:

    Rachel (and Valerie), I made it to the end of page 3, but I just couldn't take it any longer. It was making me sick.

  24. David Heller says:

    Pnina Shields Eilberg Such resumes are no different from profiles on SawYouAtSinai, Frumster.com, Jdate, etc. From the guys perspective: when all the profiles sound alike, a guy will pick based on superficial criteria like the picture. If they all go to same or similar cheder, summer camps, universities, and they all do chesed and come from them same communities, and all want guys who learn, then the the only remaining distinctions are physical and superficial. Perhaps the real problem is not the guys, or the gals, but the frum mindset and peer pressure to conform in lockstep to social/communal conventions and that condemns women over 24 to the status of old-maid. If you want to marry a stereotype, then date stereotypes. Ignore the converts, the BTs, the kids who remained shomer mitzvot while enrolled in a unique educational program at a a Big 10 or small liberal arts school instead of YU/Stern. Ignore the guy who can make only a little time to learn while he's pursuing a professional career to afford the yeshiva tuition for your many future children. There are ways to happy marriage other than pursuing merely the things that make your parents and Rav happy.

  25. Sara Wolf says:

    Very superifical society

  26. Many years ago, someone I know married a very beautiful woman – always did her makeup, always looked great. Shortly after their wedding, she was in an accident, and her face was wounded. I'm glad her husband married her for the woman she was, not for her looks. I'm sure that during the time that she was swollen and bruised and cut up, he was glad that he hadn't only married an attractive woman, but a kind, loving, intelligent woman too.
    B"H – she healed completely, but it took a very long time. Thank G-d, he could look past her cuts and bruises and see a wonderful woman.

  27. Rebecca Levitan says:

    Unless we've started promoting some new-fangled lifestyle where the mother AND her son marry a girl, I CAN NOT understand why the mother would have anything to do with picking out the girl. If these 'boys' are not mature enough to pick out who they're going to date themselves, then perhaps they should not be dating.

  28. Rebecca Levitan says:

    Additionally, WHY does it have to be the GIRL who changes everything? Are you going to start promoting that boys get hairplugs if they're balding? Start dieting if they're pudgy? Tanning if they're pasty? Classes on ironing and laundry so they don't dress like a schlump? A relationship is a TWO-WAY street. If guys cant put the effort in for the girls, WHY do the girls need to put in all the effort for the guys?

  29. Rosey Yachnes Jacob says:

    I just read this in the JP….I agree with u 100 percent, why is it the girls have to change everything and the boys get what ever pick they want. I understand wear makeup on a date and all put please get bypass, get a mole removed plz we are just spoiling our men even more then ever, can't they learn to accept the girls flaws and the girls must learn to accept the men's flaws.

  30. Rachel Schreiber Levitan says:

    Why are you even reading this stuff?

  31. Esther Elle says:

    WOW. I stopped right here: Mothers this is my plea to you: There is no reason in today’s day and age with the panoply of cosmetic and surgical procedures available, why any girl can’t be transformed into a swan. Borrow the money if you have to; it’s an investment in your daughter’s future, her life." Really? Plastic surgery? It was going badly enough until this point but wow. I am so, so happy that this is the message this author chose to send and I hope and pray no daughter of mine will ever have a woman like this as a mother in law! I know the author has no respect for herself but just try for your sex and your people- a nose job, really? Also way to miss the message of Purim – I'm pretty sure one big beauty pageant wasn't supposed to inspire you but show you how shallow and degrading to women Achashverosh was.It is people like this author that continue to sexualize girls from the youngest of ages – how is this any different from the "immodesty" of the west the community is constantly condemning? And the author's obsession with looks is no different from White Supremacist viewpoint that has made blacks chemically straighten their hair and bleaching their skin in the '50s. Maybe we should teach our daughters that there is more to life than this twisted sexism of the Orthodox community, i.e. marrying by 19, have a kid a year, support your husband so he can 'learn' (AKA talk abt. bra sizes and smoke) but while you're raising kids and managing a house singlehandedly you also have to work to support the family but you can't go to college b/c then you may think for yourself so you have to support a large family on a low paying job that you'll probably enjoy anyway b/c by this time you're too exhausted or brainwashed to care. Wow. SHALL WE INSTEAD BEGIN TO SHOW OUR DAUGHTERS THAT THEIR WORTH IS NOT DEPENDENT ON THIER LOOKS – which by the by- is according to a white and western world standard so good job there with your "purism". Dear author, The damage you've inflicted on your son is bad enough, I pray you don't have daughters to damage. So author, this is my plea to you- stop sexualizing and harming young women, have a little self esteem that is not dependent on beauty b/c Gd knows your outward beauty is all you've got and that is all due to your plastic surgeon. Maybe exercise your mind and enter the 21st century, it's great! Women can vote now and everything! Or is this particular American value is beneath you?

  32. Nora Rachlin Viskin says:

    Better question Rachel, why did I also feel the need to read it??? If it made Becca angry..it certainly wasn't going to go well for me…

  33. Sidra Shapiro Boshes says:

    Oy vey! There wouldn't be a "shidduch crisis" without the mentality of the author. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  34. Jada Brown says:

    Clearly I'm not Jewish but Rebecca after reading the article , I have to agree with you whole heartedly

  35. Aliza Novogroder Fischman says:

    I also think part of the problem is that resumes are part of this at all. These women aren't applying for jobs, they are looking for life partners, husbands, fathers of their future children. Do you think you can see a person's middot, sense of humor, or deepest thoughts on a resume? On the flip side, do you think if the guy is chas v'shalom, inclined to be abusive that such a thing could be figured out by reading a resume?

  36. Firstly, I would like to know how the Author gleans this lesson from the story of Purim. Since I was a child I learned that Esther became the salvation of the Jewish without wearing an iota of makeup or getting dressed up. So, I am just wondering how she twisted the beautiful miracle to fit her twisted agenda. Secondly, I find it absolutely demeaning the way she objectifies woman. Is a woman only a nose, a set of teeth a smaller waist size to you? I hope this is not the lessons she is passing along to her "most eligible" son before marriage. What's more shocking, she is a woman! Yes, there is something called attraction but more often than not it is something that can't be explained, something beyond physical looks. Lastly, while she thinks she is reforming the system, she is in fact perpetuating it on a whole new level (suggesting surgery… really?) I hope that she and her son find what they are looking for.

  37. Andrew Lillien says:

    Aliza Novogroder Fischman Of course not. But a resume is helpful when you have a minimal criteria that needs to be met. Frankly, some people do not want to "go out and socialize". So they have to rely on shadchanim. Do you trust a shadchan to know a person well enough? Of course not, so you put yourself into a resume. That resume is great for talking about minimal criteria such as hashkafa and life goals. I agree the system flawed, but nothing is going to be perfect.

  38. Aviva Klein Rosenberg says:

    When you write a sequel to this article, begging boys to exercise, get some sun, visit a hair salon (not a barber!), buy properly-fitting clothes, and get nose jobs or hair plugs as needed, I might consider encouraging girls to dress up more.

  39. Aliza Novogroder Fischman says:

    This article made me sick.

  40. Aliza Novogroder Fischman says:

    This article made me sick. Your reply, however, was great.

  41. Laura Lee says:

    I've noticed the push for extreme modesty for little girls, to such excess that the girls are punished with violence for not meeting the requirements, which appear to be just short of putting the little ones in a burka. All this under the guise of making sure the little girls don't tempt the boys, right? Does this mean that little boys are no longer responsible for their own temptations?

  42. Blima Weill says:

    no words

  43. Yael Barzideh Braid says:

    Dear Author,

    When you set out to write this article, you knew you'd be steamrolled by your readers — and that is exactly what you've earned. It's unfortunately, because there are kernels of truth embedded in some of your sentences, but sadly, your exaggeratory and alarmist approach, along with the extremes that you are proposing women take to improve their appearances, will breed anger and not agreement. You've written an article that will NOT accomplish what you set out to accomplish.

    The kernels you should have focused on?
    It's important to feel good about oneself — REGARDLESS OF YOUR GENDER.
    It's important to look after your health, eat well, and be active for fitness-sake — REGARDLESS OF GENDER.
    It's important to have a healthy self-image, carry yourself with confidence, because even if you're faltering at some point, carrying yourself with the belief that you are good and can achieve great things is important — REGARDLESS OF GENDER.

    What you don't focus on is that looks is NOT everything and that obsession with the external can set up both our SONS and DAUGHTERS for failure. After all, you wouldn't want your daughter (if you have one) to be so obsessive with her looks that she became anorexic, shallow, spent too much time preening and not enough time developing herself as a human being. Same goes for your precious son who is , as you say, so sought after. Do you really want him to be focusing on his dates' and future wife's looks THAT much? Looks are fading and external my dear — think TWICE ABOUT THE MESSAGE YOU ARE SENDING TO YOUR SON.

    Lastly, as others have pointed out, your call for surgery is mind-boggling and appalling. A perfectly healthy 17-year old girl in my husband's community died this past year because of anesthesia complications during her nose-job surgery. Are you aware of the dangers?

    I wish you'd de-post this article and put in its place an intelligent piece about the role of self-confidence in dating. I wish that you would focus on more than the external, and that your suggestions were practical and moderate. I wish that article were not targetted at any one gender, and most definitely not at the mothers of that gender. People "in shidduchim" are young adults with minds of their own. Please recognize that, respect that, and encourage that in your own community.

    Thank you.
    Yael

  44. Leah G. Goodman If I can "like" your post 1000x I would. Perfect!

  45. Lynn – I agree if the woman has a cleft palate or a mole or a birthmark. If she just has a wide or long nose… sorry. I don't think we should encourage everyone to get the miami nose.

  46. Batya White-Novogroder says:

    I felt the same way as you regarding the purim lesson. I've always learned about how natural Esther was when approaching Achashveirosh & how she did as LITTLE as possible to attract the king's attention but nonetheless she, modest Esther was chosen out of all the other girls in the harem who were busy beautifying themselves for the king!
    I also feel that this whole article is SO detrimental for the shidduch crisis & will in NO WAY serve to ameliorate the situation, if anything, her suggestions will ONLY exacerbate it!!
    & I for one, would stay far away from the author & her 'very eligible' son b/c I would not want my eligible daughter to be a part of a family with such a superficial MIL who is mostly concerned with my daughter's physical appearance!! What a RIDICULOUS & detrimental article this was. All it will do will be to help encourage more eating disorders in the frum community as though we don't have enough!!!!

  47. Raquel Amram says:

    Wow. I'm in shock. I totally agree, as my mother often says, that every woman is beautiful, she just doesn't know how to use what she has. But to make the objective for a girl to get married, is so sad. I have often remarked how girls think that the goal is marriage and they forget everything else that comes after that. I have heard mothers say, "Don't say anything till after you are married." Really? Let's trick your future husband? The objective is to find your best friend, the person that you are going to share olam haze and olam haba with. I am, for a lack of better word, appalled that you are encouraging plastic surgery because at least, she will be married. We live in a society and world where the outside, unfortunately, has become more important than the inside. Outside beauty is ephemeral. Though there are health reasons to get plastic surgery, I believe that getting plastic surgery is like telling Hashem that He made a mistake. He did not make you as pretty as He SHOULD have made you. Again, I agree that girls/women should look their best, lose weight, put make up and carry themselves like the princesses that they are. But to say that the "crisis" (I'm uncomfortable with that word) would be solved if all the girls subjected themselves to plastic surgery and the unfortunate pressure from the outside world to look a certain way…it saddens me. I'm sorry. Purim does not, at all, encourage this. On the contrary, Purim is about showing your inner self and not hiding behind the materialistic world that we have sadly accepted as real/emes…

  48. Bravo, Yael. Perfectly put.

  49. Batya White-Novogroder Eating disorders and suggesting unnecessary surgeries. Lap band, rhinoplasty, dental implants aside from the exorbitant amount of money, these procedures come with real risks! I can't begin to fathom what she was thinking, if at all, as she was writing this article.

  50. Batya White-Novogroder says:

    AGREED!!!!

  51. Rivkah T. Nemoy Miller says:

    Wow, just lost so much respect for the author as a person. on my first date with Yehuda I had hair that needed washed, and wore a frayed sweatshirt. He was wearing a grungy t-shirt. I think we ended up ok- married about 4 months later.

  52. S Sima Horowitz says:

    great comment. that article was appalling.

  53. L'via Weisinger says:

    I just spoke to my Babi, emosh, and told her about this article. My Babi, now 91 knayna hara, was at the Satmar rebbetzins' side in the camps, on the Kastner transport and in Switzerland. She was extremely close to them and was with them all the time during those horrific years and stayed close with them till their deaths in america. She never heard of a toothless woman. She and the rebbetzin went to the kitchen themselves and got their own potatoes. Whoever was there working in the kitchen at the time gave them their stuff. She finds it extremely hard to believe this "well-known" story, having been at their sides like white on rice all those years. Either way, even if it happened, to use it to make this horrific point that imperfect girls should get nose-jobs is outrageous. I just raised my Babi's fragile blood pressure and I feel terrible!

  54. Sarah Bronson says:

    Ladies and gentleman, the slippery slope is over: It is not enough to come from a good family, use white tablecloths on Shabbat, and have a perfect history of grades starting in kindergarten. It is not even enough to be thin, and wear makeup, and have your hair straightened professionally. My friends, we have reached the point that an essay in a major Jewish newspaper is encouraging elective cosmetic surgery, including both nose jobs and gastric bypass (the latter of which is EXTREMELY dangerous AND has a low success rate) in order to get married. Yes, my friends, it is better to CUT OUT PARTS OF YOUR BODY than to be single, and if you don't elect surgery, you can't blame boys (or more accurately their mothers) for bypassing you (pun intended).

  55. Malka Hizkiya says:

    Apalling and ridiculous

  56. Purim torah? Or just my wishful thinking…

  57. Tom Dratler says:

    “…would kollel guys want a wife who is a plastic barbie?”

    Apparently, quite a few. :(

  58. leahgoodman says:

    Yet, Dan, I noticed that you indeed married a very beautiful woman :)

  59. Dana Tabaria says:

    Great response raquel. What a stupid woman. Clearly her son the fancy Phd is obsessed with a girl who spends hours putting on makeup so she looks completely fake. I actually feel bad for him because he had such a superficial mother raising him to only care about how much time a girl spends putting on her makeup and how good she looks. So pathetic.

  60. Dan Freundel says:

    I hope I can explain how disgusting your attitude is in terms your remarkably narrow world view can understand, by taking an example from the Torah. When Avraham and Sarah approached Egypt, Avraham said "Hiney na, yadati ki isha yefat mareh at – Behold now I know that you are a beautiful woman" (Gen 12:11). Rashi asks how it is possible that until now Avraham was unaware of this fact. After all, we know from the Gemara (Megilla 15a) that Sarah was one of the four most beautiful women to ever live, surely Avraham must have seen it. One of the answers that Rashi suggests is that after a long journey such as the one taken to get to Egypt, one would expect to be dirty, dusty, and otherwise all-around worn out. Not the moment at which one would be considered to be "at their best". However, Avraham loved Sarah and saw that she was STILL beautiful even after such a trip.

    People are not "at their best" for the majority of real life. Yes, attraction is highly important. A man is not even permitted to marry a woman whom he has not yet seen, because he must be at least somewhat physically attracted to her. (The fact that you, and not your son, are the one screening these women is a different matter, one which is deeply ingrained in differences in hashkafa, and not one which is relevant at the moment.) However, the criteria is actually far higher than that which you suggest. A man must still be able to be attracted to his wife when she is at her WORST, as Avraham was. You say "There are very few women who can’t use a little extra help." I say "There are very few women who NEED the extra help." If these yeshiva bochurim are expecting marriage to mean having a woman who looks perfectly airbrushed all the time, has shining lips, rosy cheeks, and never a hair out of place, then they need to take a good hard look at the world around them and accept the fact that the words "average" and "ugly" are not the same thing. Granted, there are a few young women who really DO need extra help, but in my long, yet thankfully concluded, experience as an interested party, such women are few and far between. Your story about Hannah and the Satmar Rebbe is touching, but there is a vast difference between a girl who is completely toothless, or has some other physical deformity, and a girl who is "average".

    You say that "the women of the kingdom who vied for the Queen’s throne were given twelve months to prepare for the beauty pageant" and ask "why hadn’t some of the girls at the shidduch event taken a mere half hour". Am I to understand from this that "shidduch shopping" has become as perverted and depraved a practice as Achashverosh's self-indulgent search for a woman whose sole purpose would be to satisfy his own desire? Is that really how you want bochurim to act? Achashverosh had Vashti killed for refusing to present her beauty. You're judging and condemning these women for the same reason.

    You say that "Some women who are deeply religious or intellectually inclined may delude themselves into thinking that their male counterparts will only see, appreciate and cherish their inner beauty, and that will (or should) be their overriding priority." It SHOULD, and in my belief, IS. Being a former bochur myself, I can say that the majority of men I knew and know DO, in fact, take this attitude. The ones that don't are few and far between, and all but a specially self-indulgent few tend to grow out of their pigheadedness. However, let's suspend reality for a minute and assume that in fact, bochurim are, as you claim, all pigheaded, self-indulgent beings who care only for their own pleasure and are foolish enough to believe that having a perfect-looking girl is the best way to pursue pleasure. It is not a failing on the woman's part that the prospective man can't see her for what she is, and a pretty (yes, average is pretty) young woman can do better than a man with such an attitude anyway. Why should she make herself beautiful for a man who is going to mistreat her, who you KNOW is going to mistreat her specifically because all he cares about is whether she's beautiful. If you truly live in such a world, I feel sorry for all the women there, but it's the men's priorities and attitudes, not the women whom they are mistreating, that need the face-lift, as well as the attitudes of people like you who invest in such superficial and grossly inappropriate perversions of courtesy and morality.

  61. Michal Schick says:

    I will follow the lead of the author and focus on what is really important– the physical. Congratulations, Mrs. Halberstam: You have successfully nauseated me to the point that I will now move away from my computer lest I destroy it with the (physical) regurgitation your article has inspired.

  62. Moshe says:

    I only know of one case of a shiduch in the Torah: Yishmael’s mother found him a wife from Egypt.

    There is also a story of a Jew undergoing a shiduch: Yitzchak’s father sending a servant to find a bride for him. But in this case the rabbis of the Talmud tell us that this was an unusual case because Yitzchak, for unique halachik reasons couldn’t leave Israel.

    Apparently, according to these rabbis – who certain Jewish sects ignore – the shidduch system is not a Jewish concept.

  63. Raquel Amram says:

    I think it is ironic and sad that most of these girls were looking for "learners". Presumably their potential future mother in laws have sons who are learning full time and would like to continue that. It is ironic because would kollel guys want a wife who is a plastic barbie? Isn't the life of someone that is learning full time supposed to be about the ruchniyut, not about the gashmiut? It has unfortunately become the opposite. The focus has become the outside. What is the person wearing, instead of what middos do they have. This article only further conveys that message…it is a sad reality.

  64. Bracha Poliakoff says:

    Reminds me of Toddlers and Tiaras lol. I hope it's a joke, but if it's not I suggest you edit the above post, remove some of your side rants, and send it to the editor. Pretty crazy.

  65. Yet shidduchim are superficial by defenition (didn't read the article, tried to but then decided I do not want to read the agonizing inner dialouge of the yiddeshe mame).

  66. I agree, so sad. I have a lot of thoughts on this subject. It is very hard to break out of our self imposed limitations and problems, but we call it a crisis!

  67. so I'm confused a little on the point in which the author Mrs. halberstam made from purim.
    wasnt esther not so attractive (green complexion-hadas)? doesn't the GR"A say that the way she became queen was because of her middos? when she went to achashvairosh to plead for the jews after being prodded by mordichai she fasted for three days- the origin of taanis esther btw, wouldn't you think she would try as hard as she could to fatten/ put makeup on to make herself look better?
    how can you draw a comparison and proof for your arguement from a story whcih shows us just the oppsoite of what you are saying?

  68. I was shocked to read the story of the Satmar Rebbe, who allowed a naive young woman to risk death just so he could eat kosher.

    Did he even bother to tell her that halacha does not require one to risk one's life for this, and most probably forbids one from risking one's life to prevent someone from having to eat non-kosher bread?

    How could a person who called himself a rabbi, who was fully aware that this is a perfect example of mitzvah habar ba'evairah, have acted in such a selfish way?

    I can't imagine what punishment he must have surely received for using another human being in this way.

    I wasn't particularly impressed that he "rewarded" this woman who was under his influence by giving her enough money for cosmetics.

  69. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    I found it particularly offensive that she compared healthy young frum women to concentration camp survivors. Give your Babi an extra hug, please.

  70. Chani says:

    “And I think everyone is lying to themselves if they say that the “good guys don’t care”. I dated a full time learning yeshiva guy who dumped me because I had brown hair instead of blond!”

    I would disagree in saying that this was a “good guy”. A good guy wouldnt dump you for your hair color (the irony being that you’ll probably cover your hair anyway). That is the problem with the system today. That a man like that can be called a “good guy”

  71. Leah Shaffren says:

    This is very well written. You should take a look at my dad's comment on the same article (it's the one just below yours), I believe you'd like his approach as well.

  72. I just want to say that this is awesome.

  73. Leah says:

    ‘Also, women have long been suffering in order to look beautiful.’

    Yes, because the fact that we’ve always done something a particular way means it is the only way to do it. That is why we still use animals to plow our fields, snake oil to treat our illnesses, and horse drawn carriages to get from one place to another. Also women are considered property and are not allowed to vote. Oh and we never, ever use computers.

    Has it occurred to you that perhaps the practice of causing ourselves pain and discomfort in order to conform to unnatural standards of beauty is one that should be phased out? Don’t get me wrong- I’m not crying for the death of high heels. Wearing them is your prerogative. But your prerogative is not my requirement.

    Also, your line “if she chooses to look unattractive, why are we blaming men for not being interested?” is disturbingly reminiscent of the line “Well if she chose to look so beautiful, why do we blame the man for raping her?”. And yes, people actually say that. True, one is far worse than another. But it is easily argued that women in general are victims of unrealistic standards set to us by society, and victim blaming of any kind is a slippery slope.

  74. Tom Dratler says:

    "would kollel guys want a wife who is a plastic barbie?"

    Apparently, quite a few.

  75. Chani says:

    I couldnt agree more. That story shocked me. How can that be behavior that other’s should emulate? Its horrifying.

  76. Andrew Lillien says:

    The main problem is that the mothers are reading the resumes. The boys should read the resumes and mothers should butt out. There is no shidduch crisis. Just picky parents with ridiculous standards.

    Also, do not reset the comments or take down the article. Then the paper loses credibility on top the of author having already lost it.

  77. Dan Freundel says:

    Reposting. In addition to everything else, the sheer dishonesty of taking down all the comments simply because they disagree with your horendous viewpoint is simply mind-boggling.

    I hope I can explain how disgusting your attitude is in terms your remarkably narrow world view can understand, by taking an example from the Torah. When Avraham and Sarah approached Egypt, Avraham said "Hiney na, yadati ki isha yefat mareh at – Behold now I know that you are a beautiful woman" (Gen 12:11). Rashi asks how it is possible that until now Avraham was unaware of this fact. After all, we know from the Gemara (Megilla 15a) that Sarah was one of the four most beautiful women to ever live, surely Avraham must have seen it. One of the answers that Rashi suggests is that after a long journey such as the one taken to get to Egypt, one would expect to be dirty, dusty, and otherwise all-around worn out. Not the moment at which one would be considered to be "at their best". However, Avraham loved Sarah and saw that she was STILL beautiful even after such a trip.

    People are not "at their best" for the majority of real life. Yes, attraction is highly important. A man is not even permitted to marry a woman whom he has not yet seen, because he must be at least somewhat physically attracted to her. (The fact that you, and not your son, are the one screening these women is a different matter, one which is deeply ingrained in differences in hashkafa, and not one which is relevant at the moment.) However, the criteria is actually far higher than that which you suggest. A man must still be able to be attracted to his wife when she is at her WORST, as Avraham was. You say "There are very few women who can’t use a little extra help." I say "There are very few women who NEED the extra help." If these yeshiva bochurim are expecting marriage to mean having a woman who looks perfectly airbrushed all the time, has shining lips, rosy cheeks, and never a hair out of place, then they need to take a good hard look at the world around them and accept the fact that the words "average" and "ugly" are not the same thing. Granted, there are a few young women who really DO need extra help, but in my long, yet thankfully concluded, experience as an interested party, such women are few and far between. Your story about Hannah and the Satmar Rebbe is touching, but there is a vast difference between a girl who is completely toothless, or has some other physical deformity, and a girl who is "average".

    You say that "the women of the kingdom who vied for the Queen’s throne were given twelve months to prepare for the beauty pageant" and ask "why hadn’t some of the girls at the shidduch event taken a mere half hour". Am I to understand from this that "shidduch shopping" has become as perverted and depraved a practice as Achashverosh's self-indulgent search for a woman whose sole purpose would be to satisfy his own desire? Is that really how you want bochurim to act? Achashverosh had Vashti killed for refusing to present her beauty. You're judging and condemning these women for the same reason.

    You say that "Some women who are deeply religious or intellectually inclined may delude themselves into thinking that their male counterparts will only see, appreciate and cherish their inner beauty, and that will (or should) be their overriding priority." It SHOULD, and in my belief, IS. Being a former bochur myself, I can say that the majority of men I knew and know DO, in fact, take this attitude. The ones that don't are few and far between, and all but a specially self-indulgent few tend to grow out of their pigheadedness. However, let's suspend reality for a minute and assume that in fact, bochurim are, as you claim, all pigheaded, self-indulgent beings who care only for their own pleasure and are foolish enough to believe that having a perfect-looking girl is the best way to pursue pleasure. It is not a failing on the woman's part that the prospective man can't see her for what she is, and a pretty (yes, average is pretty) young woman can do better than a man with such an attitude anyway. Why should she make herself beautiful for a man who is going to mistreat her, who you KNOW is going to mistreat her specifically because all he cares about is whether she's beautiful. If you truly live in such a world, I feel sorry for all the women there, but it's the men's priorities and attitudes, not the women whom they are mistreating, that need the face-lift, as well as the attitudes of people like you who invest in such superficial and grossly inappropriate perversions of courtesy and morality.

  78. Dan Freundel says:

    Not just the article, but the organization that published it.

  79. H Rosen says:

    Yonatan, this story is a complete fabrication. The Satmar Rav ate only potatoes that he acquired himself from the kitchen. There was no danger. Someone above commented on this as well.

  80. Dan, very well said! If you are R’ Barry Freundel’s son, my how you’ve grown. It’s been years since I’ve lived in DC!

  81. Jere Finer says:

    I've heard of 2 questions among boys (yes, "learners") looking for shidduchim. A) is she a size "2" and B) what is her cup size. Yup, their depth is astounding. So forget resumes and just trot out the well endowed skinny girls. With exception made, of course, for the rich girls. With the way the shidduch types tend to separate themselves from the rest of the Jewish people, it seems as if in this area they are no different than guys who look to hook up in bars.

  82. Azi Graber says:

    This is repulsive and hopefully when the drugs leave your system you will be severally embarrassed about what you've written here.

    Additionally, the low life women who arranged that deranged event should be ashamed of themselves for reducing young women to have to submit themselves to be treated in this manner.

    I'd prefer my daughter hang out in bars and have loads of premarital sex than have to be a part of this perverse system.

  83. Lynn says:

    To Leah,
    All plastic surgery carries a risk of unsatisfactory results, on top of the risk of illness or death. Plastic surgery usually does not have a high mortality rate but anything can happen. No one should even contemplate plastic surgery to please others if they themselves are happy with the way that Hashem created them. If, however, a person does feel very self-conscious or depressed about the shape of their nose to the point where their quality of life is reduced, they should see a plastic surgeon, get the facts, and then present them to their rav. A person should not take unnecessary risks to their health without asking a rav.

  84. Suzanne Somosi says:

    I remember reading a story by Thomas Hardy the 19th Century British writer, about a naive young man who fell in love with and married a beautiful young woman. When they got home she removed her hair extensions and the different paddings she used to enhance her appearance and he was so horrified that he ran for the hills. This kind of reminds me of the 40 year old in your story who snagged a husband because she had an edge over other women even though “nothing about her was real”. Does this mean that she can never remove her lenses will need further botox injections etc.

    Also I am under the impression that Halacha requires either partner to disclose any physical defects they might have. Now this doesn’t mean that wearing a little make up if you are so inclined is wrong. And of course there is no excuse for either men or women not be nat and well groomed.

  85. where are the comments.

  86. Chayim Goldberg says:

    This article is horrible. As a 27 year old member of what you seem to describe as the privileged gender, male, I can tell you that most guys don't appreciate the efforts put into make up, nose jobs, etc. Quite honestly, most single men I know, myself included, couldn't care less about whether a girl put make up on, the size of her nose, or any of these other meaningless things. While anyone going on a date, man or woman, should make an effort to look presentable, this author typifies the type the attitude that perpetuates the shidduch crisis: "Only a supermodel is worthy of my amazing son." In quoting the story of Megillat Esther, the author seems to forget the most important part: Achashveirosh chose Esther, not the other girls, despite all their efforts. The author would probably have said that Esther was unworthy of her son because she didn't put in all that effort to beautify herself. Shame on the author and best of luck to all the women out there who understand that dating someone who will only be interested in you if you put on make up isn't worth your time. "Sheker hachein v'hevel hayofi. Isha yirat Hashem he tithalal."

  87. Stefanie Strauss Small says:

    I gotta tell you – as a matchmaker on SYAS, I want to shake some of the members. They KNOW they are being judged (rightly or wrongly) on the photos they put up there and so many of them are really HORRIBLE. And I yell at the computer WHY WOULD YOU PUT THAT ONE THERE? I have been blunt with my members and told some of them to change their pictures. But other matchmakers don't. And the people who don't put up pics? Don't get as many dates, that's for sure. So while the article is to a severe extreme, no one should kid themselves that yes, put on some damn lipstick and comb your frickin' hair. Your profile means nothing if you don't at least try. /end rant.

  88. Esther Elle says:

    So apparently the paper is deleting people's comments, like my own and this one will most likely be deleted as well. Way to go Jewish Press! Stomp on freedom of expression because you disagree with someone else's outlook! That's real journalism!

  89. Stefanie Strauss Small says:

    (Accidentally deleted the post when I wanted to add – will attempt to write it again). As a SYAS matchmaker, I wonder what goes through people's minds when they post their pictures. Like it or not, people are judging you on how you look. And people will decide based on your picture whether they even want to see the rest of your profile. There are HORRIBLE pictures posted – truly horrendous. And while I am very blunt with my members about their pics and whether they should change them (and anyone who knows me is not surprised to hear that), most matchmakers don't and they do their members a disservice by not telling them that. And people who don't post pictures get fewer matches than those members who do. So yes, guys and gals, comb your hair, put on some lipstick, glam yourself up, and post a picture if you're serious about it all. And for the record, while many of the guys on the site decline matches due to "not my physical look" and are super picky, many of the women on the site are just as guilty. The article takes it to a sickening extreme by recommending surgery. But overall, the idea is right. We're all judge books by their covers. So make your cover nicer to stand out.

  90. Yosef Scott says:

    btw Esther but only the basics that we're forced upon her.

  91. Michal Schick says:

    If the frequent expunging of comments is intentional on the part of the Jewish Press, may I respectfully suggest that they desist; it is an insult to your readers. If this paper stands by this article and its author, let them defend it; if not, apologize to those of us who have been hurt by these words, but act like a grown-up newspaper and let the readers have our say.

  92. Yosef Scott says:

    Wow did this article make me cringe.

  93. Yosef Scott says:

    Los many comments not enough room but here goes

  94. Sara Adina Baker says:

    Amen!

  95. What a repulsive article, at least the author was embarrassed enough to be defensive. I ask her, what if the girls is pretty and still…oh, I can't be bothered.

  96. Yosef Scott says:

    First impressions are important ppl. But you will have to wake up every morning and see that woman sleeping in the bed with all her disheveled hair an no makeup. Will she still be buetiful then? Beauty and attraction come from true love, which is a product of devotion, self-sacrifice, and constantly giving. Make is a wonderful thing but it hides the true person. How about after she is pregnant and is not the same body as before. Or if she suffers some type of cosmetic injury ? Does the love built up go away. This article is ridiculous in its very premise.

  97. I think speed-dating is ridiculous, but if there must be speed-dating, why on earth are the mothers speed-dating these girls and not the young men themselves? You are perpetuating a system of superficiality which requires girls to market themselves as products. You are not representing the interests of the girls; you are representing the interests of the young men which you admit are shallow at best and asking the girls to meet them on their level. You are also doing men a disservice by insisting that all they care about is manicures and makeup. I do not know any men who rejected a girl for not wearing lipstick. However, if you insist that you are helping create marriages by asking these girls to improve their appearance by going as far as plastic surgery, don't you think the girls are entitled to the same consideration from the men? Have you also told the young men in question to hit the gym, get a new suit, see a dermatologist, and get that unibrow waxed? If not, why? Shouldn't young men make as much effort as you expect from the women? I forgot; women are either so desperate or so spiritual that they do not concern themselves with such things.

  98. Shoshanna Sanders says:

    Dear Ms. Halberstam,
    You claim that you “truly want to help”, but your actions suggest anything but being helpful. If you are so concerned about the stress for the girls who go through this process, WHY DID YOU AGREE TO GO TO THIS EVENT and needlessly subject them to this demeaning and judgemental interview? You knew going into it that your son had more shidduchim being offered him then he could handle and that his interests made him inappropriate for these girls. Yet you put them under the microscope, cross-examined them, and then ridiculed them in this article, when your presence offered them no possibility of helping them find a shidduch. As you state, you did it only to show your your loyalty to your friend. Do you really have these young women’s best interests at heart? Couldn’t you have just told her, “I think that’s a fine idea, but no thanks, I don’t need it?” Furthermore, you “helpfully” recommend surgical procedures that carry a risk of medical complications including death. How many healthy young women have to die on the operating table before you are finished being “helpful”? Finally, as a mother of boys, I ask you to please speak only for yourself when you claim that we won’t hesitate to ask, “Is she pretty”? Some of us are encouraging our sons to look at women as people, not Barbie dolls.

  99. Yosef Scott says:

    I am pissed so I am going to go on. I was mentored in a great way of find my soul mate. It actually was list of things that I was looking for on my dates. 1. Do I enjoy spending time with her?/do I feel comfortable around her and secure? 2. Are you on the page hashkafickly.

  100. Mitch Hoberman says:

    So worried about girls because their resumes reduce them to a few sentences that don't portray whole picture…yet so quick to shift the blame to them based on quick judgements based on appearance? This article is an embarrassment.

  101. Yosef Scott says:

    /can you communicate feelings, ideas, and concerns like adults. 3. Is she attractive? This list is in a specific order. Stop me now or I can go on forever

  102. Yosef Scott says:

    This article riles me up.

  103. Chayim Goldberg says:

    Yosef Scott Great points. Lets hope our vision of real beauty spreads throughout the Jewish community and puts a stop to this nonsense. RTF!

  104. Aqibha Y. Weisinger Etc says:

    "I mulled, one way of looking at the story of Purim (and there are so many different prisms through which it can be viewed) is to see it as the narrative of the tyranny of beauty ruling every society in which Man (and woman) has ever lived. Vashti incurred Ahachshverosh’s wrath because he wished to parade her beauty and she refused (bad skin day). The women of the kingdom who vied for the Queen’s throne were given twelve months to prepare for the beauty pageant – why hadn’t some of the girls at the shidduch event taken a mere half hour?"….Yes, there are so many different prisms, and sh'ivah panim l'torah, but that is #71.

    Esther, 2:12-15 יב וּבְהַגִּיעַ תֹּר נַעֲרָה וְנַעֲרָה לָבוֹא אֶל-הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ, מִקֵּץ הֱיוֹת לָהּ כְּדָת הַנָּשִׁים שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ–כִּי כֵּן יִמְלְאוּ, יְמֵי מְרוּקֵיהֶן: שִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים, בְּשֶׁמֶן הַמֹּר, וְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים בַּבְּשָׂמִים, וּבְתַמְרוּקֵי הַנָּשִׁים. יג וּבָזֶה, הַנַּעֲרָה בָּאָה אֶל-הַמֶּלֶךְ–אֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר תֹּאמַר יִנָּתֵן לָהּ, לָבוֹא עִמָּהּ, מִבֵּית הַנָּשִׁים, עַד-בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ. יד בָּעֶרֶב הִיא בָאָה, וּבַבֹּקֶר הִיא שָׁבָה אֶל-בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים שֵׁנִי, אֶל-יַד שַׁעַשְׁגַז סְרִיס הַמֶּלֶךְ, שֹׁמֵר הַפִּילַגְשִׁים: לֹא-תָבוֹא עוֹד אֶל-הַמֶּלֶךְ, כִּי אִם-חָפֵץ בָּהּ הַמֶּלֶךְ וְנִקְרְאָה בְשֵׁם. טו וּבְהַגִּיעַ תֹּר-אֶסְתֵּר בַּת-אֲבִיחַיִל דֹּד מָרְדֳּכַי אֲשֶׁר לָקַח-לוֹ לְבַת לָבוֹא אֶל-הַמֶּלֶךְ, לֹא בִקְשָׁה דָּבָר–כִּי אִם אֶת-אֲשֶׁר יֹאמַר הֵגַי סְרִיס-הַמֶּלֶךְ, שֹׁמֵר הַנָּשִׁים; וַתְּהִי אֶסְתֵּר נֹשֵׂאת חֵן, בְּעֵינֵי כָּל-רֹאֶיהָ.

    P'shat is, as opposed to the other girls who required (probably comically) long periods of beautification before going to the king, Esther did not require anything except that which was mandated by Hagai, yet found favor in the eyes of all who saw her. The message is exactly the opposite of her article. Esther is one of those girls who didn't even take a mere half hour. As for your assertion that Vashti didn't want to come out because of a "bad hair day", I see it nowhere in the text. Saying that there are many ways to approach a text does not validate a reading which perverts its plain meaning.

    Furthermore, elective surgery is actually a big halachic question, and is not clear cut whether it is permissible. See this link: http://www.koltorah.org/ravj/14-18%20Cosmetic%20Surgery%20-%20A%20Review%20of%20Four%20Classic%20Teshuvot%202.htm.

    As for the idea as a whole, yes there is a value in trying to look good as a practical issue, similar to someone wearing a suit to an interview. However, the way it came out was, to put it bluntly, absurd. Take this paragraph: "Recently, an acquaintance of mine reported the happy news that her first cousin had become a kallah for the first time at the tender age of forty. “She wowed her chasan with her beauty,” she said. “That’s what gave her an edge over the other women her age.” Then she paused. “Let’s see…she had a nose job….gastric bypass …botox injections….her teeth were capped…..and she wears violet-blue contact lenses…There’s practically nothing about her that’s real!” she laughed. “But…guess what? She’s getting married next month!”".
    That paragraph is horrifying. Simply horrifying. That someone has to go through that many medical procedures simply to get married is an indictment of our community. Beauty is not nothing. There is no imperative for someone to marry someone they aren't attracted to. But to transform it into the be-all and end-all is actually dangerous. Is it going to take a girl literally starving herself to death in an attempt to lose enough weight to be acceptable to wake people up to the dangers of this? This article is dangerous, simply put. Someone can die because of this article, from starvation, from surgery complications…..how would you feel if you caused that? When we put beauty on a higher pedestal than being a real person….its a dangerous place to go. So, I'm not against people trying to look good. But this goes way, way, way too far.
    And one more thing, if your expectation of males is that they will be shallow and pigheaded, then yes, they will act that way. But why don't we train men to think a little deeper, be finer individuals. You say you have a son of marriageable age. Have you brought him up to have the assumption that beauty is but skin deep? From your story, it seems not. Perhaps instead of blaming girls for not beautifying themselves to please your son, you should look in the mirror, past your own skin, and think about what's inside.

  105. Can someone please confirm that this article is Purim shtick?

  106. Maybe this article is actually a cleverly written satire, meant to help the shallow men in our community see their ridiculousness in wanting nothing less than a super model.

  107. Dena Krinsky says:

    on the one hand, a person should look presentable on a date. However, this is taking it to the extreme- just a tad! WoW!

  108. I can only hope that this was intended as Purim Torah. I agree that a modicum of attention to makeup and looking nice is important, but that's not why me nor any of my friends had trouble finding the right girl. As I've said 100 times, the fact that there are more men than women isn't something that is fixable by talking about the "Crisis."

  109. Esther Elle says:

    Dena Krinsky – check out my comment below this one- that was the one i wrote that they deleted. classy guys

  110. Eli Friedman says:

    Lol, and now I'm reading the comments and dying of laughter, It would seem no one else shares my positive view on the article. Yes, it's not the nicest thought, but people want to date attractive people. If I go out with people, (I mean anyone, Friends, family, whenever I go out.) I make sure I'm shaved and showered and looking presentable. If the ladies feel like it's superficial to do the same, they can continue to complain all by themeselves.

  111. Goldie Cohen says:

    I got to the second page and couldn't continue. Just went from bad to worse to wtf is wrong with ppl?!?! Bothered me so much that ill just have to stick with no comment

  112. Dena Krinsky says:

    Esther Elle where is it? can't find it :( Also, please find me one Rav that would approve of elective cosmetic surgery to find a husband? There will always be a RISK with surgery!

  113. Eli Friedman says:

    Lol, it seemed like you could be bothered enough to post a stupid passive aggressive comment.

  114. Tzivia Berow says:

    Why title this article "The Tyranny of Beauty" and then go on to advocate to mothers to work to perpetuate it? As a young woman seeking my bashert who does NOT fit the "ideal" shidduch mold, I naturally take steps to put my best face (and body, and mind) forward when going out on dates. But anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am quite cynical about the amount of artifice that has to go into preparing for dates. First impressions are important, and by all means make efforts to improve them, but nose jobs, Botox and weight-loss surgery? How have we gotten to the point that people think these are reasonable steps and justifiable expenses in pursuit of a husband? Too many lines have been crossed. Everyone talks the talk that truly happy marriages are not based on looks, but the frum community as a whole needs to start walking the walk as well.

  115. As I read this, this is exactly what I thought.

  116. You are 100% right!!!! The boys never get a choice about half the girls that are suggested because the MOTHER didnt think she was pretty enough, thin enough..smart enough…mothers need to remember that what THEY think is pretty may not be what their son thinks is pretty. I was a size 14-16 when I went out with my now husband. I had been told my shadchonim that I shouldnt expect many dates because lets face it, I am not a skinny min. But 5 weeks after meeting my husband we were engaged, and today, 9 years and 3 babies later I am unfortunately a bit larger, at a size 16-18 and my husband thinks Im prettier than the day he met me, and loves my curves!!!! His mother couldnt care less, whatever he liked was fine. They didnt ask what size I was or what color tablecloth we used. Mothers need to lower their standards and give some "imperfect" girls a chance, not suggest to their mothers that they get gastric bypass and nose jobs.

  117. Esther Elle says:

    Dena Krinsky – they deleted it on here but it is on my fb wall

  118. Esther Elle says:

    Goldie Cohen Hey! also, please do check out my Original comment and lemme know how ya feel abt. that!

  119. The PROBLEM is the MOTHERS! The boys never get a choice about half the girls that are suggested because the MOTHER didn't think she was pretty enough, thin enough..smart enough…mothers need to remember that what THEY think is pretty may not be what their son thinks is pretty.
    I was a size 14-16 when I went out with my now husband. I had been told my shadchonim that I shouldn't expect many dates because lets face it, I am not a skinny mini. But 5 weeks after meeting my husband we were engaged, and today, 9 years and 3 babies later I am unfortunately a bit larger, at a size 16-18 and my husband thinks I'm even prettier than the day he met me, and loves my curves! His mother couldn't care less, whatever he liked was fine. They didn't ask what size I was or what color tablecloth we used. Mothers need to lower their standards and give some "imperfect" girls a chance. They need to remember that some boys don't like blonde hair and blue eyes. Some boys don't like brown hair or brown eyes. Some actually like curves and don't want a skinny girl. Its the Mothers that need to stop being so superficial. Gastric Bypass? Nose Jobs? Really? That makes me sick.
    Written by a "Plus Size and Proud Of It" girl who got married at 19 even though I wasnt "thin"!

  120. i agree, man. to be honest, this whole shidduch resume deal and the fact that mothers have to meet the girls and judge them first seems to be weird and not natural at all. Guys need to be able to go out on their own and experience the world, picking who they see is fit for them. The mother shouldnt have so much of a say from the beginning because they may not even know what their son wants. (son's don't always tell their mothers everything…)
    -As for getting cosmetic surgery… thats a bit absurd. but if you are going out with someone to possibly even marry them wouldn't you want to look the absolute best you can? You don't need to be a supermodel or get a face lift or a fake tan, but trying your best to look as good as you can should be common sense to anyone! First impressions do make a difference and when you first see someone that you might possibly marry it would be nice to see that they put in the effort to look their best before meeting you.

  121. Shlomo Ahuva Goldberger says:

    you go, girl!

  122. Shayna Levine-Hefetz says:

    I don't think it is just the mothers – some guys are super shallow and don't care about much more than looks. I think we need to find a way for frum singles to meet in a natural way without the "shidduch resumes." I met my husband in college – he wasn't what I would have been looking for on a shidduch resume, but he is perfect for me (and I say that after 13 years of marriage and 3 children bli yain harah) – we never would have met if we were just looking at each other on paper. I sincerely hope that the system is reformed before my children are looking to get married.

  123. Toby Klinger says:

    Wait, wait. Before you freak out, ladies. See me. http://facebook.com/tobyklingermakeup. ;-) Special discount on natural, radiant makeovers/consultations if you email me with promo code word "Achashverosh!"

  124. Amelia Weitzman Schmidt says:

    The issue here is that mothers who are telling their daughters to get nose jobs are also telling their sons that the perfect wife has the perfect nose, so these boys think their wife's nose is important. How will these boys learn otherwise unless their mothers teach them the truth – a nose job may make her nose look better, but your kids will still inherit her original nose.

  125. Andrea Malkinson says:

    She has good points. Ais lasos la'shem, after all. I have some equally good ideas of my own- single girls should begin to wear scoop necks and miniskirts to attract men better. And also, we should start dating non-jews, they're less picky, and we really must solve this crisis.

  126. Gila Olson says:

    And this is why I will never touch the shidduch system.

  127. Chani Lazerowitz Melamed says:

    Besides for so many things wrong with this article, it makes it seem like the only reason girls aren't getting married right away is because they aren't super perfect. I think I should write an article telling guys to get their acts together and get a job and stop saying no to girls because their too INTIMATED by her!

  128. As a woman, I find this article to be honest and refreshing. I don't find it degrading or shallow, and I think that those of you who will insist that "looks don't matter" are fooling yourselves. Obviously, men are attracted to women who take care of themselves, and it goes both ways. What girl wants to date a boy who doesn't put some effort into his physical appearance? It was the decision of these girls (and their parents) to enter the dating world and begin the hunt to find their husbands. That sounds like a pretty serious goal to me, and just like all goals, requires some work and effort on behalf of the young lady. Why shouldn't she put on a little makeup and some figure flattering clothes? Isn't sex a vital part of a successful marriage and therefore sexual attraction a vital part of finding a spouse? Before anyone (man or woman) goes on a date, they shower, shave, pick out their most flattering outfit etc. All the author is saying is: if you want to find a husband, put in a little effort. What is so degrading about that?

  129. Gila Olson says:

    Absolutely disgusting…this is not a solution to the so-called "shidduch crisis," this will just make the problem worse by making everyone's expectations even more sky-high. And what happens after a few years of marriage, a few pregnancies, and the girl loses her figure? Will her husband stop loving her then because she's not a size 2 anymore? I decided not to have anything to do with the shidduch system years ago, and this just reaffirms my decision.

  130. Shlomo Ahuva Goldberger says:

    my husband and i met in driver's ed when we were 15 and 16. shhhhhhhhh

  131. David Joseph Jasphy says:

    Chayim Goldberg great comment!

  132. I second that comment- You go, girl!!!

  133. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    Eli, is getting plastic surgery part of looking presentable? Most of us who are commenting negatively are reacting to the author's suggestion — in more than one place in this article — that it is.

  134. Chayim Goldberg says:

    David Joseph Jasphy Thanks!

  135. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    "A little effort" should not include surgery and Botox. The author is clearly not talking about showering and dressing nicely.

  136. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    LOL, you found a cute way to plug your business.

  137. Chava Barr says:

    I could not even finish reading this article. Reading this makes me disgusted.

  138. Chani Lazerowitz Melamed says:

    Besides for so many things wrong with this article, including advocating surgery and single events for mothers of boys and single girls (HELLO huh, insane!), I do agree that girls should be putting their best foot forward and maybe wearing a little makeup (ON DATES! NOT FOR SOME INSANE SINGLE EVENT FOR MOTHERS THAT SHOULDN'T EXIST), but why isn't this lady telling the boys to be putting their best foot forward. We all know that the guys have the upper hand, but that's mainly because there are so few good guys for the vast number of great girls. Unfortunately, the guys out there are mainly sub par and girls have to dumb themselves down for them. I can't count how many times I was told that guys wont go out with me because they are intimidated by me (because I had a law degree), which to me says he isn't a MAN hes a BOY! B'h almost 2 years ago I found a MAN not a BOY :)

  139. Anonymous says:

    This is unbelievably, outrageously immoral! It is simply beyond belief! I am stunned! I do not know where to begin to respond and actually do not feel that this bizarre and evil drivel needs to be dignified with a substantive response. So I will just say that I happen to be a drop-dead-gorgeous young woman (if I do say so myself– enough other people have told me so to make me almost begin to believe it :), who even wears lipstick & such on dates, and I am still single! Of course there are literally thousands of others who share my quandary. I will also add that I suffered from an eating disorder that almost took my life several years ago. I (and my highly qualified and credentialed psychotherapists) can draw a very direct, and tragic, link between the views expressed in this article (and their publication) and my illness. All I can say for those girls and women who were not as lucky as I was to survive, is Hashem Yikom Dimam, may G-d avenge their blood, on the heads of those who've had a hand in bringing about their demise.

  140. Jackie Baratt says:

    WELL SAID!

  141. David Lerner says:

    What "crisis?" Just let them meet each other and date, for crying out loud.

  142. Sharon Baratt says:

    Not only should the guys get their acts together and get a job, they should also learn how to dress, lose the beer bellies, learn how to speak to a woman, oh the list goes on and on and on. If young women are supposed to be perfect then why not the young men?

  143. Chani Lazerowitz Melamed says:

    It's such a double standard its sickening!

  144. Michal Schick says:

    "Being presentable" is not at all what Mrs. Halberstam is talking about; the self-evidence of that "advice" is blatantly clear, given how many times that qualification has been mention in these comments. Mrs. Halberstam is talking about the natural looks of young women being inherently unacceptable to her. She is interested in standardizing acceptable appearances and institutionalizing the insecurity already experienced by almost all young Orthodox women. There are a thousand ways in which this article could have been constructive; instead, all that Mrs. Halberstam has unleashed here is unhappiness.

  145. Paul Kentor says:

    Bizarre, Sad, and Hilarious all at the same time. I think mostly hilarious as I am part of her so-called world and don't relate to most of what she says.

  146. Chana Artman Usedtobe Sharaby says:

    honestly, things need to be left to the boys. not the mothers decision whether shes pretty or not, but the girls mothers should def make sure that their daughters look decent and dont go out with lanky oily hair, and lack of coverup bec ppl do notice and it is not attractive. but on the same page too much makeup is also unattractive. and getting a nose job isnt the issue whatsoever. just look decent and put together. the end

  147. Sharon Baratt says:

    Amen!!!!!

  148. Chava Barr says:

    Chana Artman Usedtobe Sharaby I personally do not wear makeup, unless to a wedding (and even then it is minimal). I don't think makeup is a must. If they don't want you the way Hashem made you, so be it.

    If they don't want you at your worst, they don't deserve you at your best.

  149. Sara Adina Baker says:

    I LOVE my MIL dearly- but I'm pretty darned certain that, had I dated her instead of her son, I would not be married to him right now.

  150. Tehilah Kaplan says:

    1. The author walked into that room to give the girls the opportunity to present who they really are, yet really only looked at their appearances. For that, she could have just looked at the picture on the resume that had the makeup from their sister's wedding.
    2. There are women who do not wear makeup who also happen to not have a lot of self confidence. Because of today's society, some of these women can improve their self confidence by changing how they look – nutrition, hair, makeup, plastic surgery, whatever. The issue with these women has nothing to do with their looks – the issue is their lack of self confidence. I think part of the issue here is that the author still does not have self confidence, despite her nose job. Seeing young women feel comfortable in their own skin (with no masks) drives home the point of how dissatisfied she is with herself. Suggesting that everyone should go through such drastic measures makes her not different than the others.
    3. The biggest problem is that it's the mothers who want barbie daughters in law. Outside of the shidduch world, girls who wear makeup and get nose jobs don't get married any faster than those who don't. The reason for this discrepancy? Most's MEN don't care. And those who do care need to marry someone who will wear makeup every day. If a girl is not the type to wear makeup on a daily basis but puts on makeup to date, the guy is not getting a chance to get to know who she is and you have just wasted a lot of time and energy for no reason. The author states that the purpose of the event is to give the girls the opportunity to present themselves in the "best possible light". But ultimately, she is advocating presenting oneself dishonestly.
    5. The story about the Rebbe? um…….missing teeth is something that is clearly wrong – God gave us all teeth and they serve an important function. So if there is something wrong, absolutely – FIX IT! lipstick and eyeliner? yeah…..pretty normal for people to not have natural thick eyeliner and bright red lips. so there is nothing wrong, and nothing to fix. Improve? depends who you ask……not everyone likes blue eyeliner. That's in the eyes of the beholder.

    The author appeals to mothers to get plastic surgery for their daughters in the hopes that even 1 girl gets "saved". How many crazy mothers are there out there that as a result of this article will now tell their daughters to become size 0's, spend hours in front of the mirror straightening their hair, and even go as far as plastic surgery, and really damage what matters most – their daughters' insides and their self esteem?

    Truly, I feel for this woman's future daughter-in-law……personally, I'd rather stay single!

  151. Tee Green says:

    after reading this very disturbing and upsetting article, i have to say that your comment is simply the perfect comeback.

  152. Vigi Katlowitz says:

    The Beacon would be proud.

  153. D.N. Singer says:

    Oh G-d, I wanted to throw up from that article.

  154. Tehilah Kaplan says:

    Andrea Malkinson I had the same thought about letting them dress move provocatively. Comes with a lot less risk and not transgressing v'nishmartem meod lenafshotechem!

  155. Anonymous says:

    Wow, my heart is literally pounding from reading this article! Is this woman completely out of her mind? Does she even have a neshama? I would recommend to anyone who's ever considered boycotting the NY Times for its dubious moral stance on Israel that they never buy or read the Jewish Press again!

  156. Fima Shlimel says:

    Is the article intended to be satire?

  157. Natalie Keyser Grossman says:

    Totally speechless.

  158. Chayim Goldberg says:

    Tee Green Thank you- I appreciate it. We should all work together to put an end to this nonsense

  159. Heshy Fried says:

    These frummies will never learn – everything has to be so tzniusdick that you aint ever gonna get no dick

  160. Matt Berger says:

    Hahahahahaha- This was the best article I've ever read. Can't wait for those decked out ladies at the next Seforim sale.

  161. Holy crap this g is nuts

  162. Jay Marcus says:

    What's worse is this is how the new normal is. In the frum world, we are now the exceptions.

  163. Cin Cy says:

    Everyone wants to marry someone attractive, I myself am guilty of this. What is not mentioned is that my friends and I do not find the same women attractive. So by changing ones face the man that G-d intended that face attract may be attract the wrong guy. Yes she might get married sooner, but is he the right guy? Also if every woman got plastic surgery the standards of beauty would go up, just like economic inflation. It must also be said that guys suffer too, it is hard for me to get shidduchim because I’m working while perusing a masters instead of wear a black hat and sit in yeshiva, therefore I am not considered frum enough for many girls. These problems stem from the poor direction of our parents, rabbis and the social pressure that we must get marry before we are old and 21. Here is a solution let your children mature before you push them to get married that way they will be able to make real decisions about what they want not what you want for them.

  164. David Lerner says:

    Heshy Fried This invented crisis is worsened by the additional layers of de-facto self-segregation in the communities: Yeshivish marries yeshivish, MO marries MO, chassidish marries chassidish… But,

    THE SHIDDUCH CRISIS IS GOOD FOR YOUNG WOMEN

    Young women aren’t being married off at a TERRIBLY young age, thus
    They have more time after leaving school without being shackled to perpetual childbirth.
    If they get a job, they have more money and independence; they might even explore the world around them. Exploring the world may cause them to leave.
    I am not saying that these girls don’t suffer any anguish; they do, but it’ll be worth it if enough leave upon seeing the nonsense that is their community. We need a support network in place to help these young women exit their cult and enter society.

  165. Allison 'Goldman' Marcus says:

    I think you looked stunning at the wedding yesterday, honestly. I loved your outfit.

  166. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mrs. Halberstam,
    I am also a Jewish mother. But I no longer share your joyful anticipation of walking my child down to the chuppa. She died last year, of anorexia. It all began six years ago, when, at the age of 21, a shadchan who professed to be as well-meaning as you do suggested that she lose a few pounds (she was a size 6 at the time) in order to make herself more "marketable" (that is the term she used then). What followed was a nightmare for her, me, and our whole family that I can only hope you will never know from. If you have a modicum of rachmunus in your Jewish neshama, I beg you to retract this article and apologize for your deeply, dangerously misguided advice. I am crying now as I write this and think of what my daughter a"h had to suffer because of exactly the type of things that you have written here, and I am just so afraid for all the other impressionable young girls who will read your words and reach the same end. This is not a joke, and it is not funny at all. You could literally be killing people by making these suggestions and perpetuating the ethos that underlies them. I know that you would do anything to save your precious son if his life were ever, G-d forbid, in danger. Please recognize that you have directly endangered the lives of countless young women and girls by publishing this article and tell them, instead, that Hashem only wants them to be happy and healthy and a loving husband would expect no more and no less. You have caused me and many others so much pain with your words. I'm sure that was not your intention, but now that people have pointed it out, please, for the sake of K'lal Yisrael, who are languishing in galus because of just such insensitivity bein adam l'chavero, do teshuva for this unintentional sin. In the merit of your teshuva, may all the innocent women and girls who are still suffering as my only daughter did– as a result of the very approach that you advocate here– be healed and made whole.
    Sincerely,
    A grieving em b'yisrael.

  167. The Real Problem is this victim mentality that the "shidduch crisis" is creating. The blame game will not help anyone get married. No one can deny the miracle involved in bringing shidduchim together and the simple reality is that if people want to get married, they need to DO WHAT IT TAKES!

  168. What it takes means… EVERYTHING WITHIN REASON TO FIND YOUR SOULMATE. When people actually decide that they will do everything in their power, than atleast they can say, "Hey, I Tried…" as long as there are things you can still do, than I think you need to dig deeper and figure out whats really holding you back. Its not the mothers, and its not the boys, its YOU!
    This author is right, although her standards are wrong. I wont advocate for surgery, but if that is what it takes to feel confident enough in yourself and to convince yourself you did everything in your power, atleast it shows you are actually committed to finding your match. How can you blame the crisis and others if there is still more you can do…
    Girls not wearing makeup, I bet most of them aren't REALLY looking to get married, they just feel that is what is expected of them… If they really wanted to get married, they wouldnt dream of showing up without makeup!!!

  169. Just to clarify, I am not saying there is something intrinsic in you that is preventing a shidduch from happening, The way G-D made you is not in your control, and isnt really relevant… I mean, YOU as in DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!!!! When you having a "burning desire" for something, you find a way to make it happen… it is a scientific fact!!! Its just how the mind works…

  170. Elana Levy says:

    seriously…looking presentable doesn't and shouldn't equal plastic surgery. I'm just pointing this out, now…

  171. Ilona Grudnikoff says:

    Fact: The reality is is that many people's expectations have drifted into the realm of super-beautiful super-models.

    And yet, there is no reason why we should submit ourselves to these standards and cut ourselves apart in order to fit the mold. By allowing this defect of society to dictate our decisions, we are facilitating it to penetrate our lives.There is no excuse for adapting to stupidity.

    A blunt reminder: Eventually, no matter how much you spend, your beauty will fade. And what will you be left with? A nose job, fake breasts, an over sized plastic surgery bill and a husband who is obsessed with appearances. (Not to mention the OCD Mother-in-law.)

    The price of a cut and tuck is much greater than a few thousand dollars. Ladies, just realize the consequences following the 'plastic surgery' suggestion; If you are so intent on believing that your appearance will land you a husband because it helps define who you are— when you cut off a layer of skin or shave down a bump, you are inadvertently sacrificing a part of yourselves. That's a hefty price to pay for a man who would settle for any super model.

    Perhaps, the more healthy approach would be to learn to value yourself, even if there is no man who does. I mean, think logically; who is more important, YOU or, a man who wants nothing more than to marry a Jewish Angelina Jolie?

  172. L'via Weisinger says:

    Allison – i've been praying since i read it this afternoon that such is the case. but not only to the shallow men – more importantly to the shallow moms who really exist and engage in this behavior (but may not admit it so blatantly) and have been raising the boys who go along with it.

  173. Raffi Holzer says:

    Stop giving the author such a hard time. I think we can all agree the system stinks. It's unfair and it objectifies women. The author agrees! But she's also being practical. And while she may be going overboard in making certain recommendations, she's certainly right in stating the the obvious, albeit politically incorrect, fact: looks matter. While we might like to think of ourselves or our friends as the exception to the rule (and perhaps you Chayim Goldberg are), guys generally care about looks, even if only on a subconscious level. The author is not pushing for the further objectification of women, but rather recognizing the reality that they are. That isn't a morally courageous stance, but given the heat she's received in these comments, it certainly took some kind of courage.

  174. L'via Weisinger says:

    thank you so much for sharing this. my first reaction to her article was just that – she and her ilk are contributing to the alarming rise of anorexia among young Jewish girls, as young as 12 and even younger. I am so so sorry for your loss and urge you to share your story with klal yisrael and every shadchan and every eligible boy on the planet. I am sure you will save many lives and elevate your daughter's neshoma with every neshoma you save.

  175. Anonymous says:

    Did you read the part about the nose jobs, botox, and bariatric surgery? I think you must have missed that…

  176. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    Yes, agree with Andrea that assimilation is the answer. We really do need to widen our gene pool!

  177. Raffi Holzer says:

    michlalahgirl For the record, I don't believe it is appropriate to encourage (or discourage for that matter) cosmetic or gastric surgery in an op-ed and as I said, i do think the author may have gone overboard in that regard.

  178. Tzivia Berow says:

    The problem is, I think the standard of beauty has already gone up. If it hadn't, the author might never have felt the need to write this article.

  179. Tzivia Berow says:

    Of all the comments this article has provoked, yours rings the loudest and the truest. I am so sorry for the terrible loss you have suffered. Thank you for not remaining silent-we all need to hear stories such as yours so that we understand the true danger of the path we are on.

  180. Eli Friedman says:

    Ok, I may have commented in haste and didn't express my opinion as well as I should have. Of course people shouldn't have to get plastic surgery and gastric bypass, but the way someone presents themselves can tell you a lot about them. If I see someone (guy or girl) that obviously hasn't, combed their hair in days, it means that they don't care about how they are perceived by others. Remember, we as jews are supposed to be the princes and princesses of the world. We need to dress the part.

  181. Toviah Moldwin says:

    Is it any worse than cosmetic surgeons or TV shows that make advertisements on similar grounds?

  182. ok Chava Barr, you're right, but that doesn't mean they should meet you at your worst. Your worst should come with months of getting to know one another. As time goes on you should feel more comfortable and shouldn't have to worry about what you look like in front of that person or what you wear, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't always try for them. Show a little femininity. Show that you want it, that it's important to you, that THEY are important to you. I hate girls who act all feminist about make up and doing their hair, enough! It's not just for other people it's for your own self. Show that you have some self respect, show that you love yourself enough to take care of yourself. No ones asking you to go to Sephora everyday and get your makeup done, but throw on some mascara, maybe a swipe of blush. Honestly when you look better, you feel better and anyone who says other wise, is lying.

  183. Toviah Moldwin says:

    Is it any worse than cosmetic surgeons who make advertisements on similar grounds? Obviously, these decisions are best up to the individual, but it's all about costs and benefits in achieving a goal state. If these people value marriage so highly, and the only way to obtain that goal is through cosmetic surgery, then it is an option that should seriously be considered, or at least not stigmatized. Yeah, it's dangerous, but, like with everything, you weigh the risk again the gain, and the risk for many of these procedures isn't really that great compared to other medical procedures that people have done all the time on a routine basis.

  184. Eli Friedman says:

    Lol, to say there are so few good guys for ALL the wonderful girls and that most guys are sub par is a pretty dumb and ignorant thing to say. If women were as pure as you say and only cared about the man under the skin, I would be in a much better position right now. But that's not the case, and women can be just as superfluous and shallow as men. Any of you ladies have more than 20 pairs of shoes?

    And listen, If you want to own 40 pairs of shoes, all the power to you, If that makes you look better, than you will absolutely not get a complaint from me, but people buy beauty products for a reason… it helps get attention, no matter how much of a frum yid you are.

  185. Yair Hakak says:

    I almost died laughing. Let me get this straight. The girls are expected to go meet the mothers (because the boys, all of whom are iluyim, are evidently too busy all becoming the next gadol hador instead of earning some money) and the mother, who, I have to say, seems like a a fairly shallow person, criticizes them for not dolling themselves up?
    And the kicker is, it's not her. It's not her son or the other boys, who evidently like their prospective wives young, pretty, and none too bright, it's not the shadchanim. It's "the system". Please.
    Let's be honest about the real problem. This is a community obsessed with "yichus". However, you can't eat yichus, so it's necessary to have financial resources as well, or for the girl to be a great beauty. She doesn't, for example, need to be bright, or learned (in fact, it's probably better if she isn't so she doesn't show up her husband), or devout, or even a very nice person. Her husband, on the other hand, can sit and learn and not be accountable to anyone (and let's be honest, most of these learners are not only not going to be the next gadol hador, some of them are of better use to the community working) while they live on the money her parents put up.
    That, my friends, is the real "crisis".

  186. Meir Anolick says:

    I like your comment; haven't read the article. But yes, successful marriages are not based on how much effort you put into making yourself look nice. My wife rarely ever puts on makeup, and it makes no difference to me, because I lover her for who she is, not what she looks like.

  187. @Shayna Levine-Hefetz: "bli yain harah"? Without bad wine? ;)

  188. Rachel Stern says:

    This is a comment with regard to photos for shidduch profiles. While I am mostly inclined to agree with you that photos should be posted, that head shots are the best, and that there are many photos out there that should NOT be posted, I must share this with you:

    In 1999, I was single and looking. It was still the beginning of using the internet for dating purposes and I used it. I had no choice. I had tried using shadchanim but they were all less than useless for me. You see, I wear hearing aids. I am hard of hearing. And that is ALL I was to EVERY SINGLE SHADCHAN I met. In fact, every single shadchan who bothered to fix me up with anyone, wanted to fix me up with a man who was “perfect for me” — he was DEAF. NOT ONCE, did I get a call from a Shadchan who wanted to fix me up with a desirable NORMAL man. So. I met my wonderful late husband, Rabbi Barry Stern, a”h, via the internet with ZERO help from any Shadchanim. NOT ONLY THAT! He never posted a photo of himself online. Oh, MINE was posted, but not his. I decided to “take a chance” and meet him, even though I had NO IDEA what he looked like. We got married and had an amazing marriage — and many of the people who posted below can attest to that as they knew both of us during our marriage! Another thing: shortly after Barry and I were dating seriously I received a call from a shadchan. She has a “perfect match” for me. Before I could interrupt she began to ‘redt” him to me. Yep, you guessed it: he was DEAF. When I was finally able to interrupt her, I told her that I was involved in a serious relationship. Her response was Mazal Tov, that is wonderful, tell me all about him. And so I did: I told her his name, age, occupation, where he lives, he is divorced, four girls, etc. Then she says to me, “Oh yes, I know of him. He is very eligible. He is at the top of all our lists!” But not for me, huh??? After all, I am a “reject” — not “perfect”, not “normal”, I only get to be fixed up with the deaf, the blind, the crippled, the poor, the stupid. (Trust me, that was my experience — for five years!!!) I told her to please do me a favor: “TAKE HIM OFF YOUR LISTS — HE IS TAKEN!”. Barry and I were married, VERY HAPPILY, for ten years until G-d took him back home. So, Ms. Small, don’t put so much stock into appearances. And put even less into your own personal definition of “normal”. I think EVERYONE needs to widen their horizons. And, I think singles need to be allowed more normal venues for meeting one another.

  189. Avi Bagley says:

    Whatever happened to children making their own choices? The author is taking all the responsibility and effort out of the sons hands, putting it into their hands. I always thought that Judaism was supposed to leap over and strive for better than the vain idea of beauty. Yet this author brings it to the highest realm of importance. Why? It is certainly important, but important enough that it should be faked? that plastic surgery should be considered? Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder and fear if that beholder is this mother. Where is the onus for the sons? Why are the daughters the only ones coming out, and why are they forced into the awkward situation of meeting the mothers instead of the sons they might date one day? You ask how you could suitably understand a girl in the seconds of the "interview", well how in the world is she ever supposed to understand your son? Or is that not important? We don't live in biblical times or premodern middle eastern civilizations where everything is set up before birth. In fact there are talmudic restrictions against that type of thing, yet the author seemingly is trying to bring this back. There are better ways to get married than setting up some ridiculous meeting with mothers. Vanity, while important, goes both ways, for the guy and the girl. And no girl should ever have to feel that they need to surgically change anything. As for the author, maybe she should actually listen to the girls. Honestly, your not really important enough to them for them to put makeup on anyway. Stop being presumptuous and pretentious. Maybe with a different outlook things could be different.

  190. The chumash teaches us that Avraham sent his servant to find a wife. He stands by the well and prays for the type of women Yitzchak should meet.

    This article is dismissive of the Torah. Just imagine what the Torah story would be like if Avraham had sent the author of this disgusting article to the well.

    I can just imagine her inwardly cringing and thinking when she sees Rivka "Look at the way she's dressed in those rags! Does she know what shlepping buckets of water for camels does to her nails! It's very obvious she hasn't been using a decent sunscreen!"

    A midrash tells us that on the festival of tu be'av, the single women would dance in front of the men, who would choose brides. Of course, if the author of this disgusting article were to have been there, she'd have insisted that the women just dance in front of the men's mothers. The midrash continues that the women would wear each other's dresses for the dance, so no one could judge them by the way they were dressed. I guess that in those days, the rabbis knew how to deal with the type of people who write these articles.

  191. I feel like I'm the only person who agrees with this woman…..

    Call me crazy, call me the devil, I don't care. This is all fact. It's just the way of the world. People choose their partners initially, based on attraction. If you're appalled by someones physical appearance, well bottom line, you're NOT going to be giving them a second look.

    There was a comment made "If they don't like you at your worst, they don't deserve you at your best." I agree with this statement more than anything in the world, but does that mean they should see what your worst is at the inception? No it means after months of getting to know someone and feeling more and more comfortable with them, that's when your so called "worst" can come out. That's when you whip it out the ponytails and then sweatshirts. But I just never understood women who didn't want to constantly wow people. It doesn't take much to swipe on some mascara and brush on some blush. I can do it in about 18 seconds.

    And fact of the matter is, it's proven that when you feel you look better on the outside, you feel better on the inside. Don't just do it for someone else, do it for yourself. Show you have a little self-respect, show yourself you take at least a little pride in the amazing woman you are. Treat yourself to look good. You deserve it. You want to say oh this is the way Hashem made us, well Hashem also gave us the brains to create make up and perfume and hair treatments. So use it. Not all the time, but definitely the times where you're looking for a partner in life.

    Be realistic, stop trying to be politically correct. It's ok to step outside the box sometimes. How many times have we seen in the Torah the mention of beauty and women dolling themselves up with makeup and perfumes and jewelery. Even in terms of men in the Torah, physical appearance is used to describe them. Yosef, supposedly women were scaling the walls to catch a glimpse of him. Essaf, supposedly was scary to look at cause he was covered in hair and dirty, Dovid saw Batsheva bathing, supposedly she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, the torah uses the term dark skinned and supposedly she was stunning. Rochel, Rivkah, Sora, beauty was always mentioned in referring to them.

    As little girls we're given the bracha by our fathers to be like our Emahos, so let's do it, let's be like them, in every aspect…..

  192. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    I hope you are correct. It works quite well as satire! a la

  193. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    I hope you right! It works quite well as satire. Quite the "modest" proposal. (With apologies to Jonathan Swift.)

  194. Anonymous says:

    Did you miss the part about the nose jobs, botox, and bariatric surgery? I don't thing our Matriarchs got any of those. And these procedures certainly take more than 18 seconds. In fact, their physical and emotional scars last a lifetime.

  195. Elisa Bloch says:

    I totally and whole-heartedly agree. Everyone needs to stop taking this article so literally (yes, the author went a little overboard with the whole surgery thing) and look at the overall picture. We as girls want a guy who looks nice and takes care of himself, why should they not be allowed the same courtesy?

  196. Oh, and by the way: Chazal say about the story with Yitzchak that the only reason he didn't go to the well himself to choose his own wife was due to unique circumstances that meant he was not allowed to leave Israel.

    The only actual story of a regular shidduch that I know of in the Torah was with Yishmael the forefather of the Arabs, whose mother found him a wife from Egypt.

  197. michlalahgirl if you hate your nose, get a nose job, if you don't then don't…simple as that. No ones forcing you to do anything you don't want.

    In your opinion, clearly surgery is a disgusting option. Baruch Hashem I love my nose, but if I woke up every morning and wished it were different, I'd do something about it.

  198. Sarah B. Cohen says:

    at first I thought the author had a point. But as I kept reading, I got very upset by her words. Are we really so superficial today? I think it is actually because of mothers like her that we have this "shidduch crisis". Girls and women should make an effort to make themselves presentable, but not to such extremes. And to blame that on why girls can't find a husband?! that's ridiculous! I know plenty of gorgeous women who are still single! Maybe the guys, and especially their mothers, need to learn to lower their standards.

  199. Eli Goldenberg says:

    what physical and emotional scars? these changes are in a positive light. a nose job is not leaving someone with a scar across their face, its improving how they look. im not saying every girl should go out and get a nose job but if you happen to have a large nose whats so wrong with changing it. this applies to guys just as much as it does to girls. amanda i fully support everything you wrote, girls should look good for themselves and even more so if they want to put themselves into the dating world, and that being said whats wrong with spending a little bit of time and money to look how you want to look whether its a little bit of mascara or a nose job

  200. Eli is exactly right, usually (and yes I have multiple friends who have gotten "work" done) they are happier people after getting that nose job or whatever it may be, unless the Doctor messes up…..but no one can foresee that soooooo…………..

  201. Matty Lichtenstein says:

    Your poor (present or future) wife.

  202. Matty Lichtenstein says:

    Toviah Moldwin – your poor (present or future) wife.

  203. Eli Goldenberg says:

    and to all the guys who are saying how appalling this article is…you are all hypocrites! i have never met a guy who didnt take a second look at the hott girl walking by (including gay guys). its human nature for boys (and girls) to be attracted to a better looking individual. just because you may not be completely shallow doesnt mean you dont want a girl to put a little effort into her looks.

  204. Eli Goldenberg OMG YES!! YES!!! THANK YOU ELI!!

    Really guys? Really, you're repulsed? You're Horrified? You're appalled? UH YOU'RE A HUMAN BEING! I would love to know the true reasons half of their dates didn't want to work out.

  205. The Torah tells us how Avraham sent his servant to find a bride for Yitzchak (because due to unique circumstances, Yitzchak wasn't allowed to leave Israel). The servant prays to meet the type of woman who would be appropriate for Yitzchak. Imagine if Avraham had sent the author of this article instead:

    When she saw Rivka, she would have cringed inwardly and thought, "Look at the rags she's wearing! Doesn't she know that shlepping buckets of water for camels can ruin your nails? It's obvious she doesn't use a decent sunscreen…"

  206. The Torah tells us how Avraham sent his servant to find a bride for Yitzchak (because due to unique circumstances, Yitzchak wasn't allowed to leave Israel). The servant prays to meet the type of woman who would be appropriate for Yitzchak. Imagine if Avraham had sent the author of this article instead:

    When she saw Rivka, she would have cringed inwardly and thought, "Look at the rags she's wearing! Doesn't she know that shlepping buckets of water for camels can ruin your nails? It's obvious she doesn't use a decent sunscreen…"

  207. OMG YES!! YES!!! THANK YOU ELI!!

    Really guys? Really, you're repulsed? You're Horrified? You're appalled? UH YOU'RE A HUMAN BEING! I would love to know the true reasons half of their dates didn't work out.

  208. Jon Burg says:

    David Manheim I have to assume that this article is proposing the extreme so that we can land in a middle ground area. Makeup is different than surgery. That said, it's important to dress up for a date. I went on a date where the girl made no effort and it bombed (for a different reason) but was later struck by how little she seemed to care (she was wearing a sweatshirt and looked overall unkempt). Even I tucked in a new shirt, shaved and showered for dates.

  209. Jon Burg says:

    I had a bit of a different experience. I was introduced to my wife through my Rebbe who is in the yeshivish world but not typical. There was no resume, and they jokingly asked both of us ridiculous questions to make the situation more comfortable. Before the date they gave me a piece of paper with some key information so that I would know a bit about her (to help the conversation). The paper purple, was cut into the shape of a car and had a smiley face sticker on it.

    I did not do the "real" shidduch thing as we had also been setup by friends, but this formality isn't helping things.

  210. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    I'm all for women making choices to benefit themselves, and yes, why not put your best face forward? I have friends who have had plastic surgery and I support their decisions. But they wanted to make the change. You are correct in saying women should change for themselves, and not somebody else. The problem is that the author seems to advocate surgery for those who would never consider it. How did she know those girls at the event were unhappy with themselves? She is making a plea to all mothers to borrow money if need be, to correct noses that not are perfect according to society. But what if a girl likes the uniqueness of her "ski-jump" nose? Her square jaw line? Her crazy, "unruly" hair? Some "imperfections" add character. When I bless my daughter, I clearly mean that she be like the Matriarchs in inheriting their admirable qualities. Not to be like them in every aspect, be it physically (apparently Leah wasn't such a looker) or marriage at very young age, (Rashi says Rivkah was three) etc.

  211. Chazal tell us that the festival of Tu'BeAv, single women would dress in white and dance in front of the single men (not in front of their mothers) to help them choose brides.

    Chazal continue that the women would wear each other's dresses for the event, to prevent them being judged superficially based on what they were wearing.

    Apparently, chazal knew how to to deal with the ilk who nowadays write these types of articles.

  212. Rahel says:

    The purpose of the year-long cosmetic regimen in the Megillah was not a beauty pageant at the end of it. It was a night with the king. Ahashverosh did not test his prospective brides by viewing them from a chaste distance as they paraded before him wearing evening gowns and bathing suits. He tested them out in the most personal, lowest-common-denominator way possible. Is that where we’re headed here?

    Elective surgery involves risk. Sometimes the person undergoing it dies due to complications. Are a young woman’s looks worth her life? Here’s my suggestion: let us invest our efforts in teaching Jewish children and young people that while it is important to dress well and groom oneself properly, a person is more than their external appearance. That seems to me a great deal healthier than encouraging women to mutilate themselves in order to get a man.

    Finally, what kind of marital relationships are we fostering when we put such an emphasis on externals? What happens when the woman who has undergone all the procedures starts having children? When the couple begins to age? Would the author have the wife remain, for the rest of her life, in a frantic race to clutch at some semblance of a youthful appearance lest her husband ditch her for a younger woman once she starts to show a few white hairs and wrinkles? And what about the young man who is under pressure to get himself a Barbie? This system does men a terrible disservice as well.

  213. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    I hope to once again feel positively towards The Jewish Press like I did when The Jewish Press refused to be silenced when running Chaim Levin's article despite threats from advertisers. They sent a great and powerful message that day.

  214. Stefanie Strauss Small , Imagine if SYAS was like this peculiar community and instead of men visiting the site, only their mothers were able to join.

  215. The peculiar behavior of this relatively small community, in which mothers decide who their sons will meet, should serve as an example to all of us of the dangers of inbreeding.

  216. The peculiar behavior of this relatively small community, in which mothers decide who their sons will meet, should serve as an example to all of us of the dangers of inbreeding.

  217. Sarah Davis says:

    I don't have just a huge problem with this article and I'm kind of surprised by the reaction it's getting…what's wrong with encouraging people to care a little bit more about how they look? I don't think everyone needs to make an appointment with the plastic surgeon but I don't have a problem with the author bringing to light that looks matter.

  218. Adriane Tick Meyers I just think you along with others, need to stop taking things so literally. Again like I said before, if you like what you got, then leave it, no questions asked. But maybe throw a little shadow on that brings out your eyes, highlight a cheekbone here and there, get funky glasses that play up on that "ski-jump" character of a nose that you have.

    Supposedly Leah wasn't such a looker and guess what we also know Yaakov didn't want to marry her…..

    But not my point! Again you took a part of what I wrote to prove a point and made it seem like I was applying it super literally. No I was not insinuating that girls should be getting married at 3 and No I wouldn't rather your daughter be a horrible person but put on makeup. I was just using it to further my point. That's it, nothing more nothing less.

  219. Shira Kallus Zwebner says:

    I'd like to congratulate you, Yitta Halberstam, for ensuring that I never donate another penny or shekel to a Kollel or Yeshiva. I will not and cannot support a culture of people whose Mother's of men spending their days learning Torah tell their children that a nose job, botox and heavily made up women is what they should be looking for in a mate. What is wrong with you? Mrs. Halberstam, you should be absolutely ashamed of yourself. Truly. I'm ashamed FOR you, for your way of thinking. I feel sorry for you, for thinking that writing this article was at all necessary. Believe me, no Jewish mother out there needs a "wake up" call to help their daughters find an appropriate shidduch. Your words aren't revolutionary, they aren't enlightening. They are pathetic. But what I really feel sorry about, is that the thousands of readers of this article are actually thinking that YOUR own husband only married you because you got a nose job, straightened your hair and lost some weight. I pity you for that, for putting that out there to the world and for shaming and belittling your own sense of self and your own marriage. For shame. Mrs. Halberstam, for shame.

  220. And there you have it folks – Yeshivish Judaism for you – all about external appearances, and nothing about midot! Unbelievable!

  221. None of the people the writer suggests should make an effort is required to shave (I hope.)

    Parading in front of mothers who will decide which of these women is worthy to meet their special, perfect sons is degrading.

  222. Eytan says:

    It doesn’t really matter what the girls (and guys for that matter) look like, as long as they are living in America, there is clearly something wrong with them and it would be a shame to set up more people that will just continue to raise families in exile – Come to Israel, if not now when?

  223. Elana Kutscher says:

    horrible, horrible article. terribly misguided. I would boycott her books.

  224. Gabrielle Isaacs Siegelman says:

    I have such mixed feeling about this article. On the one hand you are absolutely right that a girl (and boy) should make the best possible effort before a shidduch or any important meeting for that matter as we are Princes and Princesses, children of a holy King and as Jewish royalty we should be upstanding regal examples. However, this should be done with what H-shem gave us. Ok fine, one should be a healthy weight, forget looks, merely for health sake, ok maybe braces if their teeth are so bothersome (to the girl), a touch of make-up (a touch!), but more than that, really? At what point does a good effort regarding ones' appearance become a superficial pursuit of vanity. I understand if a person has psychological issues due to physical deformities, because they may have had negative responses to their appearance throughout their life, leading to low self-esteem (which seems prevalent in this society regardless of beauty, status, financial situation). But seriously, can we turn around to these lovely sweet girls, (who are generally speaking deserving of so much more of a man than what's on offer) and say they need nose jobs, hair straightenings etc etc?

  225. Wow. That was not the article I expected it to be. Quite nauseating. Dear mothers of all the "little princes" out there: your son is NOT a prince (any more than any other woman's son), and if he has ANY good midot, will be happy with an "average" looking girl if he finds her attractive and if she's NICE TO HIM AND OTHERS. The author of this article actually recommended that mothers BORROW MONEY if they need to to make their daughters into "swans". Ugh.

  226. Julie Waldman: Why is an intelligent and thinking person like yourself reading The Jewish Press? ;-)

  227. I'm actually crying from sadness, it's unfortunate and unfair….I'm still shaking me head!

  228. Shlomo Zwickler It was posted on Facebook and I followed the link.

  229. Harley Roth says:

    I am scared for these people that think that what she says is correct!

  230. is this just in america or worldwide? living a bit isolated from the world in south africa such things are unheard of. i cannot believe this is true!!!!!!! what the hell has the world come it!?!?!!??!

  231. you are who you are and that's good enough. if her son wants someone who is plastered in makeup then good for him- their are plenty of those girls around. but dont force ppl to be someone they're not

  232. BTW – have no fear: Yeshivish Judaism is not long for this world. . . the economic model is unsustainable and will dissipate within a generation. I just hope their children remain religious and don't throw it all away. Always remember, as my good friend Yehoshua Hershberg often reminds me: We didn't go "off the derech" – they did.

  233. Wow. What I can not believe is that the Jewish Press published this. How irresponsible!

  234. Shoshana Balofsky says:

    Better yet- Why don't you just pick a girl, send her for all the extensive surgeries you deem necessary, have her hypnotized and brain washed to do and say as you like, and then have her marry your son.
    I pray that the many women reading your article have been educated enough to understand how deluded you are. Keep your precious son. I would hate to think of someone having you as a mother-in-law.

  235. Naomi Weiß says:

    We're sure it's not a joke, though?

  236. Shoshana Balofsky says:

    If it is a joke, it's not obvious enough.

  237. Naomi Weiß says:

    roundly replied…

  238. Peninah Taragin Gershman says:

    We need to stop blaming the “system”, the “mothers”, the “yeshivas” etc. We need to look at the root of this problem. The problem is that in the great majority of this community, the goal for girls is to be married. In so many of these comments people mentioned how the boys should be able to pick for themselves, how resumes are awful, how boys and girls should be able to communicate on their own (somethng I wholeheartedly agree with by the way), but everyone fails to see that we need to stop promoting this idea that a frum woman is only fulfilled if she gets married and has children.

    I think it is a great injustice to females of all kind to say that their goal should be marriage. Because when we live in a society like ours, what happens to the girls who don’t get married either at a young age or at all? So many of them end up in limbo- somewhere in between being a child and being what they consider a full fledged adult. How many single women own a set of china, or a brand new couch? Or even live on their own and not with a roommate? I’m betting less than more.

    So many single girls are under the impression that they’ll “be happy once I’m married.” It’s time to tell these girls that they are wonderful, beautiful, smart individuals. They need to find contentment in themselves. If they do get married and are happy, that is wonderful, but if for some reason that doesn’t happen either right away or at all- these girls and women must still realize that they are not less than a person.

    A 30 year old single woman once told me that she didn’t want to move to a certain out of town community because the people in that community don’t treat single women as adults. They look at them as extra babysitters, and chauffers when they need a ride to the airport, etc. What message does that send?

    Our society must stop placing importance of a woman only on her marital status. Yes, many many women want to get married and have a deep desire to raise a family. But it doesn’t work out for everyone, and for us to continue to promote this idea that if this doesn’t work out, a woman becomes a “nebuch situation”, is a sanctimonious attitude.

    Finally, let’s remember that because people are so scared NOT to be the “nebuch” single woman, girls run to get married in less than ideal situations. To reference the original article, the thought of a girl “dating” the boys mother first is disgusting. What does that do to the self esteem of a girl? What does it do to our female society that the girls have to give resumes and boys don’t? Our society has made people so scared of being single that we rush to marry men who may be mentally unstable, incompatible with us, men who have different life goals than we do. And then what happens? The girl may end up married and with beautiful kids, but a marriage isn’t always a good marriage.

    I am less than optimistic that anything I’ve written here will actually change things, I just wish it would.

  239. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

  240. Jon Burg I agree – I noticed when the girls didn't care, and I think it's telling that you point out that you notice the lack of makeup and effort when the date bombs anyways. I think that the fact that people are not willing to invest in anything that is long term is a more likely culprit than the makeup specifically.

  241. Its completely irrelevant which gender has the most shidduch proposals coming through the fax/machine/ emails ect. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE ZIVUG. The boys have no upper hand by having a wide range to chose from. Have we forgotten who is running the show? Hashem ensures that your child finds his/ her soul mate not any institution/rabbi/rebbitzen/mother/person writing the resume and certainly not "The System" and Thank G-d for that. Come back to reality people. Hashem is mezaveg zivugim.

  242. Anonymous says:

    People, please! Let's not get carried away here. Please refrain from personally insulting the author. It obscures the issues, not to mention the fact that it is a terrible sin to embarrass someone in public. What I want ask the author is this: 1) It is one thing to say that a girl should put on make-up before meeting her prospective mother-in-law. That is understandable. We are all human, much as we'd like to think we are not, and as such, are all affected by looks in some small way, though we try hard to fight it. But it it another thing entirely to suggest that girls receive plastic surgery in an attempt to get married. When the author suggested that girls go that far, was she being serious? 2) I fail to see how this will help solve "The Shidduch Crisis." With her suggestion, girls will be "Eidel, frum, sincere, intelligent, and committed to the learning ideal," and beautiful. If all girls pursue this avenue, how will it give any one of them an edge? 3) Is it not possible that this suggestion will widen the gap between girls of rich homes and girls of poor homes? Everyone knows that boys come with price tags nowadays, and the father-in-law willing to pay the most money for his son-in-law to learn will be the luck winner. What is to become of girls from less favorable monetary situations who, not only cannot support a learning boy, but also cannot afford cosmetic surgery, if that is the extent to which the bar is being raised?

  243. Cassie Horwich says:

    Really, really not a fan of these people, ultimately they're right – that in the Shiduch system you have to look perfect/have all the right credentials to get a 'good' boy. However so much is to be said for the meeting naturally (not in clubs or bars) around Shabbos tables approach. In the secular world (for all it's flaws) people learn about each other in an organic, non forced, pressured by family/society way. Let's take a leaf out of their book. Everyone can wax lyrical all they like about the divorce rate in the non-religious worlds but from the way that I see it (amongst many, many others) the frum world is snapping at their heels. Enough of the pressure to get married so young, enough of the pressure to be perfect because, let's be honest, these 'great guys' who have been told by their mothers that they are the most wonderful human being to ever set foot on Earth – probably don't make the best husbands!

  244. Daniela Weiss-Bronstein says:

    Sorry – I have a birthmark on my face, and I’m beautiful. You don’t to dictate whether other people need surgery. My husband, ex-boyfriends, and friends would all tell you as well – a birthmark doesn’t make someone ugly. No matter what you look like, you have to decide to be happy with your looks, because God does not make Barbie dolls. God makes real people, and every face has different qualities that can be seen as beautiful or unattractive. It says more about the beholder than the face if you find a birthmark ugly.

  245. Gitzy, I have some great news for you and/or some of your friends.

    I hear that some mothers saw your profile picture, and feel that, perhaps, not making any promises, at least some of the girls shown may be good enough to be allowed to meet their special sons.

    Some of you may be approached soon and asked for your resumes. If everything checks out, then you may be invited to meet these mothers, and, provided you follow their advice (regarding a nip and a tuck, nothing drastic) there's a chance that some of you will be deemed worthy enough to meet their sons.

    BTW Are you willing to support someone who will sit all day and do some very important learning?

  246. I blame generations of inbreeding among a relatively small population for the very peculiar society portrayed in this article.

  247. "There’s practically nothing about her that’s real!” she laughed. “But…guess what? She’s getting married next month!”.

    I really wish this entire article hadn't been published. People adapt and adapt their expectations to societal norms. If men are expecting shidduch candidates to paint their faces and undergo unnecessary surgeries, it's only because they've been told it's a reasonable expectation. The definition of beauty has morphed over time; once chubby girls were considered sexy. Nowadays, the thinner the better. There were even times in history when uni-brows were considered attractive! What this author is advocating is creating a new norm – only girls who cake their faces and get nose jobs are worthy of a shidduch date. But that's ridiculous, and the fact that so many women showed up to the event without taking these steps only proves that it is not (yet) a norm among that community. If the women of the Orthodox community, especially the younger ones, decide that they believe they are presentable and worthy of your time JUST THE WAY THEY ARE, they are sending a clear message: We believe we are above your expectations, the expectations of a misogynistic society with unattainable supermodel expectations of women. They are forcing the mothers at the event to forget about whatever expectations they had about how a shidduch candidate should look, and instead focus on how she should act, think, speak. This author is advocating the exact opposite of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." She's saying that if you are a good mother, you will ensure that your daughter fits some 'objective' standard of beauty in order TO EVEN BE CONSIDERED FOR A DATE. I don't know if the author has a daughter, but if she does, I hope she quickly realizes how traumatizing her advice can be for a young woman and finally makes peace with her own past. Just because she felt she could never be loved or married unless she caved into societal standards, doesn't mean she needs to spread her message of insecurity and superficiality. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0

  248. Hey Beth Schenerman Sarafraz, if you want to get upset about an editorial piece, here's a good place to start

  249. So, why don't these people stop trying to make it as difficult as possible for people to meet their zivug? Why do they put up so many obstacles to men and women meeting? Are they really so afraid that Hashem will get it wrong?

    This reminds me of the old joke of someone who prays every day to win the lottery, and Hashem would like him to win the lottery, but he refuse to buy a ticket (or he sends his mother out to choose a ticket for him, and no ticket is good enough for her special son, who, BTW will one day have a PHD)

  250. yisrael haberfeld says:

    If women get cosmetic surgery, then all these ugly women will be able to procreate. How is that good for klal yisroel? Unless you believe what Lamarck says…

  251. Dan Freundel says:

    I thought they did at first too, until i realized that they just moved them into their own comments system. (Below there is a bar which says "click to use jewishpress comment system and make all comments visible". All the older FB comment get moved there. Dumb system, but whatever.

  252. Chava Barr says:

    Amanda Dexter Schuster I'm not saying to show up to a first date wearing your hair in a bun, baggy sweatshirt and a slinky skirt. You should put the correct amount of effort into your presentation. That being said- I don't think makeup is the most important part of self-presentation.

    Maybe it's because my parents raised me to be proud of who I am and not to try to cover up anything about myself in the hopes of winning someones approval. Maybe it's because I am proud of who I am and don't feel the need to hide anything about how I look.

    Or maybe it's because I have enough self esteem and self respect to know that I already am beautiful, and that wearing the amount of makeup that this mother was thinking about would be lying not only to this boy, but to myself as well.

  253. Dan Freundel says:

    )

  254. Tzvi Gordon says:

    i agree with your point, but esther absolutely was made up to be beautiful just like all the others. in fact there's even an opinion who source i cant remember, that says that esther had a greenish complexion therefore she needed all the makeup

  255. Dan Freundel says:

    Even if it IS a sattire, there are certainly those who will take it seriously. (See the number of likes and some of the comments in favor, though they are in the vast minority)

  256. Elisa Bloch, where in the article does it mention anything about men having to take care of themselves? Don't you understand that her son is special (he's going to get a PHD) so there's no need for him to parade in front of mothers of women.

  257. Zachary Kessin says:

    ever get the feeling that RW Orthodoxy had jumped the shark?

  258. Dan Freundel says:

    They actually just move the facebook comments to their own comment system periodically… they're all still there. Look under all the facebook comments for a bar that says "click here to use jewishpress's comment form and view all comments"

  259. Chava Barr totally agree with you. Like I said before, there's no need to go over board, no need to get your makeup done, you shouldn't NOT look like yourself cause that would be absurd.

    I'm just saying a little effort goes a long way. Fine, forget the makeup, but look presentable. Bottom line.

  260. Sarah Bronson says:

    The heartening thing about that article is that 99 percent of the comments underneath it are extremely negative. Almost no one agrees with what she wrote, and it angered many, many people.

  261. Amanda, you wrote "Call me crazy, call me the devil, I don't care. This is all fact. It's just the way of the world. People choose their partners initially, based on attraction."

    You may be right. But it is peculiar for mother-in-laws to have special sons who are incapable of using their own common sense to choose a mate. Does her special son parade in front of his potential mothers-in-law at these types of events?

    It's possible that you're not crazy. You may have simply grown up in a weird society.

  262. Avromi Michal Sommers says:

    This should not be what bothers you about the article sarah….

  263. I think both sides have a point. The problem with this article is that, with all terrible messages from the fashion industry, which have unfortunately seeped into our "sheltered" world as well, the definition of beauty has taken on a whole other meaning. Every person needs to feel good about themselves, which will usually result in acting and looking respectable, at the very least. However, with all the eating disorders going on today, and all the pressure and competition, I think the main bulk of the issue lies in lack of self-love and esteem. We need to stop trying to impress people, whether we be the mother-in-law, father-in-law, son, or daughter. We need to stop trying to be supermodels, or the frumest girl/guy around, and just take a moment to look inside and ask ourselves, "who am I?". Maybe then all the superficial issues will melt away.

  264. Yonatan Silver I never commented on the Shidduch aspect of this whole thing, I was simply commenting on the "putting yourself together to look presentable" aspect.

    I'm not in that world and I usually try and shy away from things I'm not fully knowledgeable on until i read up on them and get a better understanding of what they are. I try not expressing my opinions if it has even the slightest possibility that I may come off as ignorant.

    But Yonatan if you'd like me to express that opinion, yea, you're right, the whole thing is, well, for lack of a better term, weird.

  265. Sarah Bronson says:

    I'm also struck by how

    1) New York-centric the article is. Ms. Halberstam does not seem to realize that outside of Brooklyn, it is perfectly acceptable and even desirable for a young woman to be "merely" clean, brushed, ironed — and fresh-faced. Different mores for different communities.

    2) how "moneyed" this article seems. Not everyone has the socioeconomic advantages that make it possible to become a "swan" by getting one's hair professionally straightened, or having part of one's body surgically removed just for the purpose of looking "better" (or rather, what some people, including Ms. Halberstam, define as "better"). Especially 19-year-old girls who are in college or working at entry-level jobs. And, frankly, most people who are using their spare funds to have their hair straightened would feel a lot more fulfilled donating that money to a really meaningful charity of their choice — that is a much more Jewish thing than obsessing over looks to satisfy a potential mother-in-law.

    Artificial and materialistic. Shame, shame on you Ms. Halberstam for advocating such non-Jewish values.

  266. Erika Keehn says:

    Another

  267. Erika Keehn says:

    Another:

  268. Abi Muller says:

    Publishing this article is demeaning and perpetuates the artificial hysteria of a "Shidduchs crisis". This makes me not want to be part of any jewish community that will PUBLISH an article that encourages woman to be referred to so objectively. Appalling and crass. Shame on you Jewish Press Editors.

  269. Ruth Zimberg says:

    OK – so the girl has her teeth and hair straightened, her nose bobbed etc. Then when the couple has kids, they wonder why the kids have kinky hair, crooked teeth and big noses!

  270. Ayelet says:

    You are ONE SICK woman. Shame on you.

  271. Tzvi Gordon says:

    I think what the author did here was to take a small isolated incident and apply it to a larger context where it is not entirely applicable. I entirely agree with all the criticism about the direction the collective male brain has been heading in recent years. Here I am not blaming Religious, Orthodox women (however you want to define those terms) but rather, really the Western Culture of Aesthetic Beauty as a goal, for (not all but) most of the problem. This culture that is antithetical to Jewish culture has imposed itself onto most of the society we choose to live in (demographically, not "mindset" wise. Meaning, in America.) and it therefore effects us, culminating in trying to use it to solve our problems, i.e. this article. "Hevel HaYofi" seems to be a forgotten lyric, or thought of as nothing more so.

  272. Ayelet says:

    UGH! I feel like throwing up now.

  273. Karen Stevens Katz says:

    I have seen in my many years as a nurse that physical beauty is very transient. While one should present oneself in a pleasing

  274. Karen Stevens Katz says:

    way, this article is wrong headed and a little cruel.

  275. Daniel Wenger says:

    That's the challenge: what's the line between "physical deformity" and just "not ideal"? Why are braces generally accepted, and when will basic plastic surgery be similarly accepted? Makeup and hair care probably fall in the middle of that too.

  276. Akiva Fleischmann says:

    I'm going to assume this a purim shpiel piece. Nobody decent would write or publish this garbage.

    On the off chance it isn't parody, perhaps the problem lies in these shidduch communities enforcing strict no-contact policies between genders except for siblings (maybe) and shidduch dates.

    Perhaps if the rules were softened a bit, a boy could get to know a girl and see what's underneath that is so valuable. I don't see this problem in the Modern Orthodox community nearly as much, because we TALK to each other, for crying out loud, and when we do, we see the beauty that's under the skin.

  277. Bev Landen says:

    these women are digusting and don't represent what Judaism is all about, sorry for being so direct but this whole area is just deplorable!

  278. Ashley Jacob says:

    I read the article and I am going to play devil's advocate. How do we know? None of us grew up in that world. It's possible that in the world she is discussing what she is talking about is a reality. I had a teacher in Sem that reminded us when we get married not to save our 'best face' for the outside world. All too often we assume that since we are married we should be comfortable, walk around in pj's hair in a messy pony (I am the biggest culprit) but why do I put on nice clothing and a beautiful headcovering when I walk out of the house? Becasue I care how I present myself to people. Shouldn't we care the same about our spouses — before and during marriage?

  279. Ashley Jacob says:

    I do however severly disagree with going as far as cosmetic surgery and 'becoming' a different person.

  280. Harley Roth says:

    Ashley Jacob But does that mean getting a nose job or botox is the way to go?

  281. Lynn says:

    To Leah,
    We have a reality in this world and that is that most people prefer beauty and prefer a type of beauty defined by the society they live in. We are not looking for the beauty that was from the shtetle of 200 years ago. To say that men, of any religion, would prefer to marry beautiful women over unattractive women, is not blaming the victim. It is the same type of statement as saying that birds eat worms. To be honest, I don’t suffer in high heels either but I am not expecting women to give them up any time soon. Look around in the stores and see that the painful shoes just became higher and more and more women are buying them! I see plenty of Jewish feet wearing them. Being that as the reality, do we really blame men for not preferring a woman in lace up orthopedic oxfords? Does the fact that most of us prefer chocolate to asparagus make us immoral people? It is a well known fact and has been as such since time began that women sometimes suffer for beauty. Men are prohibited from doing that because halachically, that is the nature of women to beautify themselves sometimes to the point of pain or discomfort. That you and I are happy in our oxford lace-ups does not change the nature of womanhood and of people in general. I realize that many idealistic people read these blogs and are horrified that frum people subscribe to the same human inclinations that non-Jews do. We are allowed to be human, to care for aesthetic beauty, and to marry someone that we are attracted to. Why are men who study Torah, expected to embrace unattractiveness?

  282. Rebecca Braun says:

    You have got to be kidding !!! this article is a Purim joke right??? if it is serious than the Jewish people are in serious trouble !!!

  283. Ilana Freundel says:

    Raffi Holzer No woman between 21 and 24 should need a gastric bypass. If she does, something is seriously wrong with her health, and she should be at a doctor, making sure she is even healthy enough for a shidduch.

  284. Ashley Jacob says:

    Harley Roth I just said no. My point is that in our general culture there is an importance on looking presentable and even pretty. In each subculture the definition is different. I can't imagine how difficult it is for these girls to be stuck in a system that isn't benefiting them to get to the next stage of their life. Maybe the authors suggestion might help someone (although again I am NOT a supporter of plastic surgery).

  285. Jordana Rothstein White says:

    Translated quote from the book of Esther which the author so tragically misreads: "2:12 Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)….2:15 Now when the turn of Esther, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her…"

    Esther passed on the extensive beauty rituals of the other women and was still chosen as the queen. And, as an aside, have you looked at some of those yeshiva bachurs? I'm guessing there are more than a few candidates for nose jobs in that crew, too…Why does every male 3-4 think he deserves a female 10, and why are you feeding into that sick delusion?

  286. Maytal Gross says:

    wait…did that lady just ask shidduch girls to get botox in order to get married?

  287. Don Cantor says:

    The article was provocative, and may, as Raffi said, have gone too far. But don't deny reality. Do people not read the megillah, or just refuse to acknowledge the words "והנערה יפת תואר וטובת מראה?"And I think we all know that that's not the only time it says that in Tanach.

  288. Laya says:

    My first plea if you’re even reading this comment, is to find a way to be kind to everyone involved in this difficult topic. Our unity at this time is so important. <3

    Amid the controversy, there are some good points here: 1) the question was asked about doing things that would make the girls feel good about themselves. Confidence is a HUGE part of attracting a mate. 2) the Jewish women in Egypt used copper mirrors to attract their husbands. They made themselves as beautiful as they could. And every single mirror donated for the kiyor was used. There is a balance; and every woman wants to feel beautiful. Moderation is a pretty good route to go, not one extreme or another; and each young lady needs to find that place for herself.

    No matter how introductions are made: Blessings for the girls to feel confident and as beautiful as they are both inside and out! May the bochrim looking for their shidduchim open their hearts and soul to be guided to their wives for all the right reasons (and being attracted is not meant to be tossed out).

  289. Ora Z Novick says:

    On the one hand, I find it absolutely hilarious that the piece opens with the author thinking she will be 'crucified' — because clearly the idea that girls should wear makeup and get plastic surgery is shunned and getting less popular by the minute. Wow.

    On the other hand, thank you, oh lovely author — I didn't realize that you know the 'true reason' behind the "shidduch crisis" and you can solve it for everyone else too dumb to have figured out how to get to a drugstore. Clearly this is the mother of a guy — no one who watches a girl they care about getting ready for a date or worrying about the affect of their appearance on their chances would seriously think that this is some sort of news. If anything, I've seen some potentially 'great guys' whose mothers should wake up to the fact that it's the 21st century and figure out where the anti-acne creams are in the drugstore, or teach them how to match their pants, shirt, and tie. Attraction goes both ways. Instead, girls are told to focus on their physical externals, and guys are told to focus on their religious externals (learning every day vs good middot, for example). And since we live in a society that sucks, we should just go along with it instead of trying to make it better. The tyranny of conformity, maybe.

  290. Lynn says:

    Why should someone die from reading an article any more than someone should die from reading an ad for diet pills or plastic surgery? An adult must act like an adult and if they need to lose weight, they should do so in a responsible way. Can we blame anorexia on people reading articles? Don’t the readers of such articles need to sort out the facts? The author does not claim to be a medical professional, only the mother of a boy who wants an attractive wife. The overwhelming vast majority of people survive plastic surgery; however no surgery should be taken lightly and a rav should be consulted about risk verses benefit of any elective surgery. In some cases, gastric bypass could extend the lives or improve the quality of lives of some morbidly obese patients and such patients need to examine the facts before making a decision. That most people today want mates who are of normal weight is as much of a given as saying that fish live in water. It is not an indication of immorality.

  291. I'd like to thank the writer of this article for telling us how wonderful her son is with all the resumes he receives, the PHD he's going to get, and his ability to walk on water.

    It would be utterly laughable to suggest that this Hashem's gift to women who walks in our midst would have to make any effort to actually meet women himself or parade himself in front of the mothers of mortal women; or that he, or other men, need to be presentable.

  292. Raffi Holzer says:

    Ilana Freundel Optimally, no person of any age should need gastric bypass. And yes, if a person, woman or man, is considering gastric bypass, it should be primarily due to health concerns associated with obesity.

  293. Tzvi Gordon says:

    Don Cantor That's what was important to Achashverosh. If you wanna be on his level, B'Kef. There is also a gemara in Mesechet Megilla that tells of the moments before Vashti was called to be brought out. It says that the difference between the Jews at the party talked about Torah when drunk, whereas the rest talked about which province had the most beautiful women. The יפת תואר וטובת מראה was important to Achashverosh, not the Jews.

  294. Don Cantor says:

    Once again, if you take a look in the Megilla, those words are said when introducing Mordechai and Esther not in the context of her being taken to Achashverosh. So maybe ease off on the ridiculous insinuations.

  295. Adam Chubak says:

    After reading the beginning of this article then stopping cause it's clearly crap I just want to say how privelaged I feel to have been born Modox and that I wont ever have to go through this shidduch system.

  296. Don Cantor says:

    Not taking into account the fact that some mefarshim point that pasuk out as evidence that Mordechai actually married Esther.

  297. Adam Chubak says:

    And that any potential candidates fo spouses are selected by me and not my mother

  298. Jason Brandler says:

    thought one: how can there be a supply and demand problem?

  299. Amanda Dexter Schuster, throw on some macara, maybe a swipe of blush, a dab of Botox, a little, nip and tuck here and there – and before you know it, the mothers of Hashem's gift to women may read your resume and allow you to parade in front of them so they can decide whether you are worthy enough to be in the actual presence of their sons (who, by the way, will be getting a PHD and can walk on water.)

  300. Shayna Goldstein says:

    Stefanie Strauss Small all my years in Yeshiva I was always told it's not the outside that counts, it's whats inside that matters. In fact a key concept of Judaism is not to be materialistic and to be more spiritual. I am on SYAS and I can truly say that the matches suggested are so off base which is why so many are declined and sometimes you just put not my physical look for lack of a better answer especially since there is no privacy when saying the match was SO off base. Yes the outside matters and spouses should be attracted to one another, but that can happen when you get to know someone who isn't the best looking gal out there. The same way someone very attractive might become unattractive if you dislike their personality or behavior. Shame on you!

  301. Elana Levy says:

    Eli Friedman completely, absolutely true. that's just not even faintly what the article was saying. I know a lot of people have pointed similar things out, but the Purim metaphor that the author invokes was a direct satire by Ester. When she says "shisha chodashim b'shemen hamor, shisha chodashim ba'besamim" it's a reference to the embalming of Yaakov – a deep criticism of the exact attitude the author represents by reducing her son's potential shidduchim ENTIRELY to their looks. I don't know about anyone else, but although a little makeup can go a long way towards looking businesslike, I wouldn't raise it to the level of "you must wear cakes of it or you will be ugly and I won't even consider you!" that this woman clearly and repeatedly does. And that's just the makeup, forgetting the plastic surgery. It's just a bad message overall.

  302. Alisha Abboudi says:

    There are so many issues revealed here, it is painful to see the depths to which the shidduch crisis has plunged. What is so scary is the fact that mothers have finally outted themselves as the underlying deterrent to healthy shidduchim…as this "initiative" clearly represents the ongoing need of most mothers today to micro manage their even adult children's lives with the eventual result being not allowing their sons to decide on their own or even learn how to know for himself who or what he wants in a wife…these poor girls who walked through that door… they probably never saw it coming… maybe the girls without makeup, without nose jobs, without brazilian blow outs…maybe maybe they were hoping that with this chance to woo a prospective MOTHER in law, after all a MOTHER is the one who is supposed to be highly intuitive and compassionate, they would be in a safe zone, free to be themselves… knowing it was the mother in law she needed to impress maybe she would find the one who would see her for who she is and what she is about and what she has to offer? Sadly, sadly, that was not the case. What could have been a lofty endeavor, blessed by G-d , turned ugly…not the girls…the mothers.

  303. Alisha Abboudi says:

    There are so many issues revealed here, it is painful to see the depths to which the shidduch crisis has plunged. What is so scary is the fact that mothers have finally outted themselves as the underlying deterrent to healthy shidduchim…as this "initiative" clearly represents the ongoing need of most mothers today to micro manage their even adult children's lives with the eventual result being not allowing their sons to decide on their own or even learn how to know for himself who or what he wants in a wife…these poor girls who walked through that door… they probably never saw it coming… maybe the girls without makeup, without nose jobs, without brazilian blow outs…maybe maybe they were hoping that with this chance to woo a prospective MOTHER in law, after all a MOTHER is the one who is supposed to be highly intuitive and compassionate, they would be in a safe zone, free to be themselves… knowing it was the mother in law she needed to impress maybe she would find the one who would see her for who she is and what she is about and what she has to offer? Sadly, sadly, that was not the case. What could have been a lofty endeavor, blessed by G-d , turned ugly…not the girls…the mothers.

  304. Amanda, you wrote "Call me crazy, call me the devil, I don't care. This is all fact. It's just the way of the world. People choose their partners initially, based on attraction."

    I don't see any mention in the article of people choosing their partners.

  305. There is nothing like reading an article so wrought with frivolous notions, to reaffirm why we are still a divided people in exile. In his chapter on Zehirus (proper attention to a cautious life), Rav Moshe Chaim Luzatto succinctly emphasizes precisely what's going on in this writer's very confused head. When a person gets knee deep into their bed of lies, something so far from the truth and significance that it is pitiful, they eventually will make an extreme effort to place meaning into their personal illusions. They add a tone of seriousness to their false statements. They don't only believe in them. They stand very strongly by their horrid beliefs, clutch dearly to them. Even when one aligns their natural inclination to sin, they seek every rational to reinforce their perspective or behaviour. I looked, aghast at this false pursuit of beauty and how long this article would go on for. On the contrary, author, do you have any idea how sickening it is to see the amount of makeup girls actually put on their face in society? And these girls who came into your meeting, actually believed they were having conversations, not going on dates with the mothers. They believed someone would judge them for who they are, not who you think they should be. With all due respect, makeup, no matter how constant it is, is not always there in the marriage. Are your expectations always unfulfilled on shabbos because makeup just doesn't last all that long? And when a husband wakes up to his wife in the morning without a coat of make up, perhaps she should make sure to get up early to do her face so he will be able to only see the "pretty woman" he married. Shame on you for criticizing a very large group of girls who put themselves out there for the pursuit of happiness and a fulfilling marriage, only to be then castigated for not living up to your superficial standards.

  306. why cant the guys go meet the girls for themselves as opposed to sending their mothers? that is the craziest part to me. talk about a momma's boy….lol.

  307. Yaffa Ross says:

    So I assume from what this woman writes – if you want to get married, don't be who you are. God gave me my looks, my body – good and bad – and instead of hiding it or changing it, maybe if you EMBRACE it, THAT CONFIDENCE is what will attract a man. Anyone can be plastic, not everyone can be truly beautiful with what they have. I can't help but wonder if the author wears makeup to bed, when giving birth, or even dealing with the exhausting day-to-day acitvities. Shame on the Jewish Press for even given a voice to this article, and shame on this woman for basically saying unless we are a size 2 with perfect, well, everything, we will not get married. It is this thought process that we have this so-called "shidduch crisis" (which I don't believe in but that's for another time).

  308. Amanda Dexter Schuster I dont think you should pretend you know what Tanach is talking about when they are referring to the physical Beauty of the Avos and Imahos. There is so much buried in mysticism that is beyond our comprehension, by your bringing it in to support your "argument" it just makes you look ignorant.

  309. Elana 'Geiger' Lubin says:

    To be fair, the MO community has some major shidduch issues of its own. Are some problems better than others? I'm not sure it matters to someone who wants to be married and isn't.

  310. Eli Goldenberg , a little effort, yes; Botox, no.

    And why doesn't the article suggest that men (for example, her amazing son, who can leap over buildings with a single bound) be presentable?

    If an article suggested that men should parade in front of women's mothers…

  311. Nachshon Rothstein says:

    Oy

  312. Since you're agreeing with the article Amanda, I'd like to suggest you get bariatric surgery. You have a pretty face but you could lose a few pounds to make yourself more attractive. In fact, start now by becoming bulimic. Or of course you could expect someone to love you for who you are now.

  313. Gayil Roth says:

    this is horrendous on so many levels! to tout cosmetic surgery as a way to get ahead in shidduchim is an abomination to what a Jewish marriage is! and to use the Satmir Rebbe as your "source" is laughable-he told multiple people not to escape to Palestine to avoid the Nazis and then did so himself. and for him to have put someone else's life in danger in order to keep to an unnecessary standard goes against the principles of pikuach nefesh. the point of Esther's story and that of Purim is that the true beauty of who Esther was as a person shown through, and that's why she was zocheh to give birth to Darius, who sent the Jews back to begin rebuilding the Beit HaMikdash. people like you are one of the many things that make me grateful to be out of the unbelievably terrible shidduch system I left behind, and you are the reason I cry for my friends who are still trapped in the world of your double standards. maybe try writing an article for boys on how to make an actual plan for a date, put on a decent shirt that fits them and use some mouthwash! I hope your son doesn't listen to anything you have to say to him when it comes to shidduchim. I pray you write under a pen name for his sake.

  314. Eli, where do you get the idea that people going out need to shave? The article makes no mention of men needing to look presentable.

    So, unless you think some of the women need to shave, this is irrelevant.

    Also, the article makes no mention of women and men dating each other. Apparently, in this peculiar society, men's mothers meet the women, and decide whether they are worthy to meet their amazing sons (who, by the way, are going to be PHDs, and can walk on water.)

  315. Anonymous says:

    a

  316. Avromi Michal Sommers thanx michal for deciding what should bother me but in truth, e/ time this subject comes up it is that that bothers me. ppl at large seem to have lost sight of the truth. we assume way too much control when it comes to shidduchim.

  317. Ita Benjamin says:

    The truth is that many girls' yeshivas don't teach young ladies simply to shun materialism, they actively discourage anything dealing with looks, cosmetics, style and physicallity as immodesty. Uniforms/dress codes are drab, accessories are strictly regulated and cosmetics are banned. Administrators often make sure this is enforced outside of school as well. I wouldn't be surprised if these young ladies assumed that they were actually giving a good impression of their modesty, rather than a poor impression of their grooming habits. I attended a co-ed day school where we brought our makeup kits to school daily and kept hairbrushes and deoderant in our lockers. Senior year, we had lessons on personal grooming and sexuality (yeah, it was uncomfortable, so what); attractive not attracting. No, not everyone needs cosmetic surgery just like not everyone needs orthodontic work, but where it's needed, do it. You can stand on a soapbox in the middle of town square declaring at the top of your lungs how in your perfect world it wouldn't be this way, or you can make peace with reality. And for the love and future of our daughters, teach them their heritage of womanly beauty starting NOW; there is NOTHING immodest about it.

  318. Kayla Ross says:

    I believe in putting on make-up, dressing nicely, ect. for a date. But I do that for myself, to feel good and be more. Parents should not be encouraging their daughters to change their outside appearance for a boy. If someone wanted to set me up with a guy who only wanted a brunette girl, I wouldn't dye my hair, nor would I go on a date with him. For a mother to ask her son if a girl is pretty, I understand. However, beauty can be lost in personality.

  319. I think their fax machine is now deafeningly silent.

  320. Michal Schick says:

    (The ability to walk on water might best be left off of the resume– I hear that fellows so enabled are usually not the romantic type ;-) )

  321. She is clearly looking for a body for her son and not a soul(mate). Can you say pimp?

  322. Rachel Diskind, Agreed. When Avraham sent his servant to find a wife for Yitzchak (who couldn't leave Israel due to unique, non-repeatable circumstances) he prayed to meet someone who would wear the latest fashions, a decent sunscreen, and wouldn't shlep buckets of water because that would ruin her nails.

  323. This article is def. not written professionally, and even though the values and arguments presented here might not be of the highest level… However, anyone must take care of themselves and definitely use the tools given to them by Hashem in the most appealing way. No reason not to make sure that your beautiful soul is shining on your face, too. If you think you should look the way you were created why even bother combing your hair?

  324. I think you just found her son a match.

  325. Chani Lazerowitz Melamed says:

    Eli Friedman, you obviously didn't read what I wrote, thus you must be the dumb and ignorant one (not trying to make this personal, just using your words(although you are entitled to your opinion)). If you did you would have realized I wasn't talking about superficial things at all! I am referring to girls who have degrees and advanced degrees and guys who will automatically say NO to them because of that! They seem to think they will be 'intimidated' by these girls without giving them a chance, now if anyone is dumb and ignorant it it those guys!

  326. Chaya Kurtz says:

    You missed a major point: wearing makeup is not so tsenua. Torah first; shtuss from the world second. The fact that your son has been influenced by the shmutz of mainstream media is the real problem.

  327. Anonymous says:

    first off….everyone needs to calm down….azi you sound like a classic yeshiva guy that got burned by the system and is looking for justification from women on this blog. your comment is childish and shows a lack of thought and intellect. yes we should let our girls run around having pre-marital sex to avoid something like this…i mean maybe we should start giving them drugs in high school too?
    in our society this is how it was ALWAYS done. back in europe a shadchan set people up and they didn't even go out; the parents discussed it and either they were married or not. Jews have never been perfect at adapting to society we usually are a little bit behind but this initiative shows progress. at least they are allowing these girls to have somewhat of a better shot at finding a husband. whether this program was the right way to do it or not I can't say, but what I can say is that if ONE girl would get married from this meeting it was worth it. if you go and ask her she probably has nothing but gtatitude for the women that arranged this. is there a BETTER way to go about this? I doubt anyone out there will say no, BUT are you doing anything about it? these women took an idea and tried something that will get results. is it the result that will make EVERYONE happy? never I dare you to try and do that. not everything in an article is meant to be taken as literal as most of you are. are looks important? you have to be an utter moron to say not. I have seen girls that had features that were not perfect such as a nose, they went and got a nose job and now they are some of the most beautiful girls I have met. nothing is ever perfect but if it is something that can be fixed why not fix it?
    everyone is so quick to blame the guys for the shidduch crisis and the mothers…..i have yet to see anyone lay blame with the girls. in society dating is NOT a right. from girls seem to have this attitude that they come home from seminary and its the boy's fault when he says no to them. I mean they are a size 16 but they're a really good person on the inside. I understand most of you want a utopian society where we take the best from the non-jewish world and incorporate it with jewish values but that will never happen. you want dating to be normal and to not have resumes, but yet you feel that boy's should be dating girls that are a size 16…i mean it's what's inside that counts. but it's ok when a girl says no because she heard the boy once had a drink….or a cigarette…let's not mention the girls that will only date boy's with money.
    everyone is so frum and quoting all different sources from the megilah….what about the gemara in kiddushin that says a man can not be mikadesh a woman through a shliach without ever seeing her…anyone want to take a guess as to why?

  328. Anonymous says:

    azi you sound like a classic yeshiva guy that got burned by the system and is looking for justification from women on this blog. your comment is childish and shows a lack of thought and intellect. yes we should let our girls run around having pre-marital sex to avoid something like this…i mean maybe we should start giving them drugs in high school too? trying to avoid a perverse system by a more perverse one?

  329. Chani Lazerowitz Melamed says:

    Just to clarify, I am not g-d forbid saying that if a guy doesn't have a degree or advanced degree he is less of a man or anything like that. All I am saying though is don't think of your self as one! By being 'intimidated' by girls who do have degrees it makes it seem that these guys are not thinking how many other good qualities they may have and still may be good providers. It puts the perception out there that the guys are some how not as good as girls and one will never know if they keep saying they are intimidated by them.

  330. Im not sure whats the big news in this article. Every girl and her parents know the difference between looking put togeher and not. Its a personal choice that every girl gets to make, regarding how she wishes to appear and be percived by the shidduch public. And conversely , the boy or mother of the boy have the right to make theyr shidduch desicion based on how the girl chooses to present just as the girl has the right to a well groomed well dressed boy VS a non groomed non shaven non well dressed boy.

  331. Azi Graber says:

    luv2clown99 you are wrong in your assumptions. regardless, I am more concerned for someone's emotional and psychological health than their connection to any religion or group therein. So yes,
    I would rather that people be apart of the world that 7 billion other people live in than apart of this pervere world.

    And that is your personal opinion that the other one is more perverse. The world is changing for the better and you are getting left behind.

  332. Stefanie Strauss Small says:

    Shayna Goldstein , please get off your high horse and realize that telling me "shame on me" is rude and personal. This is not about a personal attack. It is stating fact that I see every day that I log on as a shadchan. I just received 4 declines of matches that I made due to " not my physical look." Of course it's the inside that counts! But don't think that most people can look past the outside enough to get to the inside if the picture is unbecoming or worse. Have you never turned down a match because you were not attracted? If so, Yasher Koach. You're the only one. I make sure that I ask every match that comes back with "other" as a reason (which is the one you should be using and yes, you should explain to your matchmaker why the match is off base!) why they say no. And much of the time, the boy (always the boy) replies that they are not attracted BUT they don't want to keep writing that as the reason since the matchmakers get annoyed with them. SO while you can speak from your own personal experience, I am speaking as someone who deals every day with various people. While ideally every match should give every match a try, realistically it is not what happens.

  333. Sara Haber says:

    this is the most distorted and warped perception of purim I have ever heard.

  334. Stefanie Strauss Small says:

    Shayna Goldstein Additionally,I have had some members decline a match because they just don't feel it, a gut feeling says it would not work and they tell me that and I accept that! I use it to improve the matches I make. I demand honesty of my members. Perhaps if you were honest with your shadchan about why you turn matches down, you'd receive better matches.

  335. Rachel says:

    Dear Yaffa,

    Many people hear are angered by your article. I was angered too, but once my rage subsided I realized I was left with incredible sadness.

    I first heard of you when I was a teenager and my friends and I enjoyed reading “Small Miracles”. What struck us most about the stories was the underlying presence of God working throughout stories that appeared to be random or happenstance.

    However, this most recent article appears to leave God out of the picture. The values you promote are not only offensive, but are not congruent with authentic Judaism. Any religous sources noted were twisted to promote your perverted agenda, and some were really taken out of context. Your entire message, which was supposedly meant to help and advise women, has done quite the opposite.

    Does Judaism believe that women should look good and take care of themselves? Of course. But nowhere do we learn that people should go the lengths that you describe. You cite the Purim story; Midrash tells us that Achashverosh ‘screened’ the maidens by actually sleeping with them, but that Esther was passive. Thus, I don’t think you should we use Achashverosh as a ‘raaya’ for a screening system.

    You mentioned a story about the Satmar Rebbe recommending a woman get dentures. Let’s be honest here. There’s a big difference between a toothless woman and woman who didn’t have her hair straightened. Nevermind that plenty of guys like curly hair, or that she may end up covering it, or that it’s not your problem anyway because you’re not the one marrying her.

    I believe that often, the message of an article is not the thesis the author opens with, but rather what they say in the last few paragraphs. The intro is the fluffy politically correct stuff that lays the foundation for the real message later on.

    As in this case, towards the end of the article you shared some of your own insecurities. You told your own ugly duckling story and how you had a happy ending after you changed your looks. My gut feeling is that this is what is really at play here, underneath all the illogical babble.

    Just because you feel naked without makeup doesn’t mean that everyone needs to wear it. In fact, most guys do not like it when women wear a lot of makeup, and if you were really at this event for your SON and not YOURSELF, you would have been able to see more of who these young women as people and not as objects. When I was single I went to many single events, and I always noticed how the women were way more put-together than the men. Hence my reluctance to believe that the women at this event were as unattractive as you make them sound. I think this is more about your own biases than the actual reality. Or your own fantasy about your son marrying a bombshell who will produce lots of bombshell grandchildren for you (of course while maintain a size 2).

    We all know plenty of beautiful women who take great care of themselves and are single. And we all know average-looking, or ‘plain Janes’ as you called them, who are happily married to men who adore them and are very attracted to them.

    You are lucky that the current shidduch system wasn’t around when you were single, because I think you would have ended up a middle-aged single writing articles about how people don’t appreciate your talents and only focus on the fact you don’t look like a supermodel.

    Sincerely,
    Rachel

    PS- If my daughter was dating, I’d never want her to have a mother-in-law like you.

  336. Yosef Silver says:

    A shidduch initiative… my stomach wretches as I write these words. The shidduch crisis is not going to be solved with some makeup and by pairing people becuase of their age. This article makes me furious. In the same paragraph you judge the "rejects" and try and match them with your son? What is wrong with you?

    How gracious of you to worry about the girls. Why not raise your son to think for himself and meet his own love of his life?

    This article is full of contradictions, if you're 21-24 year old daughter is still living at home, maybe she isn't ready for marriage. Even more so, if you're wondering why their mother's had "allowed them" to leave their homes with limp hair and unadorned faces, why thrust them in to a life of marriage (or is it just baby-making?) before they know how to take care of themselves?

    How about tearing down some of the walls of segregation that are the cause of this crisis? How about you allow men and women of dating age to sit around a shabbat table or meet at an Oneg? I am not suggesting mixed dancing, breaking hilchot yichud, or pre-marital relations, I am suggesting adult men and women be allowed to meet, converse and fall in love. If the opposite sex is taboo, perhaps it's because you have started to sexualize them when you forbid them at such an early age.

    You were expecting backlash from this article, but it was worth while if one girl heeded your advice. Well, my heart bleeds for anyone thinking that you have the answer to the "crisis". The only crisis is those focing people into loveless marriage and pressuring immature post-teens into a life they are not ready for.

    When I read this, I am ashamed to be a religious Jew – then again, that's not uncommon from the quality of content in the Jewish Press.

  337. Anonymous says:

    if the world is changing for the better and you want to be apart of the world that 7 billion people live in…why is it any worse for jewish girls to go for any of the surgeries the author mentions? your so worried about their state of mind? so i get it now let them go out in the world and get used as sex objects by everyone else? i mean clearly sex is your answer that should make them feel worth something with a different guy in their bed every night? you do understand that this is the system that they KNOW and that they are comfortable with? why don't they walk up to guys at weddings and talk to them? and if you were slightly educated…..you would know we aren't the only culture that finds spouses in this manner.

  338. I think she has a good point…Men have a certain nature and that is how G-d made them and that's just fine. BUT, and its a big BUT here, (maybe one that should consider surgery..) this concept doesn't exist in a vacuum. This concept exists in a Frum world where excessive focus on appearance and materialism has created a shallow society that has forgotten its core values, and THAT is what I think most people object to. When people are horrified by the article it's not because they don't think that women should not look good for their husbands or value looking pretty, it's the over emphasis on looks at the cost of middos, kindness, emotional health, and good character that disgusts people. It's a reflection of our Frum world that has taken the external and made it permeate the shidduch process rather than punctuate it.

    The beginning part of the article was pretty on target, and I agree, but in the context of the values people exhibit today, or lack thereof, I think the focus on externals is very disturbing. Especially the surgery part! WTH?

  339. Daniel Hoffman says:

    While I agree with you on the principle and your general argument, she is reading the text very legitimately, because earlier, in 2:9, it says that Hegai hurried to bring her makeup, suggesting that in 2:15 when she doesn't ask for anything but what Hegai appointed, that it just means she didn't ask for anything additional. But that's not to take away from your overall argument, which I agree with 100%

  340. Toby Miller Passe says:

    i liked the article take out the surgery part – i think she's right we slack in our looks

  341. Jordana Rothstein White says:

    Daniel Hoffman I agree that there is ambiguity, but at the very least, she was arguable the least made up and annointed of all the women involved.

  342. AY Lawrence says:

    I'm getting a vague, funny feeling that this article was meant to be satirical…

  343. Abe Schonfeld I guess the news here (to me) is the shallow approach a mother of a "good" boy is taking. Forget the boy, Ill now make sure i interview a mother-in-law before I even talk to a boy now lol. Maybe that is why the event described here was set up in the first place?:)

  344. Sarah Gross says:

    If this woman wanted to truly make a difference she would write an article about the unrealistic expectations of beauty found and perpetrated in society. This article in essence just reaffirms and encourages these really sad expectations. As a mother, she should be writing about how she tries to instill in her son better qualities as opposed to judging girls for not caring about makeup. It's not as issue of PC or not, its an issue of totally missing the problem/point.

  345. how can you live where you do and think that??

  346. AY Lawrence says:

    The surgery part's been excised from the article, I think.

  347. is THAT supposed to be a joke? haha!

  348. Sarah Gross says:

    perpetuated**

  349. the surgery part of the article has been examined, poked and prodded and deemed saggy and unattractive. And so it has been cut out, in the hopes that more people will see the article and want to date it.

  350. every mother of a good boy? I beg to differ. Many non made up girls get married every day of the week.

  351. every mother of a good boy? I beg to differ. Many non made up girls get married every day of the week.

  352. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    Dudie, I think you are extreme, but I like your comment because this is EXACTLY what I feel the author is suggesting. Amanda, I understand why you did not perceive the article that way but I still do not feel you read the article correctly. Halberstam just sounded crazy to me given her frightening use of twisted logos, and condescending pathos. I truly do no think she was making the point that you and I can agree on: girls should put their best faces forward. (The article seemed to start out that way, but I couldn't get past how her ethos struck me as all wrong…)
    Yes, Amanda, I was using your words to echo the sentiment stated above by, by Rachel Diskind. I was pointing out what I saw as the flaws in your rhetoric. And of course all I am relaying here is personal opinion. But also, again my personal opinion, one which I feel very strongly about, otherwise I would not have been provoked to respond, is NO, I do not feel I should stop taking these comments literally. I really can't condone Halberstam's extreme philosophy. Maybe I can stop taking things so literally when there are no longer studies published corroborating the existence and harm of the current shidduch culture that includes an obsession with looks and the tremendous physical and psychological pressure (otherwise know as abuse) that is placed upon our communities' women, and when the diagnosis of eating disorders start to decrease within the Orthodox world. I have seen to much suffering related to this issue and am personally involved with this type of work, so yes it is clear I have a personal bias. While there are those of us (and I'm glad this includes you Amanda) who are wise enough to understand when certain comments shouldn't be taken literally, we do a disservice to the vulnerable and impressionable members of our communities by making and taking "things" lightly.

  353. wow SO well put and right on the money. Also its a number thing- It used to be that men who sat and learned were the ones who were yichidei segulah, who distinguished themselves in learning and character. Now every tom dick and harry is learning in kollel or wants to when they get married. So when the masses are learning you aren't getting character on par with what you used to. You are getting average quality of character. Couple that with the fact that in America guys are surrounded by an emphasis on beauty and exhibitionism (unless you go to the midwest where you are surrounded by kentucky fried chicken and those who consume mass quantities of it) and you get this situation.

  354. Noam Schneck says:

    the extremity of this suggestion demonstrates how broken the system has become. in the context of the current shidduch system this is a fantastic suggestion. The system has become so depersonalized and mechanic that a girl needs a way to stand out from the crowd. the fact that this is the type of things is neccessary just shows that this system is horrible and dehumanizing.

  355. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    Dan Freundel I really agree with you. Which is why I spouted such a long comment below in response to those agreeing with the article's logos.

  356. Naamah Adelman says:

    woah! I have never been a fan of this whole "shidduch crisis" thing or "resumes"…what are we applying for a job?? Its pathetic. I honestly couldnt even bring myself to finish this article. This woman is pathetic….so full of her son…like so many other mothers of boys. No one will ever be good enough for their children anyways…whats the point? And her whole rant on the makeup…(I stopped reading in middle of that…) these people act all religious…talking about their learning sons…and girls who want learning boys….so why is it that the outside is more important than the inside?? I am a strong believer in attraction being important…but its the inside that counts!!! When a person has inner beauty and u take the time to know them, they automatically become beautiful outside. There have been plenty of occasions where I have met people and at first glance did not think they were pretty at all, but once I got to know them and see how amazing they are inside, they just became beautiful on the outside as well. ERRR This article is very frustrating to read!

  357. Ita Benjamin says:

    Jon Burg You had the real shidduch thing – matchmaking as it was meant to be. People who actually know the individuals involved and thought you two were compatible brought you together. Too often now, shadchanus is the low-tech version of match.com for the Yeshiva world, unfortunately.

  358. I see plenty of non made up girls getting married as well. Everyone has a right to theyr preferences.Just like girls have a right to theyrs. ( only a guy with a degree , etc.)

  359. Rachel Mdtc says:

    Chava Barr – I agree with you. In my opinion, it's not a question of wearing makeup versus non wearing makeup. It's about finding somebody who will accept you regardless.

  360. Naamah Adelman says:

    and people like this woman is the reason that this so called "shidduch crisis" even exists!!!!

  361. Naamah Adelman says:

    and people like this woman are the reason that this so called "shidduch crisis" even exists!!!!

  362. Ashley Jacob that is a far cry from this article. infinitely far.

  363. Tammy Paul says:

    L'via Weisinger That's the real issue here – it's not the men who are the problem, it's their mothers! That's part of the problem with the whole idea of mothers dealign with shidduchim for their sons. I'm certain that if the sons were the ones doing the choosing rather than the mothers, the girls getting married would not necessarily be the same ones as when the mothers are choosing.

  364. every girl wants to look pretty, clearly these girls think they look nice without makeup on.

  365. Elisa Bloch says:

    Yonatan Silver I'm not talking about the article anymore I'm talking about everyone's reactions to the article. Many people seem to be appalled at the idea that the general idea this woman is trying to convey is that we should take the time and effort to make ourselves look nice, no matter how long that may take you. I am not advocating for surgery (as I already said, I think that part of the article is way overboard) but I am advocating for making a good presentation of yourself. I'm not into designer brands, I don't get manicure's every week, but when I leave my apartment I brush my hair, put on a nice outfit, and yes, a smidgen of makeup. Just as I believe boys shouldn't be wearing ratty t-shirts and they should make an attempt to look well kept and clean. It goes both ways.

  366. Sara Ross Kutliroff says:

    No fury, no anger, just pity. This lady has issues, clearly unresolved from her own beauty insecurities. She'll get her comeupance when her son marries a beauty on the outside and an ugly on the inside.

  367. Azi Graber says:

    luv2clown99 firslty, my comment had little to do with the surgery aspect of this essay. see my second and third paragraph, it was about the event and the system that has led to "require" said event.

    I have no problem with anyone getting any surgery they want, if a nose job wull help make a women feel better about her self then she should get it done. wanting cosmetic surgery isnt always about being in a bad state of mind, some people want to improve their appearance, and thats great. the essay writer here took it to a different lever telling others what they should or shouldnt do. that is gross and insulting and demeaning.

    listen, you arent sitting in a yeshiva now with little impressionable and naive boys who will believe your lies about the outside world. there are 700,000,000 people in this country, most with families, and jobs, and hobbies, and good times and bad, and just life. there are single pople with jobs and frriends and family and hobbies, etc you cannot trick people by painting a sad life outside, it just isnt true.

    sex isnt my answer, being apart of this planet and living your life naturally and finding ones partner naturally is what my answer would be to these girls.

  368. Yosef Scott That is true, she needs to be attractive to her spouse. But to her mother-in-law?
    You can have a situation where the boys mother thinks she is beautiful, and the boy thinks otherwise, and vice-versa. The whole point of the meeting, the author writes, is to find out more about the girls character, since a resume "reduces the girl ti a few sentences" which is demeaning.
    Much more so, a meeting with a mother should be purely about character, since the boy, and only the boy will judge if he is attracted to her.

  369. Ita Benjamin says:

    michlalahgirl It's considered no big deal to have your teeth straightened to improve your appearance, which is a painful process that takes months or years, not to mention $$. It's routine to invest in contact lenses when glasses are cheaper and do the job just as well. These were also not around during the time of our matriarchs. Why do you believe that other cosmetic procedures so scarring, or even just plain wrong? I believe our girls Yeshivas really do instill a prejudice against physical beauty in their students.

    And gentlemen- I'm reminded of the old Jewish joke where a man is traveling on a train and is seated across from a lovely lady. The man keeps sneaking looks at the lady, then turning away and sighing mournfully. Another passenger notices this and asks "What are you so sad about? That lady is beautiful!" And the man says "She is indeed! I look at her, then I think of my wife and I can't help sighing…" Have you really evolved that much?

  370. Mir Adler says:

    I just threw up a little in my mouth when I read that.

    Besides for the fact that this article HIGHLIGHTS what is ACTUALLY wrong with the shidduch world, (the mothers of good boys not believing that ANY girl is good enough, pretty enough, or skinny enough for their "perfect" sons,) this article only serves to foster more insecurity in the single girls who are already plagued with the doubts about themselves, wondering what is really wrong with them… Do we really need more eating disorders in this world? Or women who will do ANYTHING to defy aging or "enhance" their God-given features?

    I also think that logistically, if every single girl/woman had plastic surgery, you'd be right at the beginning. How is one girl going to stand out in a crowd if they all look like Lisa Rinna or Heidi Montag?

    It's not a solution. It'll just cause more problems in the shidduch world.

  371. this article is disturbing on so so many levels. at its core, the problem i see is the concept of boy's mothers interviewing potential girls for their sons. i think mothers might be the least capable of finding someone their sons would like, and if the girls were not trying to "attract" the mothers w/ makeup, well, duh, i would hope the mothers were not attracted to any of them. its hard to read, but im gonna try to finish it….i coudnt wait til the end of the article, its like nails on a chalkboard to me.

  372. Ms. Halberstam, why do you think it is that only the girls are subjected to this type of scrutiny and not the boys? And why do you perpetuate it in the guise of helping girls? Wouldn't your forum be put to better use educating the community that this type of evaluation of half the Jewish population is wrong and a terrible chillul Hashem and entirely inappropriate?

    Yes, the attractiveness of one partner to the other is important. This goes BOTH WAYS. As does intellectual and hashkafic compatibility. When the MOTHERS of one sex evaluate the members of the other ones with a heavy emphasis on physical appearance, something is very wrong. And you sit there with a patronizing pretense of helping girls by recommending they surgically alter their looks? We should all band together to repeat the message that this lack of honor for the substance of women, the contents of their character, their PEOPLEHOOD, disenfranchises Jewish neshamos with it's superficiality and utter wrongheadedness. I would venture to say that what this article actually promotes is UGLINESS.

  373. Nisa Harris says:

    As with everything in life balance is key. From the description of her childhood the author clearly is someone in need of building herself up through more artificial means and that's fine. We unfortunately live in a horribly superficial society that no one can really get out of while Halo's law just presses that issue further. Personally, I rarely wear makeup, usually only for special ocassions and my husband really prefers me not to wear any. However I do realize that even with my husband a drop of eyeliner or lipgloss can give a new shine when I put it on. Yes everyone should put their best foot forward but noone should judge one way or another in any case. Fact is people are people and they will judge however they see fit BC of their background. So do what u r comfortable with and works for you. If one day u decide to wear makeup and this mother sees you then maybe I'll have a better shot but only BC that's how she works. She needsthat to feel comfortable. But the guy eventually wouldn't care if u did or didn't wear makeup. Rambling hope tis was clear BC I'm writing rushed.

  374. …and the Purim mushel is all wrong. the crux of the purim story is that even though Esther wasnt physically traditionally beautiful she was admired by everyone, and even after fasting for 3 days (davvening and working on her inside neshama and kesher to Hashem) and mustve looked horrible after the 3 days, Achasheirosh approves of her entry. this mother has it all so backwards.

  375. Chaya Gittel says:

    Well said Miriam! It totally sucks that we have to go thru this!

  376. Melissa Danto Rayman says:

    Well said Lisa! I was appalled at this article.

  377. Mir Adler says:

    Chaya Gittel It's crazy. I don't know what else to say.

  378. Michal Katz, thank you for agreeing to ever talk to boys BEFORE some shadchan had to get involved.

  379. i agree that there are major flaws in the shidduch system, but this mother is barking up the wrong tree, and 4 pages worth….what a waste of space and brain power.

  380. i just read the top comments….was it satirical? that would make sense.

  381. Annulla says:

    Perfectly said. Thank you.

  382. AY Lawrence says:

    Chana Perel Benzaquen
    It don't make a diff where I live, I just think it's satirical.
    Unless… unless the author lives where I live…

  383. Eli Goldenberg says:

    Yonatan Silver you say "a little effort yes botox no" what if the girl is much older and hasnt been married we all know the dating world gets smaller and smaller as one gets older (especially girls) so does botox sound so drastic if a girl is in her fourties, fifties or older? of course botox is extreme for the average jewish dater whos 19 but that doesnt mean its always an extreme. and for everyone else here who is talking about the unrealistic expectations placed on girls today, or the problems with the jewish dating world, neither amanda or myself have defended this. neither one of us are in the extreme religious dating world where we go meet the mothers of potential suitors. and like most of you here i think it is absurd. but as for the unrealistic expectations of women-that occurs in both the jewish world and secular. you're arguing with the way of life, not just with this specific article. theres no need to bring in references from the torah because the dating world today is not following rules set up by the torah. the underlying truth, whether we like it or not, is girls are judged by their appearances. these appearances may not and should not mean everything to the right guy but noone can deny that putting in the effort needed is not such a bad thing. you guys are berating amanda but she never said invest in becoming a supermodel by changing every aspect of your body. she is saying that if you need a nose job and you want it, get a nose job, if you need gastric bypass and you want it then get it, and if you need botox and you want it then get it.

  384. Lynn says:

    I very much understand where Yitta, the author of the article, is coming from. I have seen girls whose mothers spend hours calling shadchanim for them, who don’t try at all to look presentable. It is normal for most young women to spend time, money, and effort on their looks. This does not make them non-frum or un-spiritual. This is what most young women do, no matter what religion they are. Girls with limp hair, no make-up, unflattering clothes, and who need better nutrition and exercise, don’t make a good impression on boys or their mothers. We can’t, nor are we expected to, change human nature. Most mothers of boys would not get too far with telling their sons that hair does not matter because it will be covered after the wedding. We mothers of boys can’t sell a girl on our sons by telling them to ignore a weight problem because most women gain weight anyway. We can’t tell them that it is preferable to see them without make-up because women don’t sleep with make-up on. The boy is going to be attracted to what he sees on the date; not what the girl will look like in 10 years.

  385. Don Cantor yes, she should be attractive. To the BOY, NOT TO HIS MOTHER!!!

  386. Except, it is the mother who wants the superemodel for her son, not the son who wants it.
    If a by wants a supermodel, he is shallow.
    If the girl is completely unattractive, then I don't blame the boy for not seeing her, but to the mother? Forgive me, but how does she know what will turn him on?

  387. Daniel Wenger Surgery has risks that braces do not. You are also cutting up your body.

  388. denacohen says:

    And somewhere Upstairs, God is banging his head against the wall.

  389. Surgery come with risks that braces do not. It is also cutting into your body. I think there is a real difference other than what is considered normal by society.

  390. Don Cantor says:

    Chaim Saperstein I agree with you. I was responding to the people who were rejecting physical attractiveness as a factor altogether (the author of the original comment that started this thread as well as the guy who told me I was like Achashverosh). I was addressing a specific point, and not the whole article, as I think I kind of mentioned in my original comment.

  391. Chaya 'Karen' Shochet says:

    Unfortunately, (and I might regret now commenting on a second thread about this,) it does not look like a Purim joke. I was very, very surprised at the direction this article took and that it was published.
    In response to what you said, Akiva, I think it is possible to live in a shidduch society (without as much contact as we have in Modern Orthodoxy) without advocating for plastic surgery.

  392. Azi, due to the circumstances, one of my first dates with my wife was a last-minute thing, she did not have time to put on her makeup. Knowing that throughout our lives I will see her more without makeup than with, (I am married 14 years) I was very happy to see her on a date as I will see her our whole lives.

  393. Stefanie Strauss Small, I can understand someone turning down a match because he/she is not attracted to her/him. But in the peculiar society described in this article, women are turned down because the boy's mother doesn't find her attractive enough for her perfect son.

    How many mothers-in-law truly believe in their heart of heart that their perfect son couldn't possibly have done better?

    (By the way, the writer happens to inadvertently mention here and there that her son gets many resumes; and she lets it slip that he will be receiving a PHD and that the sun shines out of his nostrils.)

    I'm sure that many, if not most, couples get on OK with their in-laws. But imagine a world of rational people where only women who met the approval of the boy's mother could ever get to even meet him.

  394. Sheena says:

    Hi Yitta, I’m sure you’re getting exactly the responses you expected, but I wanted to just note a few things that you may not know that I think are important for you and the reader to know, especially before they go under the knife or laser.
    I’m not sure what the religious level of the event was but there are some chassidish groups (vishnitz for example) that do not allow young women to wear makeup until AFTER they are married. I wonder if some of those women at the event not wearing any makeup were vishnitz or the like?
    Also, as you said “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and from my experience we women are much more judgmental on each others looks than men are. For this reason, and obviously I do not blame you for this, I think a mother picking out a girl for her son solely based on if SHE herself finds the girl attractive is a slippery slope. I think, rather, that the boy should have the first impression of if HE thinks the girl is attractive or not. Some boys may even be turned off by a girl who has had plastic surgery.
    Basically, I think rather than finding fault in the girls and their mothers, or even the boys for that matter, the fault lies in the system that allows potential mother-in-laws to make the judgement call on what her sons “type” is – I highly doubt my mother-in-law would have picked me out for her son, but he picked me out for himself upon seeing me at a wedding (and subsequently learning more about me) and that means so much more to me!

  395. Eli Goldenberg, I think many of us agree the girl should be attractive to her spouse – it is an absolute necessity. However, should the girls need to dress up their faces for the boys MOTHER? Is the MOTHER to judge a shidduch based on the girls nose? If a guy is not turned on by a girl, he should not marry her.
    But, why should her "sexiness" be judged by the boys MOTHER??!!

  396. Eli Goldenberg says:

    Chaim Saperstein thats why i said i dont believe in the extreme religious world of dating. thats a flaw in the fundamentals of dating, but if a girl was participating that means she believes in that kind of dating therefore i believe she SHOULD dress herself up for the mothers, especially if its the mothers who are going to set them up! so we all agree here that it should not be the mothers making the decision, but since that is what its become, girls need to make an impression on whoever will help them find a husband, in this case the mother!

  397. Anonymous says:

    For those complaining that only this article only deals with the looks of girls, welcome to the world circa FOREVER. And when fat ugly guys start having problems getting married all of u haters would be completely justified in flipping this article around. This article is not suggesting that this is the ONLY way the schidduch "crisis" will be solved, so for all of u offering alternative suggestions by all means go ahead and start working on it I promise no one will hold you back. But of course u would rather sit at you'r computer and cry about inequality.
    Just try for one second to pull out from under the utopian rock uv obviously been living under and join the author in what I like to call "reality". There is not one person here, or anywhere for that matter that can legitimately dispute that pretty girls have a massive advantage in the dating game, I mean it's not exactly rocket science. Is it "right" or "fair"? I don't know because there is no point of even thinking about it because it will NEVER EVER change, no matter how many scathing comments u write, or friends u complain to.
    Once that's been established, there is no reason why parents should completely reject even the concept of offering their daughter the option to improve her position. It prob stems from selfishness, in not wanting to admit they created an unattractive person but that is besides the point. So the way I see it all the author did here was point out an option that would help girls struggling to find a spouse, I don't think it's anything earth shattering.
    Just step away from the reason clouding emotional reflex and think about it for one second, and u'll realize that this article is not only ground level basic, but also might help a few people. (And don't give me that garbage that telling s/o to get cosmetic surgery so guys will like them is not helping, seriously get over it).

  398. Rochel Goodman- unfortunately I don't think its satirical. Purim mashal is ridiculous I cant even follow the logic. And that was the first thought that entered my head when I read the beginning is "why are the mothers interviewing for their sons?" If guys can decide for themselves they aren't mature enough to get married. I also think this is a prime example of a good woman who has been among a certain strata of people for so long that she espouses their philosophy without realizing that it's out of control. But to people who live in that society it's normal!

  399. Eli Goldenberg Not really. The girl are participating with one goal: to explain their character. That is VERY important in this system, to make sure their personalities and goals are in sync.
    That is the ONLY thing that should matter in this meeting.
    They are NOT there to "date" the mothers, nor to attract them, and the looks should not be in the picture for this meeting.

  400. Eli Goldenberg says:

    Chaim Saperstein ideally yes, but can you honestly say looks, in that situation, are not in the picture? were not necessarily disagreeing. youre being an idealist, im being a realist. opinions aside im saying what happens not what should happen

  401. Azi Graber says:

    Chaim Saperstein that's great, i dont have a problem with that, and i never said i did. I am against this woman's essay not for it.

  402. Michal Katz says:

    I believe that the beginning of the article made a very valid point. A point that I believe is imperative to talk about.That there is a big problem in the “shidduch” world, and how it is conducted. But to go out and say “women if men ( really their mothers) don’t want to date you it is because you haven’t altered yourself enough” is not only sickening but i believe that it is against Halach. And you “claim” to have compassion for these young ladies. I do believe that there is a problem and you just proved how vast the problem really is, when the only solution for the problem you can find is altering the girls appearance. I believe that you missed the very esence of the story of Purim where King Achshvarosh ended up picking and marrying the one woman who did not alter her appearances.

  403. Azi Graber yes, I was agreeing with you in principal. (maybe not with the premarital sex business) but the idea of the girl needing to display their looks.. to the boy's mother, no less, as if only SHE should decide what kind of look her son will get all hot and bothered over repulses me.

  404. Holy Crap! I thought it was a Purim shtick so I googled Her, and it is in fact a real article. I really have no words for how angry this made me. I wonder what Debbie Zimmerman thinks…

  405. Rachel says:

    “I very much understand where Yitta, the author of the article, is coming from. I have seen girls whose mothers spend hours calling shadchanim for them, who don’t try at all to look presentable.”
    This is not the norm. There will always be the exceptions, but I believe that for the most part, most girls put themselves together. Maybe they won’t be wearing $900 outfits from Brenda’s…. but most girls put some effort in.

    “It is normal for most young women to spend time, money, and effort on their looks. This does not make them non-frum or un-spiritual.”
    I never said that spending time, money and effort on looks makes someone one non-frum or un-spiritual, but I would argue that the obsession with it is indeed ‘un-spiritual’. And the author takes it to a new level by advocating for plastic surgery as a solution to being single. Halchically-speaking and medically-speaking, plastic surgery isn’t so pashut, and to encourage it as a general policy is dangerous.

    “This is what most young women do, no matter what religion they are. Girls with limp hair, no make-up, unflattering clothes, and who need better nutrition and exercise, don’t make a good impression on boys or their mothers. We can’t, nor are we expected to, change human nature.”
    So you’re not expected to change human nature, but the girls should run out and get nose jobs.

    “Most mothers of boys would not get too far with telling their sons that hair does not matter because it will be covered after the wedding. We mothers of boys can’t sell a girl on our sons by telling them to ignore a weight problem because most women gain weight anyway. We can’t tell them that it is preferable to see them without make-up because women don’t sleep with make-up on.

    While I am against this type of event, one of the traditional benefits of having parents involved is the hope that their maturity and understanding of long-term relationships can be helpful to naive young adults who, in certain circles, have had minimal interaction with the the opposite gender. But when parents bring their own superficial biases, often it gets more complicated and can even sabotage.

    It doesn’t surprise me that Yitta has a weight problem; often those mothers are the worst when it comes to picking the perfect (anorexic) princess for their perfect prince.

    “The boy is going to be attracted to what he sees on the date; not what the girl will look like in 10 years.”
    Really?? Well then why don’t you let him go on the date instead of going on it for him!!

  406. Annulla Annulla says:

    I'm so sorry for your tragic loss. Thank you for your response; I can tell it comes straight from the heart.

  407. Hadassah says:

    My guess is that the fax machine at the Halberstam residence is silent right about now. I’m not sure exactly what chizuk you are offering, but what resonates here is a perpetuation of the middah which judges others based on externals, something of which you could never convince me the Satmar Rebbe would ever approve (missing teeth is a MUCH bigger deal than being overweight or needing a nose job). While most of us know what it’s like to walk into a room and judge everyone on their appearance, nobody I know would profess that this is ideal behavior. If someone is not your taste, that’s something else. Spouses obviously need to be attracted to each other. But here’s a news flash for your son: Not all good looking people necessarily stay that way. Lots of thin spouses pack on plenty of pounds over the years. PS – I’m the mother of beautiful girls, bli ayin hara, who wear a bit of makeup but still maintain a beauty, grace and modesty – i
    t does not define their inner essences. Although there’s certainly what to offer a shidduch, I’m not flashing their pictures to shadchanim – and they don’t want me to either as they hit that stage – and this article proves why. Another FYI: Similar to other resumes, a shidduch resume need only include contact information and school/camp/job history. Some get turned off when it includes more personal information, such as innermost desires for a spouse.

  408. Shira Katz says:

    I'm just curious mrs. halberstam, do these girls have to list their plastic surgeries and other modifications on their 'resumes?' I mean, after all, if the looks are this important to the bochurs (and their mothers!), wouldn't they want to know in advance if their kids are going to be as ugly and ordinary looking as their wives once were?
    i feel embarrassed for all of your children…including and especially the son who you obviously believe is god's gift to the world.

  409. Dudie Silberman You're right, I was overweight, and I have been working incredibly hard. I'm down 30 lbs actually and still going. So those pounds you think I could still lose should, with God's help, be coming off pretty soon, but that's because I wanted to make the change for myself. Not because of people like you out there. The fact that you were able to pin point my flaw and call me out on it shows how much of a fine young man you really are, one who doesn't notice a girl's physical exterior beauty.

    Interesting how you can be so outwardly against an article and its approach but in the same breath manage to make a fool of yourself while also completely disproving your point. This is a general forum and is meant to express one's opinion without publicly hurting or embarrassing a specific person, you should be more careful.

  410. Lorraine Newman Mackler says:

    Maybe mothers of BOYS should teach them to look at a girl's neshoma, chesed, brains and other important things for a MARRIAGE rather than requiring the GIRLS to change. Beauty fades but dumb is forever.

  411. At first I thought this was a Purim article, it's so absurd and insulting. Sadly, it's not.

  412. Amanda Dexter Schuster , that is the whole point. I am sure that you take good care of yourself, and I am sure that some guys will look at you and fall head over heels – even without your recent weight loss.
    The idea of having the MOTHER judge the looks, and say her son may or may not go for you is ridiculous.
    The MOTHER should not be focusing on the looks, since a boy who might "not go for" girls slightly overweight might meet you, and really like you.
    The mothers meet girls to try to find girls who their sons will have similar goals and aspirations.
    The "looks department" should be left completely to the happy couple.

  413. i was in a store the other day and a rebbatzin from my community was trying to convincer her son to go out with a girl (regardless of the fact that she was in public) the words used were "…but i was told she lost the weight" i know the girl…bec she said her name quite a number of times….and shes a size 4.

  414. Elana Kutscher says:

    Ashley Jacob yes, we should dress up for our husbands, but there's a big difference between putting on lipstick and eyeliner and going under voluntary surgery…you're right, i dont know how things are in that world, but if they're that superficial, i think thats the bigger crisis than the shidduch one.

  415. I can understand her point about the make-up. this was supposed to be a dressy event to meet the mothers. number one you are trying to impress them, put on some concealer and mascara at least. number 2, it's a dressy event, that calls for make-up. the boys may not care if you wear make-up everyday or not but when you go to an event that's what you do. my husband doesn't care if I wear make-up during the week (i do) or even on shabbos and the weekend (i typically do not) but if we are going to a wedding or even a less formal affair, while he would never demand it of me, I know he appreciates the effort I put into my appearance (this entails more than just concealer and mascara). I know that he would never think less of me for not wearing but make-up it makes a difference that I do. that being said I expect him to dress nicely when we go out. clean, matching clothes, unwrinkled. beard trimmed. shoes polished. showerd, clean. taking pride in our apprearance is one of the many ways we show eachother that we love each other. I know he finds me attractive bare faced and in sweats eating pizza saturday night but that I want to put in the extra effort to look good next to him, so that people who look at me think that he has an attractive wife (or at least a wife who tries to be attractive) is just one way that I can show him that he is important to me and that I respect him.
    however, her comments regarding plastic surgery and borrowing money to give these things to your daughter are extremely out of line. I was particularly discusted by her celebration of the 40 year old woman who has "practically nothing real about her". I see nothing wrong with it if the daughter wants it adn the parents want to give it, but it should never be concidered mandatory and NEVER should a parent feel as though they need to go thousands of dollars in debt so that their child can get her nose done.
    no guy is going to fall in love with you because you have a perfect face and exquisit make-up. but at least wearing make-up goes a long way toward getting your foot in the door. like it or not, we are a first impression society and your face and clothing are typically what makes the first impression. once your foot is in the door, charm everyone with your intelligence and personality. make-up will make them look, your mind will keep them hooked.

  416. Dodi Tolchin says:

    Clearly being a good person is undershadowed by to little eyeshadow in this world…also, can a businessish world co-exist with a beauty pageant?

  417. Dodi Tolchin says:

    Clearly being a good person is overshadowed by a lack of eyeshadow in this world…also, can this "business" world with resumes and what not co-exist with a beauty pageant?

  418. crazy article. Basically it says the current shidduch system encourages the objectification of women, more than the secular system. Pretty big indictment. Also have you seen a pic of this woman? horrible nose job.

  419. As a mother of two daughters, and as a savtah of two, one being a granddaughter, I ABHOR your article.I am a member of a Conservative community, so perhaps you will therefore find no merit in what I have to say. First off, how shallow can you get? Nose jobs enhance the real you; are you kidding? Are these shidduchim merely 'meat lockers?' First of all, mothers should have nothing to do with the setups; are these 'so-called adult children' retarded? Can they not judge for themselves? OK, you want to check out the 'yichus' of the family, but not by looking over the quality of the product and hoping you are not offending. Pardon me, but what ever happened to: "Al tistakale b'kankan, elah she mah sh'yesh bo!"

  420. Elana Joffe says:

    In fact, a large part of the problem are people like the author who advocate plastic surgery for women to find a spouse and possibly train their oh-so-perfect sons (I'm sure no girl is good enough) to look for what's truly important in a relationship – the shape of one's nose! Of course people should put their best foot forward when trying to meet, but what she's advocating is not a Jewish concept, despite her references to Esther and Purim.

  421. Stefanie Strauss Small says:

    Yonatan Silver I am not arguing that this particular society is messed up. I agree with all that you wrote. When the parents are overinvolved, trouble starts. My comment has to do more with the fact that people still need to take responsibility for how they present themselves overall, whether it is to the match him/herself or to the parents or to the shadchan.

  422. Hi Yitta, I’m sure you’re getting exactly the responses you expected, but I wanted to just note a few things that you may not know that I think are important for you and the reader to know, especially before they go under the knife or laser.
    I’m not sure what the religious level of the event was but there are some chassidish groups (vishnitz for example) that do not allow young women to wear makeup until AFTER they are married. I wonder if some of those women at the event not wearing any makeup were vishnitz or the like?
    Also, as you said “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and from my experience we women are much more judgmental on each others looks than men are. For this reason, and obviously I do not blame you for this, I think a mother picking out a girl for her son solely based on if SHE herself finds the girl attractive is a slippery slope. I think, rather, that the boy should have the first impression of if HE thinks the girl is attractive or not. Some boys may even be turned off by a girl who has had plastic surgery.
    Basically, I think rather than finding fault in the girls and their mothers, or even the boys for that matter, the fault lies in the system that allows potential mother-in-laws to make the judgement call on what her sons “type” is – I highly doubt my mother-in-law would have picked me out for her son, but he picked me out for himself upon seeing me at a wedding (and subsequently learning more about me) and that means so much more to me!

  423. I'm already scheduling my future daughter's nose job. Hell, throw in breast implants. Because heaven knows if she's not married by the age of 24 and not contributing to the propagation of this fantastically superficial nation, she's not worth those three camels.

  424. Shayna Goldstein says:

    Stefanie Strauss Small ? I am very honest with my shadchans, I get that there is no sense in lying to a shadchan as is gets everybody nowhere! I am in no way saying that girls should not put any effort into how they look, I take my time getting ready for dates and I always walk out the door looking my best for a date. It's the double standard I am not okay with. Why is it the girls bowing down to the boys? Why are we held to a much higher standard than the boys? Why is it okay for a boy to show up on a date without shaving and looking like he just rolled out of bed, but if the girl decides to make her makeup look more natural it's not okay? Boys should be held to the same standard as girls!

  425. Wow, Yitta's son would have to be an orphan before I'd let my girls date him

  426. Yitta, your son is now less in demand. I pity the girl who has you as a Mother in Law. Here's an idea – instead of a nose job how about spending the money on – gasp! – an education. In traditional Judaism, its supposed to be the man pursuing the woman, not the woman pursuing the boy's mother.

  427. Rachel Freydin Turchin says:

    what an idiot

  428. Rachel Freydin Turchin says:

    what an idiot

  429. Laura Barnett says:

    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.

  430. Eitan Ben Dor says:

    Most of you are overlooking the fact that courtships in the frum community are very short, so there's no time to get very far beyond physical beauty. Physical attraction is a component of overall attraction and if you can enhance your physical beauty in a practical and affordable manner, just as the author did, why not do so?

  431. Linda Sireling says:

    I agree with you Gayil as the whole system stinks! One of the reasons why Moshiach hasn't come is because people are SO obsessed with appearances and so judgemental! But as a shadchanit, girls, and boys, come on! Get your act together. Girls, get contact lenses, put make up on, do your hair. Guys, get some decent clothes and get a decent haircut! Hashem helps those who do their histadlus!

  432. Interesting article and a great response

  433. Rena Katz says:

    I didn't find it so appalling. I know I wouldn't want to go on a date with someone who put zero effort in. And yes, her mention of plastic surgery was over the line, but I'm of the opinion that if a girl wants to do it then that's her business and her right to do so. My one concern is that it was framed in terms of finding a shidduch. What of a young girl's self-esteem? That should be the main concern.
    Also, if you're talking about engaging in certain communities, well, personally, I think the fashion world is far more guilty of objectifying women than this process of dating.

  434. We should raise our children to understand that being a good kind person is the most important thing. I would rather my son marry someone who makes him happy than someone who only looks good on the outside. Clearly this mom only cares about appearances and not her son's well being. Shame on you Yitta Halberstam

  435. Lydia Sheldrekidou says:

    'The women of the kingdom who vied for the Queen’s throne were given twelve months to prepare for the beauty pageant – why hadn’t some of the girls at the shidduch event taken a mere half hour?' one suggestion – if the actual eligible boys had been present, I bet the girls would have made a lot more 'effort' – as it is, this article puts shameful emphasis on the physical, as so many have said. She doesn't offer any advice for the 'ideal' spiritual core of each girl which she briefly refers to. As a 21 YO girl in the same situation as many of these girls, my response to this article is very personal!

  436. Hudi Tabak says:

    i used 2 work in a take-out food pl in brkln… 1 day a woman came in & 1 of the guys behind the counter showed her a pic of his daughter who was havin a hard time in the shidduch scene. i wasn't sure if this woman was bein shown the pic 4 her son or if she was a shadchan, either way she shook her head & handed the pic bak 2 him & said, "she needs 2 lose a lot of weight, then we can talk"

  437. You go girl! I have dabbled in the world of shidduchim and often find myself wanting to say,"Do you have a mirror?" to an old fat bald guy looking for a beautiful 20something year old who's a size 2!

  438. Bracha Lana Guggenheim says:

    This article shows everything that is wrong in the orthodox community. The hypocrisy, the twisting of Torah values to the exact opposite, the shallowness, the petty pageantry. Israel, how could you have let this happen! I, for one, refuse to participate. I have NEVER dated in this context, and NEVER will. I would rather die alone – at least I will have had a productive career and left the world better than I found it! (Tikkun Olam, anyone?) I have rejected any and all attempts at set ups, and indeed, have utterly left the Orthodox community. I am an observant Jewess. But I reject the entire social structure of the so-called Orthodox, where you check your logic at the door, and let your mother choose your mate! Where is the agency? – for both the men and women! It's THEIR lives, why can't THEY choose?

  439. Anonymous says:

    the author isnt telling anyone to do anything she is merely making a suggestion which would help these girls be more attractive. why is having someone set you up any less natural than finding some drunk guy in a bar that would take anything home?
    its starting to sound like you have some mommy issues….did your mother neglect you and not deem it appropriate to help you find a wife? may i be as bold to venture and say that you are still single?
    may i also venture and say that you were one of the boys that pretended to be in yeshivah for several years instead of getting an education and now feel a need to comment online….the one place where people give you the time of day?
    but of course i know nothing about the real world as you call it….sadly i only have a j.d. c.p.a and never spend time in the "real" world as you call it.
    almost every movie made or even talk to people in the real world….everyone is looking for love, very few people go out at night and are only looking for pre marital sex as you put it…do they get dressed up even when they are just looking for someone for the night? im fairly certain they do.
    this is one method of a mean to an end. these girls werent FORCED to go to this event, this is something they felt comfortable with a system that they know, why dont they go out to bars or have pre marital sex as you put it….your probably going to respond with something moronic like they will be shunned from the community but you know as well as i do if that is what they WANTED to do they can do it and get away with it. no one is stopping them from living their life.
    as far as your 2nd moronic comment about everyone in the world living their life….i see your very good at finding things on google as your number of the worlds population, why not google how many of those people are married by marriages picked by their parents?

  440. Batsheva Alexandra Neuer says:

    It’s potential mother in laws like Halberstam— rather than the absence of the “surgical procedures” that she mentions— that are behind the shidduch crisis. Having grown up modern orthodox but married a boy from a yeshivish background discovering the difference in their community’s dating norms was a shocking and disillusioning experience. Yes, the modern orthodox world has its datingf laws too but allow me to highlight some harebrained Halbserstamian reasons for rejecting a seemingly eligible girl: a sibling went off the derekh, a parent was a baal tshuva, the grandparents are not heimish. The parents aren’t wealthy enough, her elementaru school gpa was low, she didn’t attend the right (or best) “chessed camp.” When good deeds have become institutionalized for the sake of a future mother in law’s scrutiny— therein rests down the real crisis. When anorexia is a growing problem because waistlines are at the scrutiny of a future mother in law, therein rests the real crisis. Mother in laws— wake up!

    My girlfriends with the best marriages married men who would scoff at Halberstamian criteria. Their husbands fell in love with them despite their often frizzy — as Halberstam cateogirzed “homely” hair. Not one of my girlfriends underwent any cosmetic or surgical surgery; most of them wear little or no makeup, and all of their husbands have heard them burp— even before the chuppa. “ Halberstam laments that Some women who are deeply religious or intellectually inclined may delude themselves into thinking that their male counterparts will only see, appreciate and cherish their inner beauty, and that will (or should) be their overriding priority. All other surface qualities will be secondary, subordinate to the place where their neshoma stands.” I am proudly married to someone who will admit that he fell in love with me for my “inner” beauty and I am touched, rather than offended or surprised by that.

    Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with a father who oft joked that “beauty is skin deep but ugliness goes straight to the bone” so I would not belittle attraction in a relationship. But to plea to mother that “there is no reason in today’s day and age with the panoply of cosmetic and surgical procedures available, why any girl can’t be transformed into a swan. Borrow the money if you have to; it’s an investment in your daughter’s future, her life” is a depressing reflection of how a yeshivish world that proudly shuns Western Culture’s influence has grossly fallen victim to its unrealistic, Hollywood, plasticization of women’s image. The only glimmer of hope in Halberstam’s embarrassing article is that by exposing her community’s madness, she will stir some introspection rather than surgeries (!) within the shidduch world.

    (The author wrote this while holding her newborn son whom she hopes will one day marry a girl for her inner beauty.)

  441. Hudi Tabak says:

    out of curiosity i asked 2c the pic & was shocked "you do realize this girl is in a winter coat & looks like she has a sweatshirt on underneath, how can u tell that she needs 2 lose weight?" i asked the woman. she answered "a boy would never lk @ a girl like this" "but how do u know that? ur not even givin her a chance?" "as a shadchan & a mother, i know what boys r lookin 4, we want girls who are more like you" "ahh i get it, well let me tell u the truth here, since u liv in a delusional world… a girl "like me" would never settle 4 a guy like that or a mother-in-law like u"

  442. And herein my friends is the core of the problem. If you want to alleviate the "crisis" let the daters act as adults and not be over-protected or dressed up by Mommy and/orDaddy. Try reading my book "The Shidduch Crisis – there is a science to it that actually works.

  443. Avery Salamon says:

    Is this really what we have come too? Sadly, it seems so. Socializing etc can alleviate these issues. People make mistakes and "mom and dad" can be there to help them through it but should not facilitate this narashkeit.

  444. Avery Salamon says:

    Chaviva Elianah Galatz It isn't a satire this happens all too often and is why our community is having the issues it is having. Check out The Shidduch Crisis by Michael J Salamon if you do not believe these things happen

  445. Gittela Welcher says:

    Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending who's view) matches are initially chosen by others but the FINAL decision to wed or not is left to the individuals…some ppl meet at events etc but not everyone is comfortable with events…….

  446. Eli Friedman says:

    Michal Schick, First of all, awesome Response =), but Yonatan, I'm not saying every guy should be clean shaven. But it happens to be that the "Lubavitch beard" many young men are sporting these days is ridiculous. I once got to meet the Chief Rabbi of Israel and the man looked better then most men half his age. He wore clothes that fit him, trimmed his beard (It was still very long, but not frizzy or unkempt) and stood straight and tall. I will never forget the impression he made on me becase of this. You can still be religious and not look like a Hobo, and this goes for Both sexes. The reason I bring up the guys and not the girls is because the blame lays on both sides. I know plenty of men who don't deserve to be as picky as they are and many girls who could maybe try a bit harder when it comes to looking presentable.

    Now, I am going to stop commenting but you guys are welcome to continue. It happens to be I really don't know enough about the frum dating community to be able to hold my own in this conversation. So I leave it to more educated people.

  447. I actually disagree with you Lisa. I know what she's talking about. Some of the girls who are so spiritual and idealistic, don't think that their looks factor into things at all. I think that it's not a horrible message to send them, that it won't hurt to put their best foot forward and put some effort into looking their best. I do not think she's talking about the plastic surgery and dieting to absurd extreme that are in fact detrimental to women. Of course the guys should also take care to look good.

  448. Shana Grossman-Heller says:

    Amanda Dexter Schuster, I agree with you and applaud what you had to say. I understand why people are going nuts over this article, but other than the surgeries part, I agree with the concept 100%. My friend sent it to me, appalled, but I don't really get why. And this message can be applied to any and all levels of religion. If you want to meet and attract a man, you gotta look your best, period. Manage your weight (you don't have to be skinny, just healthy!,) whiten your teeth, slap on some makeup, dress in clothes that fit, and you've ton a tremendous amount. This works at ANY age. Sure, doing all of that with a bad personality and lousy attitude won't help either, but men need to find your physically attractive in order to want to see what else you've got. Done. Ask any man, single or married. The guys who say they don't care about a woman's physical appearance are either lying or some odd exception.

  449. Moshe Mark Moses Karten says:

    Polygamy solves everything

  450. Rebecca Zinger says:

    Reason #756 why i left Flatbush. I only bless you Bracha that you find a man who gets you and appreciates your will!

  451. Bracha, talk like that is going to hurt your shiddukh prospects! ;) :P

    Incidentally, girl I'm talking to now (it's complicated), she is doing a conversion at the moment, and she told me that the rabbi of the shul came up to her and said that some of the young men at shul were asking him about her, and he said she needs therefore to make it known in the community that she isn't Jewish yet, so that all the young men will stop asking him about her. She told me that she was hurt, that she was being treated as some sort of sexual object, like she was some sort of succubus who threatened all the men around her.

    I responded that not only that, but that it is pathetic that these men were asking the rabbi about her instead of coming up to her and talking to her themselves. I cited this: "What We Can Learn From Chazal About Dating", by Rabbi Steven Pruzansky (http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/what-we-can-learn-from-chazal-about-dating/2011/07/07/): "The Gemara (Kiddushin 2b) cites the pasuk 'When a man takes a woman [in marriage]' and explains 'darko shel ish l’chazer al ha-isha,' it is the way of men to pursue women [in marriage]. It is not the way of men, or shouldn’t be, to enlist a band of agents, intermediaries, and attorneys to do the work for them. By infantilizing and emasculating our males, we have complicated a process that should be simpler and made a joyous time into one of relentless anguish and hardship for many women."

  452. Anonymous says:

    Azi Graber Is it the degrading of themselves to "only sex matters" that makes the world a better place, or is the acceptance of gay marriage. I'll venture that you believe that the latter has made it better. At least now you don't have to hide your preferences.

    The world is more immoral and corrupt than ever. That you feel your daughter should join the other world is only because you are too embarrassed to leave the fold of Judaism yourself. You sound pathetic and apologetic that you were born Jewish. Were you emotionally or physically abused in your yeshiva that you have such hate for the yeshiva world? Clearly you spend too much time on the internet. Go out there and do what you fantasize about. It is clear from your comments that women are only sex objects to you. Go objectify them and enjoy yourself. Oh and shut up if you have nothing intelligent to add.

  453. Lea Weiss says:

    Yes, this article is nuts. But she does not reflect all of Orthodoxy; I have noticed that Jewish publications will print anything.

  454. Bryan Salamon says:

    This is a joke. Not based on reality…

  455. Avery Salamon says:

    Bryan Salamon you sure i heard something like this did in actuality happen

  456. Matthew Kirshner says:

    Which part of the article upsets you? The writer's pragmatic and, well, correct!

  457. Avery Salamon says:

    Matthew Kirshner parents need to let kids talk get out the way

  458. I want to know in what sort of cockamanie universe the women chase after the men. Now, I'm all up for feminism, and I'm rather fond of a certain out-of-context interpretation of the verse (Jeremiah 31:21), "For the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth: a woman shall court a man." Nevertheless, what happened to men showing up on a woman's lawn and throwing rocks at her window so that he could play her the banjo? And even if the women are courting the men – which is actually just dandy – then let it be *real* courting, and not this absurd shadkhan nonsense.

  459. Matthew Kirshner says:

    What do you mean?

  460. Avery Salamon says:

    Matthew Kirshner this is done because some do not let kids socialize and have to intercede on their behalf

  461. Shaya Rubin says:

    I am disgusted, and pained at the thought that these girls are not only being subjected to the metaphoric knife that is being wielded by these "concerned MIL's" but now they must be subjected to the surgical knife as well. Moreover I feel for the mammoth hole that will be left in these poor girls self esteem when their own mothers insist that in order to be deemed worthy they most surgically alter their appearance. What shell of a human being will be left after the encouraged anorexia, surgically altered makeup caked faces, society imposed dress codes, schools & camps. Two books come to mind: The Giver & Stepford Wives.

  462. Ashley Jacob says:

    I just think that her underlying point, to make sure you look your best, is important. I think she took it to an extreme of equating eye liner and lipstick with a rhinoplasty or gastric bypass. And I agree with you Elana Kutscher that pushing the idea of simple beauty enhancement of what you natrually have to covering up and changing who you are is a big difference and even maybe a bigger crisis.

  463. Bryan Salamon says:

    Avery Salamon, tagger extraordinaire…
    It's Purim Torah. Not worth thinking about.

  464. Daniel Greenberg says:

    One of my favorite parts is the vignette about how the Satmar rebbe put someone else's life in jeopardy in order to keep a higher standard of kashrut for himself in the camps. Perfect illustration of the sometimes ambiguous point at which piety and morality diverge.

  465. Ezra Amichai says:

    shaya youre a gevalt

  466. Rabbi Marc D. Angel, writing about commentary on Pirkei Avot by the late Chief Rabbi of Rhodes, Rabbi Reuben Eliyahu Israel, says ("The Pirkei Abot of Reuben Eliyahu Israel", http://www.traditiononline.org/news/article.cfm?id=103884):

    "Following the lengthy section of commentaries is a section of poetry and moral sayings. … Israel offers his readers advice on how to understand and succeed with women. His many maxims about women (pp. 95-96) often contain clever language usage. 'He who takes a wife in order to obtain her large dowry writes a divorce to his repose. When poverty enters the door, love fles out the window. Intelligence is the beauty of men and beauty is the intelligence of women. Examine carefully the companion you choose, because the error is one minute but the remorse is a lifetime. To cry or laugh at unimportant things is the habit of women. Praise a woman's beauty in her presence, and she wil forgive all your sins.' … The treatment of such a "secular" subject in a rabbinical work reveals the life-style of Levantine Sephardic rabbis. They dealt with all aspects of life, not simply the 'religious.' They identified with their people in full and were concerned with anything that concerned their people. They did not consider it unusual to deal with subjects that rabbis from other traditions would not condescend to treat."

    See, why don't we have this today, rabbis teaching young men how to court young women?

  467. Tovah Anavian Presser says:

    wow that is one ridiculous article

  468. WOAH! Having SEVERE someone on the internet is wrong response to that article. Am offended both as a Jew and a woman.

  469. Leah says:

    I’m sorry to say, you seem to have entirely missed the point of my reply. I do not have an issue with beauty as a concept, I have an issue with how we define it. You say that this is the reality we live in? We are victims of this reality. Instead of trying to conform to it, we should be trying to change it.

    Who defines these standards of beauty that require so many awful alterations to our genuine appearance? Who perpetuates it? Why do “all of the young men” (I strongly disagree with this assessment that all men are so shallow) expect women to look like Barbie dolls? The simple answer is that it is the mothers.

    So what I am suggesting here is that instead of expecting women to do unnecessary or potentially harmful things in order to “beautify” themselves into something that is entirely unnatural, why don’t we address this problem at the root? Have mothers educate their sons differently. Have them ingrain in their sons from a young age that the most attractive woman is one who values herself, and is confident, and does not feel she must resort to extreme measures or make herself look superhuman or unhuman in order to be deemed beautiful.

    “do we really blame men for not preferring a woman in lace up orthopedic oxfords?”

    Yes! Yes! A million times yes! I absolutely blame a man for thinking I am not beautiful enough if I want to be comfortable! If there is a man that genuinely thinks I am unacceptable to him because I do not do something painful for his sake, then I want nothing to do with him! He is perpetuating a societal mindset in which I MUST do something negative in order to be accepted.

    “Does the fact that most of us prefer chocolate to asparagus make us immoral people?”

    The difference here is that eating chocolate is something we do for ourselves, to ourselves. I enjoy chocolate, therefore I eat chocolate. And yet you know? The comparison still works. If I were educated from a young age to enjoy the taste of asparagus over chocolate, I’d be significantly healthier and yet equally happy- all this (as I perceive it) delicious food would be healthy for me too! I’m sure you can see how this would apply to perceptions of beauty.

    “We are allowed to be human, to care for aesthetic beauty, and to marry someone that we are attracted to. Why are men who study Torah, expected to embrace unattractiveness?”

    I have no issue with that. I enjoy beauty- both in admiring beautiful humans and other beautiful works of nature. Must we take a live-photoshop with us to enjoy a beautiful sunset? Must we paint delicate flowers more vivid colors so as to derive more enjoyment from them? God made us perfect, and if we don’t see ourselves as perfect, the problem is how we’re looking, not how we are.

    We don’t need to stop seeking beauty. We need to redefine what we consider beauty.

  470. Aliza Muller says:

    Like the others who have commented, I too gravitated to your comment as being the most effective. The author of this article should be ashamed! She is promoting a culturally created notion of ideal beauty, one that women today have to fight to rise above. I am so sorry for your loss, and I can only pray that this woman, and so many others involved in the shidduch world, can learn something from your heart wrenching story. The idea that she would even propose surgery as a means to find a husband is shocking, and truly angers me. Exercising, and doing your hair is one thing, but promoting botox, nose jobs, and weight loss surgery is preposterous!

  471. I think it would be wise for all mothers,of "girls" of all walks,of yiddishkeit get together &ban going out with any of those "boys"whose mothers have this,type,of backwards philosophy. They should all question if the mothers need therapy&to.stop letting nonsense rule the lives if their children!!!!!

  472. Moishe says:

    I agree with every word Yitta! If only girls tried a bit harder and make some more effort than maybe we wouldnt have a shidduch crisis!! I made my wife go under the knife on several occasions, and I dont regret it for a second!

  473. David Weiss says:

    Girls met in shidduchim are, in general, way higher grade then girls you pick at hangouts, dude. It will not always be that way but its usually how it is…

  474. Naamah Adelman says:

    This article is the reason there is a so called "shidduch crisis" to begin with! way to turn people off!

  475. Steven Geller says:

    As a father of two wonderful girls, including a cancer survivor, as well as four wonderful young men, I am literally embarrassed by your thesis here. Instead of trying to teach an appreciation for the wonderful values kids are supposed to DEVELOP within themselves, your plea to emphasize physical beauty is the definition of shallow. The fact that these girls came as themselves, without trying to hide their physical deficiencies behind makeup (or G-d forbid their emotional deficiencies behind "a good family") they were making the statement that they are proud of who they are, of what Hashem gave them to work with and of what they are working on becoming. You mentioned surprise at the courage they had to come at all…and yet didn't develop the meaning of that courage to their character. As Dr. Salamon wrote in his book, there has to be chemistry. Not the chemistry that goes into cosmetics, but the chemistry that comes from mutual beliefs, VALUES, goals, and personalities. What kind of message do you think this sends to girls in todays disposable society of physical freaks who perform cosmetic surgery BEFORE their teenage years even begin? In the search for eternal physical beauty…they usually end up as unrecognizable, unnatural collections of not-so-hidden scars. "Mothers this is my plea to you: There is no reason in today’s day and age with the panoply of cosmetic and surgical procedures available, why any girl can’t be transformed into a swan. Borrow the money if you have to; it’s an investment in your daughter’s future, her life."

  476. Tziviah N Maish Staiman says:

    I couldnt agree with you more! Now, my son did get a nose job..not sure if you heard anything about it…but for compeletelybdifferent reasons!! I wouldn't ever encourage a girl to get surgery in order to please a guy.non way no how! My son is 24 and made the decision after cateful consideration and years of wanting it. This is really disturbing on every level!

  477. Shaya Rubin says:

    Ezra, Satire or just plain old &*#@ed up?

  478. Agreed. And I think my favorite part of this embarrassment to the Jewish woman is that she even misconstrues her own textual basis–the point of the makeup incident in the megillah is that Esther DIDN'T request any extra cosmetics, and was nonetheless chosen by the king. Perhaps she should spend more time being a "learner" herself and less time criticizing young Jewish women.

  479. Azi Graber says:

    luv2clown99 I dont know what you are making this personal, from get go you've been attacking me. As i stated before your assumption was incorrect and they continue to be so. please lets stick to the issues.

    agains, people arent finding drunk guys, that is just the Grand Lie you've been fed and accepted. you're mashgiach did a good job, but sadly the truth is not on your side.

  480. Dasi Milner says:

    wow… i hear her point about make-up and maybe even the dentist but serously…!

  481. Azi Graber says:

    steve.stein56 only sex matters is not the rule of the outside world, you have a wrong impression of what goes on outside your yeshiva building.

    Yes, I do feel that the acceptance of gay marriage has made the world a better place. As time has moved on humans have become more moral and more decent and this is apart of that process.

    I do not want anyone to leave any fold of Judaism. There are many segments of the Orthodox world who would not engage in the behavior described above. My comment was an attempt at stressing my view.

    I was never abused or am i embaressed about anything I do. You just dont like my opinions so you have devolved to personal attacks and feel the need to doubt my sinceretly because you feel threatened.

    You may not have read my comments, this author is treating women like sex objects, that is why I commented to disagree.

    Dont argue based on your dislike of my views, stick to the issues.

  482. In terms of turning to plastic surgery to enhance your image, I just have two words of warning: Bruce Jenner.

  483. You Rova girls and your funny ideas (this midrasha is like a factory for non-orthodox girls ;-)). But seriously, you go girl!!

  484. Shidduchim today is like a hostage situation with hostage negotiations. Men are holding themselves hostage and have crazy demands. Shadchanim and people in general desperately want them to release the hostages so they give in to these whacko demands because we MUST get them to release the hostages! give them what they want, quick! who cares if its crazy! what the article that was written about the halberstam article points out is that people have become more concerned with just getting the ring on the finger. What a relief she is married. But happy stable successful marriages is the ultimate goal, and that has gotten left by the wayside and overshadowed by all the other ridiculous superficial stuff. rather than work on developing good character and preparing to be a good husband and focusing on THAT, other stuff becomes promoted and ends up making up the bulk of the terrorists demands.

  485. David Weiss says:

    I agree. Whats up with all you haters, its hilarious. I think that many of you might have missed the point of this article.

    When you put effort into looking your best it shows. The point is not necessarily that you're pretty but that you are serious, you have integrity, and usually you'll be more confident. Before entering any important meeting I go all out in terms of looks and I feel it really makes a difference (and I'm a guy). I believe it's not necessarily about how you look, but letting those around you know that you take yourself seriously (it really boosts your confidence as well). Done right, you feel its effects. There are too many people who are don't have the intelligence (or have never been taught) that the value of appearance goes way beyond attracting people of the opposite gender.

    I think that what this author was troubled by was not simply a lack of make-up or whatever but a lack of integrity. The girls parents, friends, or someone should have taught them that when you want to get stuff done you dress-up. In terms of shidduchim and wtvr I personally believe there is no perfect "look". As long as the girl can rock her own "look" I'll be able to tell. But, no matter how perfect she looks without make-up, if a girl didn't wear make-up on a first date I would definitely think less of her; that has nothing to do looks at all rather it would signal something was off with her integrity, social skills, and probably confidence.

    And Amanda (since this account doesn't have my real name) I'm from Bmore and while I don't know you personally (talking to girls is momesh ussar so I don't) I know most of my friends think you're pretty attractive, that other dude is just trolling.

  486. Abba Brodt says:

    Batsheva, as an older Brodt, may I say how very Neuer-esque I found your response! Well written, and mazal tov on the baby!

  487. Lynn says:

    I think that everyone is taking the cosmetic surgery recommendations out of context. There are those who are halachacally given permission by rabbonim to undergo such procedures. If a woman is chronically depressed about her looks, it may be worth speaking to a physician and a rav.
    What Yitta is saying is that because there are numerous women out there for every boy in shidduchim, they boys have their pick of the prettiest and the best. Some girls don’t even try to put their best foot forward. She feels bad for them and advises them and their mothers to put some time and money into the situation. This does not mean that she is carte blanche advocating plastic surgery for every single Jewish woman. Gastric bypass can improve the quality and length of life for some obese people and such recommendations should be understood in that vein. She is trying to advise women and their daughters to realize that if an appearance issue is preventing a woman from attracting a shidduch, this should be addressed because mothers of boys are not going the distance to get their sons interested in unattractive girls in order to solve the shidduch crisis. It could be that the boys of the next generation will go for the natural look but this generation wants beauty. For the average girl, it means just a bit of effort.

  488. Bracha Lana Guggenheim, the curious thing is, the girl I'm talking to, she is the most un-nerdy and apolitical person I have ever met. Her best friend is a libertarian Trekkie, but she herself, she is COMPLETELY apathetic about politics and cares NOTHING for it, and until recently, she did not even know who Spock was. Seriously! And she doesn't know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek! And yet somehow, we get along marvelously. Moral of the story: no matter how much you think you know what your mate will be like, you could be totally wrong.

  489. Shana Grossman-Heller says:

    Amanda Dexter Schuster, I agree with you and applaud what you had to say! I understand 'classically' why people are going nuts over this article, but other than the surgeries part, I agree with the concept 100%. My friend sent it to me, appalled, but I don't really get why. Another posted it, shocked. Why?! This message can be applied to any and all levels of religion. If you want to meet and attract a man, you gotta look your best, period. Manage your weight (you don't have to be skinny, just healthy!,) whiten your teeth, slap on some makeup, dress in clothes that fit, and you've done a tremendous amount. This works at any age, especially women in their 30's. Sure, doing all of that with a bad personality and lousy attitude won't help either, but men need to find you physically attractive in order to want to see what else you've got. Done. Ask any man, single or married. The guys who say they don't care about a woman's physical appearance are either lying or some odd exception.

  490. Shana Grossman-Heller says:

    Agreed, Avery. But the whole point of the article is that women show up a mess, and expect results. A little effort goes a long way.

  491. The whole shidduch thing is ridiculous. Maybe send kids to schools where they can learn how to talk to the opposite sex and maybe just meet someone without having to treat it like a job interview. Pathetic.

  492. And hey, what a shock, girls who go to all girls schools and never talk to boys don't know how to present themselves. Who would have thought? And the pressure that is put on these girls–from age 19–by their yenta mothers telling them that they better find a guy and get married or their whole life will be worthless, so they just take the first guy who comes along, then often with an abusive husband who never learned how to deal with women, and of course there's no money because they actively pursued a husband with no interest in making money, but who cares, what a tzaddik!

  493. Miriam Roche Fuks says:

    ugh! several times she repeats the need to "pretend". poor poor girls who are part of her society if this thinking is commonly held.

  494. Kfi Covel says:

    First of all, you just compared the current shidduch scene to an evil dictator who rounded up virgins and picked the prettiest one to be his queen. Not that I really see much of a difference, since in your opinion young single women should be spending their time and money worrying about their looks instead of, oh, their education or careers or important things like their self-esteem and mental well-being. So yes, ladies, let us forget all that women have accomplished since the days when Esther saved the Jewish people and focus instead on dolling up for the young bachurim, and more importantly, their condescending mothers.

  495. Amanda Kaufman says:

    Amanda Dexter Schuster yeah but you should ONLY do things like surgery for yourself if you really cant stand how you yourself look, but to do it because maybe the 'shidduch system' wont accept you and you have to live up to other peoples' standards… that is where it becomes unhealthy and just plain stupid

  496. Anonymous says:

    Azi Graber I do not dislike your views I completely despise your views. You believe accepting gay marriage is a good thing it is morally reprehensible why is that a good thing. If you do not agree that it is immoral your views are not in line with that of the Torah. That is despicable. Would accepting and embracing murderers in society be a good thing as well? The fact that you are changing your beliefs to fit a world that you should want to disassociate yourself from is wrong as well. Would you have said that gay is ok when you were still in yeshiva and not working and looking to hate the frum Jews you deal with regularly? They didn't feed you any lies you got burnt by your family or something else (not yeshiva by your own admission) and your taking it out on the yeshiva world. Go get help and stop pandering to an audience that only exists in your mind. Figure yourself out and be honest with yourself and stop attacking others for your own shortcomings. The idea behind the article is that girls should take their time to look attractive not to objectify them. The disgusting part had nothing to with making themselves look attractive. Every guy wants a girl to make herself look good for him. That does not mean we think of them as sex objects. Have a real relationship with a girl and try to begin and understand it before making stupid remarks. The author is trying to help these girls and she began by saying there would be outrage but she took a stand and she is right. If you are going to do something to help yourself find your spouse tkae the time to do it right. The fact that we have a shidduch system is not the problem its that idiots like you feel we have to do everything like morally void America does for it to be right. Continue going to bars and try finding your spouse when your forty and only have your computer as a companion come back to me maybe then you'll have a differing view.

  497. Shira Yitzi Kessock says:

    way to go Steve! This article is so disturbing! I would never want my daughter to get a mother in law that has this woman's views.

  498. Amanda Kaufman TOTALLY AGREE! A person, male or female, should never change who they are or what they look like for another person. EVER!

  499. Alexa Raine says:

    Good for you Shev!! It helps that you have outer beauty that is enhanced by your inner beauty!!!!

  500. Azi Graber says:

    steve.stein56 I'm sorry you feel that way about gay marriage. you are on the losing (and wrong) side of that battle.

    I dont hate frum Jews, I hate this essay and the system that resulted in this woman writing this essay. You have blown this up out of proportion since you cant handle other people views, and you feel threatened by seeing others who dont agree exactly with every single idea and belief you have.

    I never attacked anyone commenting here, only You and Luv2Clown has engaged in personal attacks on me, which is a sign that logic and reason is not on your side, otherwise you wouldnt have had to stoop to that level.

    Finally, your view of the outside world is wrong, that is the source of your mistaken views. There are happy and healthy people in the Jewish world and in the Outside world and there are miserable people in the Jewish world in the Outside world. you arent any better or worse than anyone else. Your mashgiach lied to you.

  501. I think this paragraph was edited out ""Mothers this is my plea to you: There is no reason in today’s day and age with the panoply of cosmetic and surgical procedures available, why any girl can’t be transformed into a swan. Borrow the money if you have to; it’s an investment in your daughter’s future, her life".

  502. Gaby says:

    I think Moshiach just threw up in his mouth a little bit…

  503. Ally Levy says:

    If people seriously think the shidduch crisis is due to girls not
    wearing enough makeup, than the crisis is only beginning. She is
    exactly the reason for the problem. There is no mention of H-shem
    anywhere in this article. Oh right, remember Him? There is just her
    misinterpreted opinion on Megilas Esther. @Chayim Goldberg I agree. The point of the Megilah is
    exactly the opposite of this women's point. That Esther was chosen
    after practically being forced to wear the bare minimum amount of
    makeup because H-shem determined she should be chosen. Here's my
    favorite quote,

    "'Recently, an acquaintance of mine reported the happy news that her
    first cousin had become a kallah for the first time at the tender age
    of forty. “She wowed her chasan with her beauty,” she said. “That’s
    what gave her an edge over the other women her age.” Then she paused.
    “Let’s see…she had a nose job….gastric bypass …botox injections….her
    teeth were capped…..and she wears violet-blue contact lenses…There’s
    practically nothing about her that’s real!” she laughed. “But…guess
    what? She’s getting married next month!”'

    Oh good. She got married. But I hope she came with a warning label not
    to take her outside in the summer. Her plastic might melt.

  504. Anonymous says:

    Azi Graber The fact that you keep going back to "mashgiach lied to you" is pretty telling of your "I am anti the yeshiva world I was once part of". I am not basing any of my opinions on anything different than the experience with the "real world" as you term it. The real world is the Torah world. Unfortunately, we don't live in the Utopian society we hope for of the time of mashiach, which will be far different than what you envision it to be. Gay marriage is immoral, I am not sure why you disagree. Is it because you believe in different morals than what the Torah prescribes for us? If it isn't immoral why is it assur. I am not on the wrong end, maybe the losing end, but only because we live in a country devoid of all morals. I am part of the other world you speak of and yes there are happy people and sad people. But what you promote is not the recipe for happiness. You prefer your daughter to be like a prostitute and remove all meaning from her intimate relationship with her spouse and have that relationship only to satisfy the animal within her. As I said before have a real relationship with a woman one where all aspects are real and full of love and devotion and then comment on the situation.

    I have no problem with views of others I have a problem when those views are biased and cannot accept the fact that some sects of orthodox jews want to do it differently than how you want them to. The same way you feel you should be free to express yourself how you want they should be as well. If this is the path they chose then it is fine for them, the same way the path you chose is fine for you. You cannot stand when people disagree with your views nor have views different than yours. I have read many of your comments on many blogs and one theme is apparent in all. You dislike the yeshiva world and anything they do is wrong and they have to change. No they don't. Accept it and stop attacking it.

  505. batsheva, amazing comment. this article hurts too much for me to take it seriously. how can one think all this? at the end of the day, when the woman takes off her makeup, and shows the real her, will her husband not love her? after she has one, two, three children, she will not look the same..will he then be drawn to looking for the "gorgeous fake women" outside the marriage?! what exactly is she endorsing here?!thank you for writing so beautifully here…

  506. Azi Graber says:

    steve.stein56 i repeat the mashgiach comment because i understand where that wrong view of the world comes from.

    this isnt really the place to go into gay marriage, that isnt the topic of this essay. if you really want to discuss it with me, to read an opposing opinion you may contact me via FB.

    again,my comment was meant to stress my opposition to the sort of dating the women in this article seem to be apart of.

    Yes this is the path they chose but it is NOT fine for them! look at what they have to do. Im not making up stories, read this essay and you'll read about what these women on "their chosen paths" have to do to get by in that word and the types of things their alleged supporters ask of them.

    Ive never attacked anyone other than the essay author. you and the other guy have been attacking me, at least be honest about that.

  507. Jack Brecher says:

    wow i can't even begin to comprehend the women who would write this.

  508. Anonymous says:

    Dear David Lerner,

    "קריינא דאיגרתא איהו ליהוי פרונקא" (בבא מציעא פג:) Why don't you create a support network in order to 'help' these young women leave their"cult?" In addition, weren't you the one that used the "Shidduch System" to find your love, Ms. Kurinsky?g

  509. Miriam Levinger says:

    Dudi Silverman, I think it was with amazing forsight that your mother named you doody. You clearly have size issues, i'm sure from your own personal experience – if you know what i mean, and honestly, I pity the woman who is foolish enough to fall for you. In fact I can garentee you have had failed relationships based on that insensitive, vicious attack on my perfectly proportioned friend. Amanda is gorgeous, you are a narcissist who doesn't have a clue how not to personally attack a woman to make you feel better about your not nice self. I know this all came from a size complex you have, but watch your words buddy, especially when it comes to a GOLDEN GIRL like amanda. again, my deepest sympathies for your size complex…there are procedures that can be done, i see them on late night television all the time. shameful.

  510. Miriam Levinger says:

    In regards to the article, each to their own …. focus on what and who makes you happy and finding someone you want your children to grow up to be exactly like.

  511. Miriam Levinger says:

    Also, amanda, block doody, he isn't worthy.

  512. Steven Geller says:

    Wow, talk about dan l'kav zchus. I wish I would have thought of that. Let's hope you're right, and if not, that she takes advantage of the 'out' you're giving her. Ooops, there I go again. Of course you're right. Must have been satire…

  513. Raffi Holzer says:

    Rose Danielle Spiegel ?

  514. Anonymous says:

    Instead of focusing on changing a young women's looks, because young "Bnei Torah" expect them to be supermodels, how about we change what "Bnei Torah" see? If you have them watching movies (no comment on their ratings), no kidding that all they will be attracted to are supermodels.

    How about instead of focusing on the young women, who need not change, we focus on the young guys for a bit. How about Yeshivas educating their students on the deeper affects of movies and television upon on our psych? Perhaps then our "Bnei Torah" will look a little more than a micrometer deeper at young women? Perhaps at important qualities such as middos and dedication to being an Ashis Chayil? Boteach has written an article about this a little while back.
    http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=2834&alias=what-infected-frum-dating

  515. Simona Roth says:

    I don't see anything wrong with this article. I mean, it worked for me. First I got botocks in my lips, then I had my chin cut open and had fat from my tush put in. I had a breast augmentation and had more fat put into my cheeks. Now I look like Joan Rivers and all the men on the street cant help but STARE at me. It's cuz I'm so incredibly irresistible… right? I give this artical 5 stars for encouraging young woman to go under the knife and not except the flaws that Hashem so carelessly gave us.

  516. Anonymous says:

    Azi Graber Why because you disagree with it is it NOT ok? The people involved chose this path they find it ok. You dislike the "system" so you say it is wrong. I am sure if I started to discuss your system I will find many flaws with it and say it is NOT ok. Parading your daughter as a whore like you wish instead of this system is far worse, speaking of turning women into sex objects. Oh, btw, I am very much a part of the 700 million you speak of and I can tell you outside of business or studies or whatever else they are doing at the time, sex is always on their minds. The conversations they have always surround their relationships at the time, or who they want.

    I am sorry you feel your mashgiach lied to you. Is your family and other relationships the model of how jews should behave? Why do you place so much blame on the yeshiva? I will guess without knowing that other parts of your life are not perfect either and may be to blame for your issues as well. I know you think I am attacking you, but I am not trying to. I am trying to open your eyes to other factors in your life that may have been the cause of your hate to the yeshiva you were part of. You clearly hate on yeshivas by your dumb mashgiach comments. Yes, I think for myself and I have a more objective view of the world than you do. Maybe because I don't feel screwed by anyone in the world, neither Jewish nor non-jewish, unlike you.

    To address the article more directly. The meeting between mothers and girls was meant with the best intent by the arrangers of it. I know of mothers approached about it that had voiced their disagreement to it and there was proper response to it. Whether you agree with the meeting or not is irrelevant. You have not taken any initiative to get these girls married other than say "go to a bar an get laid by a different guy every night". The arrangers did. How these girls came to the meeting is what the author is addressing and these girls were naive, stupid, dumb, wrong, or misled, whatever you want to say about them is fine. They should have taken the time to look attractive, guys want to see that. Oh and as for your world, if a girl would show up for a job interview not "made up" it will be a strike against her. (side note- and if she is hot she will land the job becasuse the guys like "eye candy" – not my words bu the words of a partner in a firm discussing hiring of interns and associates at his firm)

    Unfortunately, the author did not address the root of the issue of why girls don't dress or "make-up" themselves.

  517. Rebekah Marie says:

    Sheesh…do the Moms of the girls get a ruler out and ask the Man in question for measurements ? This article is horrible and this woman and her ideals are sickening.

  518. Kate Bigam says:

    This piece is truly disgusting. I feel sorry for the young woman who will someday be saddled with this shallow, meddlesome, overbearing mother-in-law.

  519. Even though I read the entire article (mainly because Deborah Feldman twittered the link), I was disappointed, at the outset, with your offensive reference to crucifixion. This is a blasphemous thing to allude to in the eyes of observant Christians. The flip-side would be a gentile stating: "I know I'll probably get gassed for this…". That would be unforgivably disrespectful to Jews… and holocaust survivors in particular. I choose my words carefully around those of other faiths; won't you do so too?

  520. Joey Israel says:

    Raffi Holzer deserves someone perfect and if pefect requires a gastric bypass then so be it.

  521. Sara Sassoon says:

    whoo- Chani, I like your feistiness:) Maybe boys are scared of a woman who can speak her mind ;)

  522. Raffi Holzer says:

    Joey Israel Lol. how's it goin Joey? Long time no speak.

  523. Batsheva Loeb says:

    eww

  524. Tzeitel says:

    Seven years ago walking on a main street in NYC, I noticed a yeshiva couple out on a date obviously. I noticed (trying not to be obvious) that he was a typical yeshiva bochur with red hair and she, with light brown hair, was not “fixed up”. She was neat and pleasant-looking, but no make up? I walked quickly past. Then I heard my name: “Aunt Tzeitel!” It was my niece Shprintze from out of town, who was calling to me although she was in NYC for the date. I didn’t know if this was her first date or seventh, she was 19 years old, he was 22. I was introduced. (I thought, if I knew Shprintze was coming to town, I would have invited her to my home to brush her hair and put on make up.) This year they will celebrate their seventh anniversary and they have 3 red-haired little boys and one with light brown hair. Shprintze still doesn’t wear makeup and dresses simply and modestly.

  525. Jennie Howe says:

    Seriously this is happens?!? WOW…

  526. Anonymous says:

    This is just so sad…. At first I really thought this article was a Purim Joke, but at the end, it doesn't seem to be. So, so many things wrong here.My main question is what has happened to our community that Mothers are picking out girls for their sons? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense for the young men and young women to have appropriate,"kosher" ways to meet each other, and avoid this whole mess? Call me old fashioned, but I really believe that Frum young men and women should have the chance to meet and choose their own spouses….It worked for the generations before us!

  527. Chani Lazerowitz Melamed says:

    Sara Sassoon, Thanks, ill take that as a compliment :)
    Regarding a woman who can speak her a mind, if a guy can't handle that its one thing, but I was more getting to the point that guys don't even give a girl a chance if they think she has a mind!…(ie. being 'intimidated' by her even before going out, how would a guy know he is going to be intimidated by her before even meeting her? :/ )

  528. Dear Yitta Halberstam: I am ambivalent about your proposal. I certainly would hope that most girls these days would not suffer the kind of negative self-image that plagued you as a child. It's a tragedy. But times have changed – many young men also prefer the "natural look." HOWEVER, given your suggestion, why not organize the same kind of event you recently attended, only offer makeovers to all the girls who attend? You could hire a few excellent makeup artists, or you could even rent a frum beauty salon for the evening, serving kosher hors-doevres and giving each girl a fabulous makeover – along with beauty tips and a before and after photo session. All the while, you could be chatting with the young women and laughing and enjoying the contact. Instead of suggesting they do it themselves, be proactive and organize an event like this! But forget the nose-jobs.

  529. Kathy Garza says:

    Or kenny rogers….

  530. Dear Yitta Halberstam: I am ambivalent about your proposal. I certainly would hope that most girls these days would not suffer the kind of negative self-image that plagued you as a child. It's a tragedy. But times have changed – many young men thankfully also prefer the "natural look." I am very glad to see comments from guys like Chayim, below. He is (or was) obviously not the "skin-deep" kinda guy. Go, Chayim!

    HOWEVER, I think you are well-meaning, despite being misguided. But instead of complaining, just organize a makeover party for the young women. You and the other mothers, and even sisters, could serve hors-doevres and give each girl a fabulous makeover with professional makeup artists – along with beauty tips and a before and after photo session with a professional photographer. All the while, you could be chatting with the young women and laughing and enjoying the contact. Instead of suggesting they do it themselves, be proactive and organize an event like this! But forget the nose-jobs. And start thinking of yourself positively. Your son probably inherited your nose, after all – and I am sure he's cute, right? ;-)

  531. Bina Kha says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. May Hashem give you and your family strength and know that you have a angel in heaven watching over you and your family .

  532. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    For all those defending the author's stance on how it's really no big deal to undergo the knife: please do some research first. "All forms of weight-loss surgery, including gastric bypass, are major procedures that can pose serious risks and side effects"-Mayo Clinic.com.

  533. and of course the nose job that ended a career (sorry Jennifer Grey) yep Jennie it is crazy, at least the comments show that her opinion is the extreme and shallow minority, as it should be

  534. Naamah Adelman says:

    This is still really annoying me: " I stood uneasily with some of the other mothers, waiting for the facilitators to arrive, making small talk. Most of the mothers with whom I conversed loved the idea, but I was deeply anxious about navigating the brief encounters: How to gently ferret out vital information from these sweet young ladies without making them feel interrogated, evaluated and ultimately…judged? (Which in fact was the case.) How to end the meeting in a tactful and kind way when it became clear that they weren’t for my son? Should I feign enthusiasm and interest after the crucial few seconds in which I had already made this determination to spare their feelings, or should I move on more quickly, to maximize the time I had left? My stomach churned. How do I dance this waltz without stepping on anyone’s shoes? I should have been thinking about my son, but all I could do was worry about the girls." ….she acts as if she even cares abt these girls….however…she openly admits to judging them…and then she is wondering how she will end the meeting "WHEN" it became clear that they werent for her son….just goes to show what i said above is true….no one will ever be good enough…before even meeting any of the girls she is thinking how she will end the conversation when it becomes clear rather than IF. She knows that none of these girls will be good enough! SO sad!!!!!!

  535. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    @Ita, though I hear your point, I wouldn't compare orthodontics or optometry to cosmetic surgery. My eye doc recommends contacts over glasses because they offer better peripheral vision and can correct astigmatism better than glasses. Also, crooked teeth are commonly considered a major dental health issue. Many insurance companies do not cover anything considered cosmetic, but will cover braces.

  536. Talia Bessler says:

    this is so pathetic it sounds fake.

  537. Anonymous says:

    this article is 100% correct. all u super religious Jews need to start getting a clue. first impressions do count, and part of that is the presentation of the other person. why shouldn't women put on makeup? because we are still in the 10th century? its time to move on. I'm not saying you need to go buy the most expensive clothes but how about looking good for the person that you are trying to impress. a little make up here and there wont hurt anyone and no one will think you are any less religious because you take care of yourself. its about time someone from the community stood up and said something about this problem.

  538. Yonason Freund says:

    They were all staring at you beforehand as well.

  539. She may just be being "honest" but I'm really happy not to know this woman personally because after reading that I wouldn't be able to look at her as anything but shallow and kind of a b*tch.

  540. And honestly, I agree with one of the comments that the problem is not the sons, it's their mothers.

  541. Rachel Traurig says:

    Dear Yitta,
    I had the honor of visiting/knowing your relative in the hospital many years ago. She was so ill, yet one of the most beautiful women I have ever met. I remember to this day her radiance kept me coming back. Yet she was so ill and so frail. I kept coming. She was a Torah scholar and I loved her in the brief time I knew her. I am Kaf Zechut this is not true or an experiment to show something. If it is, please Hashem grant us a “BIG MIRACLE”. B/c the baseless hatred , desecration of g-ds name that has been created is dangerous and scary. I’m reading so many comments on so many pages….I remember your beautiful WOMAN relative on her deathbed, again her Torah was what captivated me. Please Create a BIG MIRACLE here of SHALOM.

  542. D.N. Singer says:

    Good grief. What a loathsome article. Poorly done, Yitta.

  543. Nice Guy says:

    this sounds alot like my friend's wife, he married a gorgious girl perfect in every way….then on the wedding night she took off her ears and put them on the table, he stood there in shock unable to move, then she took off her nose and put it on the table and then she took off other parts and put them on the table….frantic he called me and told me what was going on…and then he asked me….. "DO I SLEEP IN THE BED OR ON THE TABLE? "

  544. Nice Guy says:

    NO KIDDING>>>slim attractive girls 24 to 34 contact me…i got some nice looking guys (i am amateur shadchan only made 12 weddings (me and wife together)but would like to do some more….send profile and pictures to ashrei108@aol.com and if I have guy for you will send you his profile and pictures.

  545. Nisa Harris says:

    Noam Davidovics again I don't think its the system that encourages it, its this woman who herself has overcome self esteem issues that feels the need to try to help everyone else in the same way she helped herself. A totally normal reaction for her to have, I don't agree that everyone needs to do this but I understand why this person in particular has said it. And no I haven't seen her andit would prove her superficial point if I did trash her looks like everyone is to prove the point thy even nose jobs etc may not help. But she already has self esteem issues which is probably why we have these kinds of people thinking this way and writing these articles

  546. Lynn says:

    I am not seeing where anyone is minimizing the risks of surgery. If anything, people here are magnifying the risks of surgery. Gastric bypass is usually done on people who are poor surgical risks to begin with due to their size. Some of these people lose weight initially but eventually regain it. They can also suffer from twisted bowels and other intestinal issues which are dangerous and painful. There will inevitably be hanging skin all over the body that was stretched to capacity by the overweight condition but the skin does not shrink with the fat and there is nothing that will safely reduce the skin. It is usually employed as a last ditch effort when other efforts to reduce the person’s body weight has failed and their overall health is severely at risk. It is probably done more for medical reasons then to produce a shidduch.

  547. Sara Sassoon says:

    Chani Lazerowitz Melamed Amen.

  548. Sara Fae Astrin Englard says:

    There is nothing wrong with getting a good hairstyle, wearing some make-up, dressing nicely and possibly dieting however I think getting plastic surgery is going to the extreme.

  549. Eshet Chayil describes the ideal of a Jewish woman as one who is;positive, industrious, organized, financially responsible/savvy, charitable, dignified, wise, kind, and inspires her children and husband. There's nothing about a perfect face or body in there! Here's an idea so crazy it might just work-look for a spouse that has these character traits rather transient qualities.

  550. I know many makeup-less women (or "unattractive" according to the author), with big noses/more than a size 6/hair in a messy bun-ponytail who exude so much confidence that when they walk into a room they come across as drop dead gorgeous. Shouldn't we be focusing on and recognizing the fact that having major confidence is what makes a woman beautiful?

  551. :). that would be nice if you were right

  552. Yoni Weiss says:

    God forbid anyone discuss how MEN should be held to a specific standard of appearance! only women have to look a certain way. men: suit, tie, hat, gut, yellow teeth, good to go!

  553. Chayim Goldberg says:

    I'm so sorry to hear your story. Hopefully we can all work together to put a stop to the pressure that caused such a tragedy. Hopefully we can all learn a lesson from your daughter's death and we can help those currently in peril in her name. Perhaps an educational movement can be started in your daughter's name to council teens and young adults in positive imaging and the perils of eating disorders? I'm sure there are readers out there with either professional experience or personal experience who would be interested in helping.

  554. Jessi Franco says:

    Hshem should comfort you and make the author retract this misguided advice

  555. Naomi Kraus says:

    I'd like to think so, but I can't believe it. And even if it was, the reaction that so many people here are having indicates to me that if it is satire, it's so close to reality as to not matter.

  556. Lice Nurse says:

    …and most other things – no? I think having every girl in shiduchim explore all of the surgical and cosmetic options available is a bit over the top but I don't see why a stick of lipstick is beyond the scopeproper hishtadlus. :).

  557. Lice Nurse says:

    …and most other things – no? I think having every girl in shiduchim explore all of the surgical and cosmetic options available is a bit over the top but I don't see why a stick of lipstick is beyond the scope of proper hishtadlus. :).

  558. Wow. Just…wow.
    I once read that by age 17, most people have a pretty good idea of where they fall on the attractiveness scale, and consequently who they can hope to attract as a mate. The problem in the Orthodox community is that this is so skewed to favor the men that an average-nerdy looking guy can reasonably expect to marry a far more attractive girl. And we're not only talking about looks. We're talking about the whole package.
    So if the average guys are getting the above average girls, where does that leave the average-looking girl (who is not willing to invest thousands of dollars and hours to turn herself into a swan)?
    I'm not asking for myself. I found my match. But I did it by going outside my community to find someone who was raised with a much healthier set of values regarding how to interact with, assess and appreciate women. My advice to single girls is this: Widen your pool of potential mates to include those who will value the totality of who you are. There are men (and mother-in-laws) out there who will not look at you and see a To Fix list, but rather a person who's perfect just as you are.

  559. To the grieving mom, I want to say that I am so sorry for your loss and I wish that well meaning advice dispensers, like the author of the article, were better educated about the potential results of their recommendations and the statistics about what happens to girls who believe that they are not good enough to be loved, the way they are. On the other hand, I see that you wrote your letter anonymously and that reality highlights another, very deep, issue that can't be ignored. Your message is SOOO powerful and because there is such shame/pain in acknowledging these kinds of illnesses, young women often don't realize just how frequently they happen, how dangerous they are and sometimes, how irreversible.Even when we talk about anorexia, it's anonymously. Girls think their friends are hospitalized for "medical issues" and not for following dangerous advice they thought would help them to achieve happiness. Girls often think they will be anorexic, just for a little, if that's what it takes, and then they will stop. They think it's l'shem shamayim. You know firsthand, that it doesn't work like that and that a shadchan's careless words can literally destroy the life of sensitive and anxious young women they only want to help. I applaud your openness and what must have been a heartbreaking piece to write and share- I only wish that the world could be more supportive of you and of your daughter, while she was alive and struggling, so that you wouldnt be suffering anonymously and so that your daughter may have had a fighting chance.

  560. Azi Graber says:

    steve.stein56 sir, this is my summation of what is occurring here: after many years of being sheltered and only associating with like minded people you have encountered someone who doesn't agree with you. This is novel, and shocking, and scary. If you are right how can I not agree with you, you are asking yourself. Your belief system is being threatened and therefore your mind triggers a protection mechanism wherein you attack my character in order to associate my opinion with said bad character. Its a textbook case.

    The only problem is your arguments are faulty, they are straw men arguments, since nothing you say about me is true or based on any particular knowledge you possess.

    You brain is doing this to you, I dont feel upset, its not your fault.

  561. Hannah Sealine Bacharach says:

    Yitta, I'll start with your most outrageous statement- "….how to end the meeting in a tactful and kind way when it became clear they weren't for my son. Should I feign enthusiasm and interest after the crucial few seconds in which I had already made this determination"? So it took you "seconds" to determine the girl wasn't for your son? What you must mean is that it took you seconds to determine whether the girl was pretty enough for your son. What more can be determined in such a short amount of time? Does your son posses this power as well? Does he size up the girl in seconds? Should every girl he's gone out with consider herself lucky to have him sit through an entire date? After all it should only take seconds to determine that she is/isn't pretty enough. I don't know if you mentioned your son is a learning boy, but I would say if his priorities are as shallow as yours, he's probably has been wasting his time.

  562. Chaya Rachel Nv says:

    Amen, sista!

  563. I was surprised to see this in the Jewish Press and not the Beacon.

  564. Chanah-Rivka Notyourbizness says:

    You are correct in every way. However, we must not diminish our need, right, and desire to be beautiful. It is said that when H-shem sent us the Manna in the desert, he also sent some sort of beauty supplies for the women. And also don't forget, that when, at the height of our poverty and burden in Egypt, the women took those copper mirrors to beautify themselves to gain back the favor of their husbands who had lost hope. H-shem felt this was so precious, he commanded we use that same copper for the Kelim in the Mishkan. Our beautification is an important act; one worthy of the redemption of our people. It is a kiddush H-shem!

  565. Chanah-Rivka Notyourbizness says:

    I think it is very sick and wrong that such a mitzvah as beatifying ourselves in a Kiddush H-shem has to be lowered to such a level as what the shadachan did in your story.It should certainly never be about something so shallow as sexual attraction. In that light, I agree with you. We need to focus our attention to beautifying the mitzvah of beautifying our selves. I am so sorry that this has happened to you. It is my hope that this article isn't recieved in that way. I have to say, I'm not sure I understand the connection she makes to Purim, and her approach sounds a little crass. If she is, indeed, talking about physical issues that have to do with self esteem, then she is sorely misguided. It would seem everyone agrees with that.

  566. Chanah-Rivka Notyourbizness says:

    G-d forbid it should be like that! These women, mothers, who feel this way about their son's prospective wives must feel incredibly low about themselves, and must not have a true understanding of their own value as women. That's the saddest part. I don't like how you said "mothers need to lower their standards". You are not a lower standard. You are an Ayshes Chayil! And so are we all! We're the ones who will bring Moshiach!

  567. This is perhaps the most vile and disturbing article I have read in the Jewish Press.

  568. I wear make up about 3 times a year, to the occasional wedding if I feel like it. And guess what. I got married last year (at 22) to the perfect guy. And you know what he says whenever I wear make up? "You look nice, but I like you much better without it." And I guarantee this holds true for most young girls.

    As for the elective surgery that you highly recommend: A sweet but self conscious 16 year old girl in my community went in for a nose job last year. She never woke up from her surgery. She died on the table.
    She was a beautiful girl and her nose was just fine. The pressure to be beautiful nowadays is too much. So many people's lives were ruined because society convinced this girl that she was ugly (and trust me, she wasn't). I'm sure if she could, she would tell all young girls to be happy with what God gave them and to appreciate and enjoy their lives.

    There are a lot of beautiful people in hollywood that have really screwed up relationships and marriages. And there are many average looking folk that have great lives.
    Yes I know it must be shocking to you, but ugly people can be happy too. If your son marries an average-looking girl, his life isn't ruined. Maybe you should try accepting one of the less attractive girls' resumes for once. I think you'd be surprised with how many other wonderful qualities a girl can have that have nothing to do with her appearance. These will stay with her throughout her life, into old age, when even models aren't beautiful. Just give it a try.

  569. Chanah-Rivka Notyourbizness says:

    You have just demonstrated the true art of giving the benefit of the doubt. Thank you for teaching us all a valuable lesson.

  570. Chanah-Rivka Notyourbizness says:

    I understand why this article makes you angry. But, you are only engaging in baseless hatred. It's not healthy for you or for klal yisroel.

  571. Pnina Wellerstein says:

    Well-said!

  572. Bill Ze'ev Felsen says:

    If you don't mind slightly racy language, look to the lyrics for 'Dance: Ten; Looks: Three" for my comment on this article.

  573. Yonatan Oliver says:

    lol

  574. Yonatan Oliver says:

  575. David Lerner says:

    alefbais2000 Hello Mr/Ms no-name
    Re: Talmudic quote.[I don't plan on stabbing anyone with a spear, thank you very much. :)]
    Re: support groups. I do participate in online support networks for people who've left or are in the process of leaving. I wish I could do more.

    As for my personal life, that's none of your business. If you don't have the courage to sign your name, don't bother me with questions about my life.

  576. David Lerner says:

    David Weiss Depends on what you're looking for, doesn't it. I want educated women who are worldly, Shidduch system would be a waste of my time.

  577. Vomit! Feh! There is something very wrong with this woman, and sadly I'm sure she's in good company.

  578. Chayim Goldberg says:

    @ Chanah-Rivka Notyourbizness – I totally agree with you. God created us, man and woman, with instinctive attraction to certain features. Additionally, there are societal norms of beauty which, whether we like it or not, have crept into our psyche and defined for us the features we desire in the opposite sex. It's just that the author seems to take out her own insecurity with her own looks on single women and thinks that its their own own fault they are single because they don't slather on make up, like the author does.

  579. ציפי שרף says:

    Don't be surprised if that long "list" you had for your son disappears very soon.

  580. Shawn Ruby says:

    Saw this yesterday. I still can't believe it was written seriously. It must be tongue in cheek, right? right? Please tell me I'm right…

  581. Sarah Kats says:

    "no holiday demonstrates this better than Purim.." actually Esther fasted 3 days before going to the king…Wadya think she looked like then?

  582. i loved the small miracles books, and i cannot even begin to believe the same person wrote that article. the truth is, guys are VERY shallow and often will not get to know someone on the inside if they're not attracted to the outside. but, for the rare guy who actually wants to connect with someone on a deeper level, it seems it's the mothers that are screwing it all up. i know what she's trying to say, but she really took it too far. i love what you wrote and i am so, so saddened to hear about the girl who died in surgery. we're all victims of this society. it's truly pathetic.

  583. Granted that your husband is a wonderful person; however from the times I've seen you, you have a perfect complection that people would kill for. You're one of the lucky few who have that; therefore, putting on makeup for you is a secondary notion at best. For others, it may take a little bit of brushing up before they look more than presentable. Necessary? Not always, but nice most of the time.

  584. Agreed. Men should be attracted to their wives (and vice versa.) But at least let the guy go on the date and meet the girl, as opposed to the mothers seeing the girl and deciding whether or not she's good enough. How many guys really have the same taste in girls as their mothers do?

    I agree that when going on a first date, everyone should look good, because first impressions are important, but she definitely took this way too far. One sentence about it would have been enough. She wrote a few paragraphs. She just kept digging herself into a deeper hole. At first I was sort of agreeing with what she was saying, but the more I read the more I doubted her. After I read the comment about the girl who redid her entire body but baruch hashem at least she's married! etc… I couldn't possibly take a word of the article seriously.
    Also she totally missed the message of megillat esther.

  585. And thanks Sim. I appreciate that. And I agree that some people need makeup more than others. But we're young girls. I just can't agree that most girls my age NEED to wear make up. Maybe we will when we're older. But not in our 20s.

  586. Shira Cohen says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, but I am glad you shared, I also felt that this article would illicit a dangerous response. I hope that the women of my generation and those younger can rise above this insane, unhealthy and destructive attitude of our society but I am not sure that we can. I wish this article were the view of one women but as you point out it isn't. I love being frum and I hope to one day raise a frum family but times like this make me want to discard my faith if just to give up the pain that is involved in the dating process.I thank you for having the strength to share and I hope that the author of the article will hear your sincerity and retract her hurtful words.

  587. I think that all Jewish girls have a special beauty that spirituality gives them. I think that there is a soulmate for everyone, or a bashert in Yiddish. Yes, there are girls that I consider less attractive than others. However, I have never seen a Jewish girl that I consider ugly. Most religious and many irreligious Jewish girls are very focused on character traits, acts of kindness, and community involvement. I have seen an equal number of girls would be considered more attractive to those who are less attractive married. I do believe that girls should dress up a little for a date, after all the guy sadly will probably spend a lot of time as well trying to look his best. I personally go out on dates wearing a nice shirt and a pair of nice pants, that's about it. Oh and one of my beautiful pairs of Nikes, either my Jordans or my Griffeys. However the Author's comments about the girls in the meeting room is just strange. The girls are not dating Ms. Halberstam. They are not on an actual date. Maybe the nice girls are expecting the author to treat them with a little dignity and respect. How naive. Shadchanim (which is Hebrew for matchmaker) as they are known in Orthodox Judaism are unfortunately among the worst stereo-typists in the world. They are too often a symptom of the shidduch crisis rather than a panacea for said crisis. I personally feel that the shadchanim have way too much power and are poorly trained, or completely untrained, and will often say cruel things to girls. You can tell a guy that has a big nose that his nose is too big and he will probably punch you. After that he'll be ok. Tell a girl that she is too fat/ugly/stupid/crazy/bad personality/immodest/big nose/small nose/big ears/small ears/ etc. even if these things are completely untrue and she will likely develop physical and/or emotional dysfunctions if she hears it enough. And you see that this can scar a girl even from one nasty comment as the mother above pointed out. Do you know that a bulimic girl can develop gastroparesis, a condition where the girl can no longer eat and must use a jejunostomy tube to obtain nutrition? Also, what's up with the use of the term "crucified" in an Orthodox Jewish paper? Geez.

  588. Shoshi DuBrow says:

    While I appreciate your honesty and sincerity, and I agree that the girls should have made more of an attempt to make themselves more presentable, I don't agree with your theory that improving their looks is the solution to getting more and better shidduchim. As a young girl going through the shidduch scene I was always atoll I was beautiful ( I am tall and naturally slim, and I did present myself well). In addition I was told I was smart, and special, a real catch, an amazing person,…and all this was from people outside my family, even the shadchanim themselves. And yet, somehow, I never got the "good guys", I was never recommended the "A-list" guys, only the "rejects" boys who were already older (27+) or more recent baal teshuvahs…even boys who turned out to have some serious issues. Being beautiful, wearing makeup and flattering classy clothes, didn't help at all. My family had no yichus and no money, so that was it, I wasn't worth the good guys. I definitely don't think telling girls to go get plastic surgery so the boys will find them more attractive is a solution.

  589. This article is not about Botox or single women who don't use enough makeup or even about the son.

    It's about a mother who has undertaken to find someone who will replace her – and to whom she will hand over her baby.

    An impossible conflict of interest.

    Not surprisingly, none of the women who want to take her baby away from her are good enough.

    The mother does not blame herself for not wanting to give up her son to another woman. Instead, she says that the other woman doesn't wear enough makeup, isn't willing to undergo surgery, and so on.

    Who knows, maybe the only surgery that would be good enough would be an operation that makes the other woman into a clone of the mother.

  590. This article is not about Botox or single women who don't use enough makeup or even about the son.

    It's about a mother who has undertaken to find someone who will replace her – and to whom she will hand over her baby.

    An impossible conflict of interest.

    Not surprisingly, none of the women who want to take her baby away from her is good enough.

    The mother does not blame herself for not wanting to give up her son to another woman. Instead, she says that the other woman doesn't wear enough makeup, isn't willing to undergo surgery, and so on.

    Who knows. Maybe the only surgery that would be good enough would be an operation that makes the other woman into a clone of the mother.

  591. Although this may seem kind of shallow at first, I have to say- she is 100% right. Those of you who are against it obviously never had to deal with this situation. But the reality is that a 19 year old who has the unfortunate genetics that force obesity on her will have a very hard time finding a match-especially a match that she is not just "settling with" because of her obesity. In the torah it clearly says that we should listen to our doctors to find solutions for our diseases and not just trust in g-d that he will bring a cure. Well, why should this be any different? Is our emotional health (feeling self conscious for the rest of our life) not as important as our physical health? If there is a solution to a problem, why not take it? This article should not" make you cringe". It is to empower those women or men for that matter who have always thought that they will have to suffer with obesity, or a bad hair…..to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. So stop bad mouthing this article and mind your own business- this article was obviously not meant for you!

  592. Brie Reich says:

    Well put!

  593. Brie Reich says:

    Were you describing me? ;)

  594. Witty Tzipporah says:

    I never, ever, ever, wear makeup. I let my friends make me up at camp one time, and that was it. And I think you've pretty much got one like me in every group. But the writer observed many girls at the event without makeup – that's what shocked me! Since when do girls in Brooklyn leave their houses, much less do anything directly involving shidduchim, without makeup on? Maybe they are finally getting the message that they're beautiful anyway…maybe there's hope…

  595. balance. you've treaded into hyper-sensitive territory and left sensitivity and balance at the doorstep. your words could have been constructive. like you said, you didn't feel like you belonged at that event because you're not in the girls' situation. perhaps you don't belong commenting without being on the girls' side – because your perspective hasn't allowed you to internalize the sensitivity that is needed in dealing with what is a VERY sensitive topic to some. you wanted to write the article to help even just one. you wrote from a position of what seems like outrage and judging. the harder job was probably to hold back your words in case you were hurting just one. I hope you read the comment by: rach10023. your words could have used some tempering.

  596. Judy Derovan says:

    The problem also is that"boys" are dating for marriage, and they will have a wife chosen by their mothers and be supported for several years if not a lifetime. We need Jewish MEN who are mature and have the right values, and would be willing to share a cup of coffee with a Jewish woman without needing such checking first. How many couples do we know that we would never have put together, but they met randomly and are happy together? Why are Jewish men being raised today with mothers that don't let them grow up and be responsible adults? The values that are being transmitted may be in the name of Torah, but are being influences by the world we live in. A Jewish woman should look her best, but a Jewish man needs to see deeper than that…

  597. Sarah Davis says:

    Rebecca I agree with what Simcha said about you not needing makeup – when I saw your comment that was the first thing I thought of! I personally would probably never leave the house without at least some makeup on and I'm fine with that. I love wearing makeup, even in my 20s.
    I think the author may have taken it a little bit too far, but was right in pointing out that looks do and should matter.
    Witty – maybe the girls didn't wear makeup because they assumed that the moms were looking for makeup-less girls?
    (and I'm not going to even get into the topic of the girls basically dating the moms before being able to meet the guys – that's a whole other story)

  598. Carol Werbow-Schier says:

    : )

  599. Logic says:

    Dear Yitta,
    Your problem has already been solved, by a clever Jewish man named “Ira Levin,” the author of “The Stepford Wives.” I assume you know each other, since he apparently based the character of “Diz” (the former Disney animatronics engineer) on you, as was Glenn Close’s character in the remake also apparently based on yourself. So, you can simply design a made-to-order “bride” to fit what you assume are your son’s specifications. I hope that he and his robot will be very happy together.

    If that does not work, then the answer does not lie in your suggestion that young women spend more effort concealing their “flaws” and perfecting their appearance, but in the end of an obscene system which treats women like property rather than human beings, by, not even prospective husbands, but by young men’s mothers. Orthodox Judaism needs more female leadership, to encourage women to pursue higher education and value themselves as well-rounded, full-fledged human beings, to focus on tikkun olam and kindness to others rather than becoming a one-dimensional physically-attractive man magnet or potential mother-in-law magnet, to meet men naturally during the course of living their own lives, and to choose a marriage partner if and when they find one who makes them happy, rather than submitting themselves to a humiliating beauty pageant with potential mothers-in-law as judges.

  600. Interesting that she begins the article with the words "I know I’m going to be crucified"

  601. Sara Rose says:

    I definitely agree that its worse in the orthodox jewish community, however it is also a huge problem worldwide! If a girl doesn't look like a super model most guys (even the bad looking ones) would not give her a chance. Society/media have created a warped unrealistic view of the ideal women, and because u can now have access to pictures/videos of such women, by the click of a few buttons, men have ideas that they can have these women too!!

  602. Malkie Hyman says:

    Whatever happened to "sheker ha'chayn v'hevel ha'yofy…" this article has made me physically sick. pardon me while i go throw up! shame on the jewish press for even printing such garbage.

  603. boysmom says:

    So you like to introduce men to pretty young girls with great bodies? Where I come from we have a word for that.

  604. Brooke Swichkow Brodsky says:

    considering the fact that she is a well known and respected author (in the frum publishing world, that is), I was very upset to notice that she didnt mention that before any elective surgery, one must consult a rav and obtain a heter! I doubt many rabbanim would give the go ahead to all girls to become "swans".

  605. basyisrael, I want you to know that I posted on Facebook because of you. I use this article and your response as an example of how dangerous these kinds of attitudes can be. Wishing you all the best in your continued recovery and life.

  606. Amanda Dexter Schuster, the sad thing is that reading the article carefully, one realizes it has nothing to do with beauty or Botox or elective surgery.

    It's about a mother explaining why nobody is good enough for her son.

    I strongly suspect that even if one of these girls gets a complete body transplant, this mother will find another excuse to prevent her from meeting her son.

    I reckon it will be a cold day in hell when this mother will be delighted to let another woman take her baby away from her.

  607. Shira Rottner says:

    you say it girl.. this article was embarrasing!

  608. Brooke Swichkow Brodsky , she clearly doesn't want anyone to take her baby away from her. If she met a swan, she'd simply find another excuse to explain why she's not good enough for her son (who, by the way, gets lots of resumes, will one day have a PHd and can fly.)

  609. I reckon it will be a cold day in hell before this mother is delighted to let another woman take her baby away from her.

  610. you wish. The frum world is sick and getting sicker. That's the truth, even if there's nothing we can do about it.

  611. Mir Adler says:

    It was just disturbing reading this. I mean how many times do single women already hear "why is she still single? What

  612. Yaffa Ross says:

    No these girls ARE good enough, that's the ridiculous part! The sad part, Naamah Adelman, is that so many mother's think like this – girl's parents forcing them to be something they're not, and boy's parents not accepting less than perfect – and when they do get married (if they do get married), they either have to keep up the act or be themselves and run the risk of divorce. It is mother's like this that I refuse to ever be a part of that shidduch world! I feel sad for her future daughter-in-law!!!

  613. Yehudit says:

    If you remove all of this woman’s yeshivaish talk, this could be an article published by Cosmo magazine. However, I don’t even think Cosmo is this superficial. Too bad the surgeon didn’t sew Yitta’s mouth closed along with fixing her nose. She should be ashamed of herself.

  614. I don't understand. How on earth do you know that the author's son would not have found any of these women attractive? He wasn't allowed to meet them.

    I suspect that this writer thinks that no one is good enough for her son, whatever they do.

    She's not in a hurry to let another woman take her baby away from her.

  615. Why doesn't the author let her son decide whether he finds any of these women attractive? why is she deciding for him whether they will be attractive to him?

  616. Why not let the son decide whether he finds the women attractive?

    Why is the writer of this article trying to keep her child as a baby as long as possible?

  617. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    Eli Goldenberg you say, "theres no need to bring in references from the torah because the dating world today is not following rules set up by the torah." Whoa. That's a sad commentary on your generation.

  618. The more I thought about the article, and the more comments I read, the more horrified I was by the article.

  619. Maybe the son would find some of the women his mother rejected attractive. She won't let him meet them.

    She doesn't want anyone taking away her baby.

  620. Let the son decide whether he finds them attractive. The mother-in-law from hell has to step aside.

  621. Chanah-Rivka Notyourbizness, if you are not lying about understanding why we're angry then you would understand that this is not baseless hatred.

    The Torah says "al ta'amod al dam rei'eha." Something is seriously wrong with this community, and it would be against the Torah to remain silent.

  622. Yair Hakak says:

    well, let's clarify a few things.
    1. It's not hatred, it's anger. 2 different things.
    2. It's not baseless.

    Let me explain. First of all, I'm an Israeli, and as such you need to remember I subsidize much of this nonsense through my tax dollars (i won't even go into the author's very interesting characterization of the Satmar Rebbe "being put on the Kastner train", which is a whole issue in and of itself (if you're wondering, look up Rudolf Kastner).

    What angers me is that a large group of people ismisusing a system that was originally designed to give the community's best and brightest scholarships to sit and learn so they could be the community's rabbinic leaders. Instead of this model, which is perfectly legitimate one, we now have every high-school graduate "sitting and learning" with no thought of how the community or public resources they are using (including, in many case, their family's resources) create any responsibility to that community. And, of course, in rather classic fashion, this group has convinced others that they are more devout, more religious, and generally worthier than their peers, (which, by the way, is exactly what I would do if I were in a position to do it).

    Second, I think it's absolutely, positively evil to get young women to buy into this nonsense and that mothers-in-law think that the girls should doll themselves up so they are more attractive to their precious kinderlach, and that they should be throwing themselves (and, of course, their future salary, and their parents money) at the boys just beacuse the boys, again, "sit and learn." We call this "exploitation". It is evil. period.

    Third, as a member of klal yisroel, I don't think you are the arbiter of what is or is not healthy for the Jews as a people, and certainly not for me. I think the situation is unhealthy. I think the author of the article is giving herself a free pass by blaming the "system".

    And, lastly, I will put it as bluntly as I can.
    I wonder if her son would be so sought after if her name was not Halberstam (for example, if it was Buzaglo.) Or if she were a בעלת תשובה? or if, heaven forfend, one of her sons had (gasp!) gone to a university?

    Again, i'm pointing this out not to stir up hatred, but to point out that the yichus thing is well out of hand, that the "sitting and learning" system is exploitative towards women, and that the author of this article has added insult to injury by claiming that the young women involved are evidently not enthusiastic enough about being explioted, darnit!

  623. Ruchi says:

    I am appalled by this article. Mrs. Halberstam, have you not taken into acount the girls in shidduchim who put themselves together, dress well, use a gym, constantly diet, wear makeup, are professional, intelligent women!! Baruch Hashem I am married for 6 years and have a wonderful husband and children. I feel for all the young women in shidduchim who have read your article that is so demeaning it it unbelievable. For the girls who wear makeup and are well put together, what is the reason they cannot make a shidduch? Please address this issue in your next article, since you failed to explain that!!

  624. This article is 100% on target. People may not want to believe or admit the truth, but it is obvious. In my practice I have seen many Frum (and not-Frum) young women blossom after cosmetic surgery and shortly thereafter find their soul-mates. I have made this offer to various Shadchanim, that I would perform free plastic surgery for girls (or boys) who couldn't afford it if they thought it would improve their chances of finding a match. If any readers know anyone that fits this category please email me at: MichaelSalzhauer@aol.com.

  625. Sarah Kolat says:

    Rebecca – I agree the article went too far to suggest plastic surgery in order to find a man to date. The only thing I wanted to clarify was regardng the girl who passed away after going in for a nose job. I believe we are talking about the same person, so I just wanted to clarify the details a bit. From hearing from her family, the doctors had not yet touched her to perform the surgery – and thus her passing away was probably not as a result of the nose job. So while I don't agree with the article to tell people to go for surgery to find a match, I just wanted to clarify the point you made about the girl.

  626. Sy Litwin says:

    Don't they know why there's a crisis? Its the frkn system!

  627. Really? I was told that she was waking up towards the end of the surgery so they gave her more anesthesia. But you're right, it wasn't from the nose job itself, it was from the anesthesia. Either way, the point is, surgery is a big deal and there's always some danger in it. And it's just not worth going for surgery unless it's to fix something that really needs fixing.
    Honestly, if a girl is so self conscious about her nose that she can't be happy with herself, then by all means, get the nose job. But to suggest it to girls who are already happy with themselves- that's just not right.
    And thank you Sarah (Davis… too many Sarahs in a row.) I bet you look beautiful without makeup! But if you enjoy wearing it than that's great. For me its a hassle and I feel more self conscious when I put makeup on, because I'm worried that I did a bad job, or something is uneven etc. Every girl is different. It's important to look nice, but no one should be required to wear makeup. You should do what makes you feel good. Not what others want you to do.

  628. Sarah Kolat says:

    No – they said the doctors hadn't even touched her yet. And it couldn't have been from the anesthesia either because she had had that same type of anesthesia in the past and had no reaction to it. They said it was one of those things where the doctors were baffled and could not understand why it happened – just an act of G-d. But yes you are right about the seriousness of surgery and that it's not worth to do if its not necessary. I agree with you totally – just wanted to clarify the facts of that ituation you mentioned.

  629. Thank you for clarifying. I didn't know the girl but she's closely related to my soon to be sister in law. So it hit close to home, but I didn't feel comfortable pressing for details.

  630. batsheva buldakov says:

    if the newspaper respects itself somethiing should be done and the author should be banned.unless this is a goyish-approach newspaper. so why not to talk about your sosns ex organ?maybe it is not good enough for a girl with make up.

  631. Cori Flam Meltzer says:

    I don't regularly read the Jewish Press, but if they find this worth publishing, it makes me question its journalistic standards.

  632. Yisroel Meir Buldakov says:

    excuse me, this articel is stupid! I am sick of so called "frum" boys who are seeking models and blond skinny girls- no wonder why I see sometimes when I go shopping in the evening girls who look like"Ashem Irachem" and boys who are chasing the skirts and don't even show any embarrassing. this lady plays a double game of "good yiddishe mother" and on the other side she is even worse than a regular american gentile-those don't show themselves and dress pretty modest. I live in lakewood and I see those 19 year old girls…btw-who told that make up makes one more beautiful? what make up one needs at 18-19? even at 21? shame on you, mrs.mother…you are ihhhhhhhhhhhhh and you are totally goyish in your viewpoint.baruch ashem I don thave a mother in law like you! batsheva

  633. Hi Renee, you are entitled to you opinion, of course, but I'd like to respond to your points.

  634. Hi Renee, you are entitled to you opinion, of course, but I'd like to respond to your points. I thinks that while of course, everyone (men AND women) should put their best foot forward appearance-wise, with proper grooming, clothes, etc, using a public forum like this to further the message to women only that they should go to any lengths including nose jobs and botox and colored contact lenses to be valued and selected sends a tragic message.

  635. For all the mooing and booing in the comments here, you would think the author said something controversial. She didn't. The fact is, boys DO have the upper hand in shidduchim. And no amount of pretended disbelief will change the way the world works: For most boys, looks are a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for making a shidduch. To point out that there are exceptions is meaningless. If a particular girl wants to play her chances and not put herself together, she is welcome. But the author is merely pointing out that if you are more risk-averse than that, you will increase your marketability in the world of shidduchim by paying attention to, and taking care of, the way you look. That can mean putting on makeup, or working out, or even getting surgery. This talk about how beauty is really on the inside / how important it is to love yourself / how boys’ standards are too high / how unfair this all is – is all white noise.

  636. As it is, these women are scrutinized mostly based on appearance. That is because that is what their value is mostly based on as their a

  637. As it is, these women are scrutinized mostly based on appearance. That is because that is what their value is mostly based on as their achievements are minimized. Do we want to perpetuate that type of thinking about the value of women? And why do they need smaller noses and perhaps even blue eyes? Who are we, as a people, striving to look like? We really need to consider that before advising an entire community to make sure the women as a general population start altering their looks in order to be valued by men.

  638. Moshe Grunfeld says:

    Bam!

  639. Abe Schonfeld Correct. I guess my argument was more to say that since many girls are TAUGHT in the seminaries or schools that they should be as modest as possible, the crowd she is talking about does not consider it proper to look too good. There is definitely a pressure there to not look too attractive, and instead of just being lazy I suggest the girls were trying to impress the prospective mother -in -laws with their piousness rather than looks…

  640. you would be a terrible therapist…im jussst saying ;)

  641. Maybe this was the wrong forum for her to use, judging by the reaction of people and their comments. I'm sure she didn't mean for anyone to starve themselves to a size 2, or to turn themselves into super models.

  642. batsheva buldakov says:

    i am bringing this comment to rav matisyahu salomon-the mashgiah of lakewood and rabbi forshheimer-the posek, with a plea to ban the newspaper which publishes the non jewish material,which destroys our communities, advertising it as jewish.and with a “plea” to contact the other communities and inform the rabbis of sakana of reading such newspapers in case that it should be publicly advertised and prohibited.

  643. Renee Einhorn , you are entitled to you opinion, of course, but I'd like to respond to your points. I think that while everyone (men AND women) should put their best foot forward appearance-wise, with proper grooming, clothes, hygiene, etc, using a public forum like this to further the message to women only that they should go to any lengths, including nose jobs and botox and colored contact lenses, to be valued and "selected" sends a tragic message.

    As it is, these women are scrutinized mostly based on appearance. That is because that is what their value is mostly based on as their achievements (do they learn? do chesed?) are minimized. Do we want to perpetuate that type of thinking about the value of women and about what the substance of relationships are? And why do they need smaller noses and perhaps even blue eyes? Who are we, as a people, striving to look like? We really need to consider that before advising an entire community to make sure the women as a general population start altering their looks in order to be valued by men.

    If the author is making suggestions about improving the shidduch situation, I would suggest that she consider what both sexes need to do to improve themselves, inside and out. And that those suggestions never include alteration to look like someone else.

  644. I also want to just agree with Sim for a second. Obviously no one should take anything too far and I personally have not yet met someone who NEEDED plastic surgery, but at the end of the day it has a lot to do with how you feel. Sometimes it's not entirely about other people's comments, sometimes its just about your own self-consciousness. If all it took was for people to say "oh stop it, you're beautiful!" then I'd imagine a lot of people wouldn't be going out of their way to change themselves because a lot of people say it and a lot of people still do it.
    Granted my mom telling me I'm beautiful is taken with a few grains of salt simply because she's more biased than anyone on this planet, but if my best friend or my boyfriend or even someone random says it, that doesn't necessarily change anything. I tell them all the time, "I appreciate that you see me that way, but I also have to see me that way." Maybe the fact that I don't always see myself that way is a bit sad but we all get like that at some point or another for whatever reason. It also depends on to what extent you dislike the way you look. I don't hate myself of course, far from it, but I certainly don't feel perfect or gorgeous every day. But it's important for me to feel comfortable with myself, with or without other's comments, and if a bit of makeup every day helps me with that then I don't see a major problem.
    Also, its true Becca, you happen to have been blessed with a beautiful face and complexion.

  645. Renee Einhorn why are you so sure of what the author doesn't mean? That what she advocates.

  646. Sarah Weinstein says:

    I am truely torn by what exact part of this article disturbs and disgusts me the most; 'speed date your future mother in law"; the beauty pagent aspect; a WOMAN/MOTHER degrading GIRLS/CHILDREN/WOMEN by telling them to get 'pretty' by any means neccessary; the 'if you don't land a husband your life is worthless so you better step it up' attitude; or the system itself. I could go on and on. You know what, I figured it out, what I find most repugnant is that there are women who think this is acceptable and expected. Hashem watch over their daughters.

  647. what the community really needs is an article directed at boys about what else, besides physical attraction, makes for a happy, successful relationship with a partner

  648. Shraga says:

    Wow, this article is so far off the mark. When I saw the title, I was assuming it would be just the opposite, about how the ridiculous quest for perfection is causing the shidduch crisis… Still in shock that they even published this. There are so many comments that covered so many angles but I do have two that I think bear mentioning.

    First, isn’t it at all possible that the girls didn’t go all out with makeup because they weren’t meeting their (potential) husbands? Maybe they were naive enough to believe that since they were meeting the mothers instead, they would be less interested in how they look, and more interested in who they are and what they have to offer in terms of building a Jewish home and raising a Jewish family? In my heart I know that this what not necessarily the logic these girls had, but please can anyone tell me why it would be wrong??? The author herself says that she could see the girls were pretty. Why is that not enough?

    The second point I have is even if you grant her that she is right and the girls should have put in more effort, how in the WORLD did she make the jump from that to advocating surgery??? When I saw that line, it was like a punch in the face. I did not see it coming at all. Until that line, I *kinda* saw her point (although I wasn’t sure how she could blame the shidduch crisis on it…) but once I read that, it was all over. I am glad so many in the comments section are as outraged as I am.

    As a young father, I have many years to go until my girls are in shidduchim. I pray that these sick midsets change by then because I would never let my daughter have a procedure for this purpose. There is NO WAY that it is considered hishtadlus to get Botox. Hashem runs the world and girls will find their zivug because of Him, not because of pouty lips!!

    I apologize for rambling but I am so riled up about this. I will finish with one more thought: Would anyone out there who has a daughter want them marrying a guy (or a guy’s mother, apparently) who agrees with this article??????

  649. Elana Joffe says:

    Renee Einhorn if she simply advocated good grooming, I don't think people would be so upset about the article. But she gave an example of a woman who has virtually nothing real about her because of all the "work" she had done and suggested that mothers save money to pay for (and encourage their daughters to have) plastic surgery! This is wrong for so many reasons…it's shallow, there's a risk with any surgery, it focuses solely on externals, etc. It's simply messed up and it sends a terrible message to girls and also to boys about what is important.

    Nobody has said that attraction isn't important in a relationship – it is. As is making a good first impression. I'd also say that any guy who would only be interested in a woman who had her nose done, a Botox injection, a gastric bypass, etc. isn't worth the time or effort.

  650. I wonder how many of you hypocrites have had braces…..yes that is paying to cosmetically fix an aspect of yourself that u dislike

  651. Yael you are beautiful. But I agree. You need to do what you need to do to feel beautiful. I have no problem with you putting on some makeup if it helps you feel good about yourself. I would have a problem with some random woman telling you to put on makeup, when you didn't feel it necessary.

  652. Yes, you're right…she shouldn't have mixed in plastic surgery with suggestions on grooming.

  653. Well if they are or are not taught that, they seem to have the least problem of everyone in getting married and staying married.

  654. Angela Simons Yaghoubi, what's this article got to do with braces? it's about a mother who thinks that no one is good enough for her amazing son (who, by the way will be getting a PhD one day and from whose nostrils the sun shines.)

    It's about a mother who won't let her son meet women who she (not he) claims isn't attractive enough.

    The stuff about a woman not being good enough to even meet her son because they haven't used enough makeup or need a nose job is just an excuse to stop anyone from trying to take her baby away from her.

  655. The son needs some urgent surgery: He's got a mother permanently attached to his back who's preventing him from meeting women.

  656. This week’s Jewish Press printed 2 letters about this article, plus Halberstam’s response. http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-207/2012/03/21/

    See, Halberstam agrees with us. It’s tyranny! But we should all just stop fighting and give in.

  657. Devorah Rose Kigel says:

    Adriane Tick Meyers i agree there is a big difference betw orthodonture, putting on a bit of makeup, being in good shape, etc. vs. surgery. there is a midrash that makeup fell in the desert w/ the manna. but getting life-threatening surgery to change a feature that H gave you? that's a different story. there are too many girls out there suffering b/c of all the pressure we put on them as a society to be skinny and youthful forever. it's sick and it's not Torah. again, there is a diffence betw making the most of what you have and looking pretty and presentable vs succombing to our goyish society's view of women as objects. and yes, religious men out there need to lose weight and look presentable too!

  658. David Melamed, you wrote "if people want to get married, they need to DO WHAT IT TAKES!".

    I couldn't agree with you more. If the son of this writer really wants to get married he should get his mother – who rejects women using various excuses because they're not good enough for him – off his back. If she's permanently attached, perhaps he can have her surgically removed like a mole.

  659. David Melamed, you wrote "if people want to get married, they need to DO WHAT IT TAKES!".

    I couldn't agree with you more. If the son of this writer really wants to get married he should get his mother – who rejects women using various excuses because they're not good enough for him – off his back. If she's permanently attached, perhaps he can have her surgically removed a safe distance, like a mole.

  660. Abe Schonfeld I would say so too, but I think the author of the article seems to be disagreeing with us?

  661. boysmom says:

    Thanks for posting the link and your analysis is spot on. The JP chose to print one positive and one negative response, despite the overwhelmingly negative reaction from online commenters. Her response doesn’t really change anything, i.e. “sorry if I offended anyone but I meant every word of it.”

  662. Brie Reich you are the EPITOME of cool and confident!! And how did i KNOW that that would be your comment even before i opened it? "It's cuz we're roomates." <3

  663. Meir Rizel says:

    "There is no reason in today’s day and age with the panoply of cosmetic and surgical procedures available, why any girl can’t be transformed into a swan. Borrow the money if you have to; it’s an investment in your daughter’s future, her life." Where's "Ask Aviva" when you need her?!

  664. Aliza Gillman says:

    I don’t even know where to begin. Wait, I do. “Sheker hachayn, v’hevel hayofi”. Yes, let’s start there. The ultra-orthodox community, which you obviously belong to based on your description of the shidduch scene you’re involved in, places a HUGE emphasis on tzniut in girls from an incredibly young age. Don’t wear red, don’t wear form fitting clothing, don’t wear skirts that are too long, too short, shirts that are too clingy of a fabric, too trendy, don’t speak too loudly, don’t draw attention to yourself. Therefore, the idea of a girl making herself up goes inherently against this ideal of tzniut which is taught. If a young woman likes make-up, and likes to enhance certain parts of herself, go for it. But you’re basically lambasting these women for not suddenly changing their appearance, contrary to what they have been taught their entire lives.
    Not only that, but you are also advocating plastic surgery to get married?!?!?! As a therapist who works with eating disorders, attitudes like yours are directly to blame for this terrible disease which has such strong roots in the orthodox Jewish community. How about you tell these mothers that their sons should be grateful to be set up on dates with modest, hard working, intelligent young woman. Instead of advocating for the women to change, maybe the system is broken, and you yourself are a primary symptom of that.

    Shame on you, this article is nothing but a chillul Hashem.

  665. Aliza Gillman says:

    One more thing – perek bet, pasuk 15 in megillat esther clearly states that Esther refused all of the cosmetic potions and assorted cosmetics available during her stay prior to being presented to Achashverosh.

  666. Steven Geller says:

    This is what happens when people have no struggles or challenges in their life – they turn their abundant attention to narishkeit like make-up, cosmetic surgery, and a few pounds here or there. When hashem gives someone a real challenge, making them re-evaluate your life, your blessings and NOT your deficiencies, those challenges turn into blessings that benefit us our whole life. My daughters cancer experience was a blessing to her, and to me and my other kids for that reason. This woman has no appreciation for the meaning of a Torah life, and thats why her priorities are so twisted, and as you so beautifully pointed out, dangerously so.

  667. I dont think that one can disagree with facts, but the aurthor just dosnt LIKE the facts. thats different.

  668. Simona Roth says:

    Also Sarah, I remember learning that she wore no makeup and did not try to make herself look attractive. It was her beauty within that Achashverosh saw and therefor married her. so… is she for real?

  669. Keith Kaplan says:

    This woman was WAY out of line. She identifies a "problem" which she describes in terms of the difference between the experiences of boys vs. girls in the shidduch game.

    She says that she "rails against the unfairness of it all" She goes so far as to say she wants there to be "personal and meaningful "face time" with prospective mother[s]-in-law" so that they could accurately judge the potential mates.

    If she truly meant that, she would have used the opportunity to speak to some of these young women instead of branding them with some scarlet lipstick.

    I don't know what she going for with the story of Hannah and the Satmar Rebbe, but anyone that turned down food during WWII because it wasn't "kosher" enough wasn't following the halacha that I was learning in school.

    Forget about the meaning of Purim – this woman doesn't get the meaning of courtship and dating.

    Not to get too long winded here, cause I'd shred this woman in person, but it's going to be hard enough to give my daughter the skills she needs to get through life without thinking she's not _____ enough — she doesn't need this crap.

    Wear make-up if you like it, don't wear it if you don't, but remember this —-> If you wind up marrying a person that will only go out with you because you wear make-up, or get a nose job, or do any other thing you wouldn't have otherwise wanted to do, you're going to be married to someone that doesn't think you're good enough without it.

  670. Amen!

    And yeah I read the part about the Satmar Rebbe and I was shocked. He made a woman risk her life for him so that he could eat kosher food. I'm sorry but where does it say in the torah that's it ok to do that? Oh right it doesn't. There are only three sins you can't do when your life is in danger, and eating treif isn't one of them.
    (Also, I kinda want to make a comment about the fact that the Rebbe was talking to a girl… but maybe that's inappropriate.)

  671. I have no words. This article is amazing. I love how she took great pains to talk about how she just went cause she felt bad for all the nebach girls out there.

  672. Isn't it a amazing how we all know women who never wore makeup and yet somehow managed to get married? What a miracle.

  673. Father of the beauty says:

    i may very well be the only father of one of the girls who attended this forum to comment so let me give my perspective.

    My daughter is naturally attractive, 21, 5’7″ , slender, impeccable middos, intelligent and extremely “geshikt”. She has a college degree, a steady job and wants a learning boy. I saw her before she walked out the door to this shidduch meeting and she just looked great. Of course she was appropriately dressed with the right amount of makeup.

    She brought along her resume but no one followed up. (i guess all the moms had midgets for boys or the resume didn’t indicate that Moneybags is my middle name. )

    As most of her friends are married, the best part of the evening was her chance to meet a new girl friend. I saw her tonight for the first time and boy does she look attractive even without make-up on.

    So Mrs. Halberstam instead of a nose job you better get a new set of glasses!

  674. Annulla Annulla says:

    The message inherent in this article, and in many of the comments, is that young Jewish woman aren't "attractive" unless they modify or disguise their natural appearance in order to conform to the Hollywood/Madison Avenue standard. That is not only an insulting message, it is a very dangerous one.

    By the way, what happens when these surgically modified women give birth to daughters who look just like their own pre-surgery selves? Do they then pressure their own children to undergo modification, too? When did looking like one of our ancestors become a curse to be eradicated?

  675. miss aries says:

    I am a single girl and i was actually at the event. And putting all the horrified comments aside, im going to miss the point and just say it point blank. The author of this article must have left early because i was there with a friend and we were both quite made up. not because we were trying to impress mothers, but because, as designers, that’s just our style. and aside from us there were quite a few girls who looked radiantly beautiful. yes. there were plenty of girls who were more simply presented, but hello, this was a really yeshivish event! Yeshivish girls dress and act conservatively. There are plenty of girls out there who dress lavishly and are super done-up, but hey this was the wrong crowd. and just to add, the mothers at the event were really conservative too. and to be really really honest, i felt that they were intimidated by my presentation. i was not ostentatious at all and completely modest, but it was still too much for them or their sons. the girls and the mothers at the event were a perfect match. if someone who didn’t belong there felt out of place, then yes that is the natural course of events. but don’t let it out on those lovely girls. just leave. they’re not the ones in the wrong.

  676. I COMPLETELY agree with your comment from before. There is no reason for someone else aside from you to dictate how you should look or how you should feel about the way you look. I wear some makeup because it makes me feel better, but when my dermatologist suggests removing a beauty mark on my forehead even though its completely benign so that I can look "flawless," that's where I draw the line and get frustrated. I made no indication that this beauty mark a) bothered me, b) that I wanted it removed, or c) that I even saw it as a flaw to begin with. I think a major problem lies in what people consider to be "flaws," or "imperfections," in addition to the fact that it shouldn't matter what OTHER people think. If someone makes a request to have something changed because every time they look in the mirror it bothers them, then more power to them. For me that wasn't the case and its situations such as those that make me angry.

  677. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    yes! and are rabbanim who are known to lend $ in their communities now going to be receiving an influx of calls from women asking to borrow $ for their daughter's elective procedures? i hope to hear some responsa on this!

  678. David Kirzner says:

    that shaddchan should be hung!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its ONLY (possibly) appropriate to gently recommend someone lose weight if it makes sense for their health/general well-being purposes. to tell an already fit girl to lose weight is asking for major problems!

  679. I don't know about anyone else, but I've never noticed a beauty mark on your forehead. Your face looks pretty darn flawless to me as it is. Good for you for saying no to your dermatologist. It's his/her job to notice these things. Nobody else is bothered by it in the least bit.
    And once again, you're beautiful the way you are.
    (I'm not gonna lie, I stalked your bar mitzvah album when you posted it and commented aloud on how gorgeous you are. True story.)

  680. Keith Kaplan says:

    This woman was WAY out of line. She identifies a "problem" which she describes in terms of men thinking about all the wrong things — and then goes on to show how she things all the wrong (different) things..

    She says that she "rails against the unfairness of it all" She goes so far as to say she wants there to be "personal and meaningful "face time" with prospective mother[s]-in-law" so that they could accurately judge the potential mates.

    If she truly meant that, she would have used the opportunity to speak to some of these young women instead of branding them with some scarlet lipstick.

    I don't know what she going for with the story of Hannah and the Satmar Rebbe, but anyone that turned down food during WWII because it wasn't "kosher" enough wasn't following the halacha that I was learning in school, let alone risking another persons LIFE for it! You can't be serious….

    Forget about the meaning of Purim – this woman doesn't get the meaning of courtship and dating.

    Not to get too long winded here, cause I'd shred this woman in person, but considering what society is going to be teaching, I'm sure it's going to be hard enough to give my daughter the skills she needs to get through life without thinking she's not (fill in the blank) enough — she doesn't need this crap.

    Wear make-up if you like it, don't wear it if you don't, but remember this —-> If you wind up marrying a person that will only go out with you because you wear make-up, or get a nose job, or do any other thing you wouldn't have otherwise wanted to do, you're eventually going to be married to someone that doesn't think you're good enough without it.

  681. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    basyisrael, Thank you for sharing your story and proving a vital point here. I urge you to repost your story again and again underneath all the comments made by people here that actually defended this article, stating that people like me just took it too literally and that we missed the real message of simply putting in effort to try and look nice. Obviously and clearly the article was meant to be taken literally, for Halberstam says herself that this is an urgent plea to mothers, that every girl can be transformed into a swan, that borrowing the money if need be is a necessary investment.

  682. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    Both you tube videos just blew me away. Katie Makkai and Rafael Casal are both amazing artists!

  683. Rishy Savin says:

    This doc in Miami just offered to do free plastic surgery for any Jewish woman who is too ugly for a shidduch based on this article. He said it inspired him…http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21006947648424/nose-job-youtube-video-causes-controversy/

  684. I am 100 percent certain that this is the vilest piece of "journalism" ever written. Too bad I don't have a cat or I could use it to line its litterbox. Almost inspires me to convert to ANY other religion. Just glad she ain't my mother-in-law! And FYI Yitta, NOBODY looks good in a beard. Not even your ****-don't-stink "Prize" son.

  685. Don Teague says:

    Okay, so first of all, I'm not Jewish so much of the story I didn't actually understand (I did google Shidduchim, so that helped). But I am a father of two teenage girls…who are awesome just the way God made them. I can't go on……

  686. Rachel Furman Stern says:

    Yitta, you have been more than crucified here. You know, I seem to remember you wrote an article back in the 90's deploring the fact that men are asking for, and that Rabbeim and Shadchanim are agreeing, them being matched to "younger" women. We live in a society that glorifies youth. I read your article and thought "yeah, yeah". I thought, here is a religious woman who sticks up for her own kind — other religious women. Well, we live in a society that not only glorifies youth it glorifies many other things, things that are NOT in keeping with Jewish values. The society in which we live glorifies unhealthy appearances — women are expected to be unnaturally thin — and many go to great extremes to achieve this: starving themselves, purging themselves, using diuretics and laxatives to help them do this, fad diets. These are all the precursors of eating disorders. Did you know that once an eating disorder manifests that it is extremely difficult to stop? Not just psychologically — but physically — it becomes what the body expects — and stopping can cause death? LONG LONG LEGS are considered desirable — being TALL is considered desirable. So, one can go buy heels. There are heels out there, up to six inches high, platforms, all heights. No longer do I need to appear like a shrimp in my flats — I can go get myself a pair of sexy heels and give myself added height. Of course, I am doing irreparable damage to my toes, my arches, my heels, my ankles, my knees, my legs, and more importantly, my back. Talk to any orthopedist, any podiatrist, and see what they have to say about wearing heels. The standard of beauty that appears to exist in todays world is to have full lips, high arching thin eyebrows, prominent cheek bones, rounded rather than angular chins, small ears, pinned back, not sticking out, small thin acquiline noses. All this can be gotten, for a fee of course — and a willingness to put oneself under the knife, and possibly endanger oneself, after all, surgery is not risk-free. A mention was made below of using "shapers" — undergarments that are todays girdles and corsets. Supposedly they are actually comfortable. Having actually attempted to squeeze various parts of my nonconforming body into one or another of these undergarments I can attest to the fact that they are indeed NOT comfortable. But obviously this is not important. All that is important here is how one LOOKS. But hey, why should I be surprised. After all, when I have spoken to shadchanim or mothers about what it is that their daughters are looking for I hear things like: "He should wear a black hat, or black pants, only white shirts. He shoes should be lace up. His hat should be a "borselino". True, I heard these things back in the 90's, when I was still active in the shidduch veldt. But I hear stories. Does not sound like much has changed. Seems like there is still a lot of emphasis on the externals — to wit — YOUR exhortations in this article. But as appalled as I am by what you have written here and by some of what has been written in support of you, I am mostly gratified to read the responses that take exception to your assertions. I hope the new generation of girls and boys do a much better job of understanding what is REALLY important in their lives than those of YOUR ilk.

  687. Elana Kutscher says:

    Ashley Jacob sorry didnt see your other posts :-)

  688. I saw this a few days ago & could not even get through the whole article, it made me nauseous after the first paragraph

  689. Crystal Rose says:

    my husband told me yesterday someone in his kolel's wife apparently gets lots of shidduch calls as a reference.
    Most ridiculous question asked?

  690. Crystal Rose says:

    someone I know gets lots of shidduch calls as a reference.
    Most ridiculous question asked?
    Bra size…
    dont worry about the nose jobs and botox some girls will also need implants before they can get a shidduch with a choshev learner…

    the make up point is correct, but her validity is lost in her zeal for to cosmetic surgery.

  691. Geez Rachel , on a rant? If we raise our children correctly, this crap shouldn't be an issue.

  692. You are just jealous because no one wants to read your resume.

  693. Dr. E says:

    The article is just another indicator that the entire process is quite broken and demeaning. Girls are being objectified and treated like commodities by parents and shadchanim. Just pay attention to the language used. When a young woman is “in shidduchim”, all that means is that her birth certificate was issued 19+ years ago and she is back from Seminary (does that guarantee that she is truly READY to get married?). Other than that, she has no real individual identity beyond her “resume”.

    Let’s look at all of the innovations of late: There is a whole new shidduch/dating “rulebook” that is out there with made-up “Halachos” and other practices that which have been introduced over the past 20 years by the powers that be, for everyone’s “own good” in mind. From the time the young woman returns from Seminary until the end of her “Shana Rishonah” (for those “fortunate”), her life is a script. Clothing is now all-black, all-year and no one has an opportunity to demonstrate anything that is individualistic. Every event now has to be separate standing, seating, speaking, and thinking. The newest “shticklach” include pictures and first names of females are no longer considered acceptable to print, and single girls have their heads buried in laminated Tehilim cards at Chuppahs fervently davening, oblivious to the proceedings. So, all of the desperate attempts to solve the “shidduch crisis” with various “shtick” and programs, diddle-daddle around the real elephant in the room–which is that the community has made a conscious effort to absolutely suppress normal hashgacha pratis and natural ways that young men and women have met in the frum community, from time immemorial. While the current system may appear to work for a chosen few, the outcomes of this self-inflicted crisis for everyone else demonstrate that it has been a far from successful paradigm shift. For all of the “victims” out there who have fallen through the cracks, the Yeshivos, Bais Yaakovs, Shadchanim, and parents are all complicit and share the blame for this disaster. Furthermore, with all of the emphasis of the end-game being the marriage, as quick as possible, it is not surprising that divorce rates in the Yeshivish community among the 20-somethings is way up.

    So, given that people are freely playing with Hashem’s normal order of the world in these areas, suggesting drastic makeovers and plastic surgery is an equally absurd proposition, and as such totally consistent.

  694. Bonnie Weinberg says:

    I can see she's hit a sore point . But take comfort – not one of the 136 responses agreed with HER.

  695. Roux Wacks says:

    I smell a reality show for Yitta… How 'bout "Shidduch Moms" or "Extreme Makeover – Boro Park" or "Say Yes to the Ankle Length Dress"? Maybe "Toddlers and Tichels"?

  696. Elana Joffe , I think you're being very unfair to the writer's son.

    Do you know what sort of life it is never being able to remove your glasses in public or even wear a cape lest someone realize what your secret identity is?

  697. Moshe Ebner says:

    putting aside the issue of how important looks may or not be on a shidduch your ignorance or perhaps misunderstanding of the story of purim is astounding. You may have failed to notice this but all those women, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, who spent months in a special place for making themselves up in preparation for going to the king utterly failed to achieve their purpose. Meanwhile Esther who refused to beautify herself and who chazal tell us was in her 70s got the king. You've given the perfect example of why all the best professional beautifying from the greatest beauty house in the largest kingdom of the world won't ultimately help a girl get a shidduch and even being 75 won't hamper her. It's about who she IS not what she looks like!

  698. Amanda Dexter Schuster, my mother passed away a few years ago, shortly before my parent's 50th wedding anniversary.

    After reading this thinly disguised advert for the writer's son, I asked my father whether he would have even have got a chance to meet my mother if he'd first had to be interviewed by his future mother-in-law.

    While my father had the greatest respect for his mother-in-law, he doubts her taste in men was 100% the same as her daughter's.

    This "article" (advert) has nothing to do with whether it's a good idea for some women to have a nose job. It's about whether any of the women out there is good enough for her son (who gets many resumes and will one day have a PhD.)

    I strongly suspect that even if one of these women were to have a complete body transplant, this mother-in-law would find another excuse to not let her meet her son.

  699. Naamah Adelman says:

    Such a good point Yaffa!

  700. Shalom says:

    This article is the reflection of a sick society that has brought a shidduch crises on itself. Our mother Rochel shares the tears of every bas Torah who goes through this degradation.

  701. Allison Michele Schapira Batalion says:

    this is why i loooove you. well, this and much more.

  702. Michael Wind says:

    this doctor is driven by greed that is the work of rabbi lipskar perhaps the most greedy rabbi in america, the shul of bal harbor in surfside fl is a group of greedy man and many many criminals, i lived in that area for many years and I know the doctor since he was doing residency and many of the people there, it is a hotbed of white collar crime, sure michael szafranski of the famous mrrothstein ponzi scheeme too the 5th over 100 times and is free at the moment, the corruption is epidemic there, as a son of war survivers I hear the people talking of the hatred for the jews because of this type of public greed, publicity for money, it will surely impact other jews.

  703. This mother-in-law's son needs an urgent procedure: His mother has to be taken off his back and removed to a safe distance.

  704. Lynn says:

    We need to remember that the gist of the article is that these girls are competing for the same small group of bochrim and that those girls who don’t shine in the dark are passed over. If you go back to the beginning of the article, she speaks of the numerous resumes that are sent to the mother of each boy while the girls have to beg to be noticed. She speaks of boys who date younger girls while girls don’t really have the option of dating younger boys. She is trying to point out that when in competition, one must have a competitive edge. The mothers are not there to notice the sterling inner beauty of each girl. They are basically speed dating for their sons and putting a lot of stock in the outer appearance. We are all getting hung up on the suggestions of rhinoplasty, gastric bypass, and botox, while for the majority of girls, they just need to put on a bit of lipstick, blush and eyeliner. I think that what she is saying about cosmetic surgery is that if a woman is constantly being rejected for being unattractive that she should pull out all of the stops. What many people here are saying is that we should be higher than human nature and teach our sons to appreciate plainer women. What may be the solution is to get some of the plainer women to accept the less sought after boys.

  705. Eliyahu Bassman says:

    To all the people complaining about the moral aspects of this article you're missing the point. The women this advice is geared toward are in the (admittedly flawed) system, like it or not. They want to be there (it's not that difficult to try something else if you so choose). There is one question to be asked: If these girls make themselves look significantly prettier, are they more likely to get farther with the type of boy they want, in the system that they're in? Although I didn't read every comment here, I'd find it hard to believe that anyone believes the answer is no. Now the question is: Is your desire to get married great enough, that the increased odds of success is more valuable to you than the pain and effort it would take to make yourself look prettier? The author is arguing, and I agree, that for many, if not most, (again, people in that system, looking for that type of boy) the answer is yes. The arguments here mainly boil down to the fact that many here think there is a better alternative to this system. The girls within the system tend not to agree with that.

  706. Rafael Joseph says:

    Spoken like a true Sefardi male! Also, bringing a proof from Vashti? Really?

  707. David Kirzner says:

    spoken like a true lawyer

  708. Aryeh Kahn says:

    there are a few girls who think Judaism prohibits making a significant effort at having a nice appearance. I heard one of them quoted Joseph ben Yaakov as an example of how it is incorrect to focus on 'superficial' appearance. I can't tell you how wrong I think this idea is. There are many proofs to the contrary.

  709. Shuli Rivkin Naftali says:

    THIS article is demeaning to girls everywhere! Maybe you should not be the one to choose a wife for your son. The person who has to live with her everyday should get that right to choose, not his mother which such narrow minded thinking.

  710. I believe that a large part of this problem is the cloistered and segregated world of the Yeshiva and its society. What does one expect when boys go off to yeshiva and don't spend time observing their parents' relationship as they mature? Rav Hutner, zt"l had a policy that no H.S. boys were allowed to live in the dorm over Shabbat. He understood.

  711. Shua Klein says:

    I agree with a lot of what is said here. you put on makeup to go to a wedding (i hope?) the first time a guy sees you is the way you will be remembered. Do something about that!
    Same for the guys. Brush your teeth! use mouthwash! Shave! pick a nice tie! Clean your car! for god's sake don't order spaghetti!

  712. Those are fine points. Those werent really the points in the article though.

  713. Gittela Welcher, There is only one case that I know of in the Torah of someone's mother finding him a wife: Yishmael's mother found him a wife from Egypt.

    Have the members of the very strange community described in this article left Judaism?

  714. How do you know her son would not have been attracted to one of the women this mother rejected as not being good enough for her son – if his mother had not prevented him from meeting her?

    If this mother had said to one of the girls that she would be delighted for her to meet her son, but please could she wear makeup for the date, I would not be so suspicious that this mother is just looking for excuses to avoid allowing any woman to take her baby away from her.

  715. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    I’m not so sure that the girls (and guys) who operate within the system really have such a choice to leave it, or that they believe that it works best. Is it so easy to take off your black hat and move to the Upper West Side?

  716. Whether or not your suspicions are validated is totally irrelevant with respect to the broader point the author makes-that a girl can improve her value on the shidduch market by making herself look better. Now, if your point is that there should be no gatekeepers involved in the dating process, then you'll also have to devise a clever way for boys to meet girls in a system where taaruvos are discouraged…

  717. Michal Lenik says:

    At the risk of echoing other comments on this article, I rarely wear makeup and the first thing my husband says to me when I wear it is that I don't need it – not because I am exceptionally beautiful but because I don't think all these guys are as shallow as their mothers seem to think they are. it's a vicious cycle, these guys learn they have to ask for super model girls because their mothers are saying that is what they deserve and should look for. myself and plenty of my average looking friends are happily married to great guys without having to buy into this garbage. please stop perpetuating these ridiculous standards and you'll see that your son probably won't notice and will wind up happily married to a girl who is truly beautiful on the inside.

  718. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    I think you make some very good points and if you look around it’s clear that many average-looking people do still get married! I think what many of us are objecting to in the original article is the “normalization” of plastic surgery for turning average looking people into beautiful people to the point where “everyone does it” not only to correct extreme malformations but just to keep up. I think the author’s use of language in more than one place is leading down that slippery slope.

  719. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    thank you! I’ve been waiting to hear from someone who was actually there. Your comment suggests that those who didn’t wear makeup did it because of their level of frumkeit, not laziness or apathy, and that the author’s whole premise in criticizing them is wrong.

  720. muck123 says:

    Its people like you who make religious Jews look bad…and right now with everything going on in the world a good image is all the more imperative.

    As they say “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”…..would be wiser next time to watch how you say things. There were some messages in this article that were not only worth hearing, but would have been well received if you had only taken care to present them in the right way. But of course you knew that, hence your whole crucifix comment.

  721. Baila Eli Berkovich says:

    I know everyone disagrees, but if you take the concept out of the poor representation, it is more truth than not. In its simplest form, this idea says that no woman or man can dispute that physical attraction is necessary and a little effort can go a long way. The author seems to have taken this idea a bit far, but she is not 100% wrong.

  722. rivkaschach says:

    yes. i really believe that. and actually i know that because i spoke with the girls and got to know them while i was there. some girls were conservative because of frumkeit and others because that’s their personal style, which is completely fine! A whole world of people of one kind would be quite boring…

    I will say though, that I was the only one in the room, girls and mothers included, that was not wearing black. I’m not sure where that custom came from, but I don’t believe that monochromatic dress is part of our tradition or heritage. And certainly, it’s not feminine. So yeah, skip the makeup and can we get bright and cheery instead??

  723. rivkaschach says:

    btw, rivkaschach and miss aries is the same poster :)

  724. rivkaschach says:

    I’m not sure I agree with that actually… the kind of guys that these girls are looking for are just like them. They don’t want girls who deluge themselves with makeup. They want sweet, demure girls who are pretty but refined. and that’s exactly what the girls at the event were. they were a LOT of really beautiful girls there! and i’m not one to say that so quickly.. they just weren’t plastered. really yeshivish, temimusdik guys cannot handle a girl who looks like she’s about to walk down the alexander mcqueen runway. they don’t want that. they don’t value that. and they don’t present themselves that way either, so a girl who does isn’t going to go for a guy who doesn’t share those values.

  725. Mir Adler says:

    I do agree with the makeup, and that single women (especially) should look like they're making an effort to dress nicely when they go to certain events. However, to go so far off on a tangent, suggesting that everyone should pay whatever they can (or in some cases can't- just borrow and go into debt for it) in order to perfect every tiny flaw that they have, because that's the only way that they'll get married???? Like you said, the makeup is to get a guy interested so he'll stick around long enough to see what's really important. You don't need to go through permanent (and potentially dangerous) changes in order to do that…

  726. Sarah says:

    Every last stitch of this article is infuriating and disgusting. Shame on her for raising a son with such superficial values. Actually, I stand corrected– I feel bad for her son that he was raised by such a woman. She embodies everything wrong with frumkeit and she should be ashamed of herself.

  727. Baruch Stone says:

    A large part of the dating problem isn't the boys or girls being too picky. Rather the issue is boys and girls not meeting one another. The number of hoops that a "potential shidduch" has to go through is thoroughly absurd. How many times has a girl been rejected by a boy's mother for some inane reason? How many times has a boy been rejected because he didn't go to the "right" yeshiva? Nevermind the fact that the just might be perfect for each other and live happily ever after. We need to be focusing on middot and compatibility between the two. You're dating a human being, not a yeshiva.

  728. Michael Verschleisser says:

    Way too many comments about how shallow the guys are. Not enough comments about how many girls say no to him because he's not the best in his shiur, or making $150,000. There's little/no reference made to the girl's delusion that a guy will be young, successful, able to learn a full seder, and be good looking.

    If you want to help people get married, focus them on the things that matter – not nose jobs and make up. You're married t the person when they have it on and when they don't.

  729. Rachel Leff says:

    and I wear more makeup NOW (after 3 years of married) then I did when I dated my husband (put more on not more often). But that's also not too often, meaning- shabbos, weddings, and date nights or I randomly feel like dressing up for him.

  730. Efrat Grunin says:

    Borrow money so that someone could have elective cosmetic surgery to make sure they get married???? That's not just a bit far- it's way off.

  731. Kovi Skier says:

    Lol yea Josh, that shadchan woulda thrown you out on ur ass

  732. Shua Klein says:

    i know. but ppl are being stupid and whining "why not tell the guys???" so the message applies to guys too. but thats not who she was talking to

  733. After thinking about this article for many days, I finally am able to put my finger on what really bothers me.
    There are two types of beauty. The "You are so beautiful to me" beauty, and the "Look guys, see who I have on MY arm!" beauty.
    The first type, is more subtle. It is the way she tilts her head when she is in thought. It is the sparkle in her eye when she is excited. The flush on her cheeks when she is happy. The glow on her face when she just did the miraculous act of giving birth (b"h, I have experienced that several times), the way she looks at you that tells you that you mean the world to her (I have experienced that more times than I deserve).
    This type of beauty is real, physical, attractive, and can NOT be accomplished with botox, nose jobs, and gastric bypass. And, it can be judge by one person alone. The boy. What everybody else, including the boy's mother thinks, is irrelevant. Best of all, it is not subject to the "tyranny of beauty".
    The second type is more universal. It is the picture of physical perfection, yet is completely and utterly disconnected from any mood, passion and feeling. It can only be accomplished by either perfect genes or surgery, and is guaranteed to fade over time. It makes a great first impression, yet is devoid of any indication on the inner beauty. This kind of beauty is subject to universal acceptance, can be judged by others – and the sad part is, people who seek this kind of beauty seem to crave the acceptance of other – no matter what the girl is truly like.
    What is extremely bothersome is that this article seems to push the second type of beauty, and ignore the first.
    Physical attraction is important. There is no denying that, and to all the people who keep supporting this article with that kind of statement: We know it is important. It is extremely essential. We know.
    But the author is completely discounting the first kind of beauty, which comes from meeting, talking to, and getting to know the girls. This type of beauty is just as real, and just as important, if not more important.
    Instead, she goes straight to universal beauty, and discounts the girls if they don't possess it.
    If the mothers of our boys focus only on universal beauty, and not on "personal beauty", how can we expect boys to focus on what is really important?

  734. Yonatan Silver from the very beginning she says that she was against going to that event and that it was not a place of a mother to decide. She also says that she feels for the girls who went to the event and have to go through the shidduch process today. As for her getting the whole story of purim wrong- no she didnt. Ester did not wear any makeup- not because she wanted to show achashverosh that she is a mench and has natural beauty, but because she did not want to be chosen. This is was the author is trying to say.

  735. Ms. Halberstam, now look what your irresponsible message has wrought. If it wasn't enough of a chillul Hashem to tell the world Jews are not attractive enough to get married, now the mainstream media has caught hold of your horrible message thanks to this opportunistic surgeon. BAY HARBOR ISLAND, Fla. (WSVN) — The local plastic surgeon who appeared in a controversial music video is under a new wave of criticism after his offer to Jewish singles.
    Dr. Michael Salzhauer, the Orthodox Jewish Bay Harbor plastic surgeon who made national headlines for commissioning a rock band to write a song about nose jobs, has put himself front and center with a controversial new offer.
    The doctor's new plan involves cosmetic surgery for Orthodox Jewish singles who cannot get married. "I made an offer on my Facebook page that if there were any singles in the Orthodox community that felt they could benefit from cosmetic surgery, I would do it pro bono," said Salzhauer.
    Salzhauer said he was inspired by a recent article in a Jewish newspaper that detailed the crisis of getting married in the Jewish community. He believes that cosmetic surgery could lead to more marriages. "The first question that mothers of prospective grooms ask a potential bride is, 'Well, is she pretty?'" he said.
    Fresh off the music video controversy where the lead singer plays a young man who cannot seem to get a date because of a nose that looks like "Jewcan Sam," comes another splash that some may find offensive. In the Orthodox Jewish community, many couples are set up by match makers. Under Dr. Salzhauer's plan, these match makers would single out Jewish singles who they thought needed cosmetic surgery but cannot afford it.
    Salzhauer, who is very involved in the Jewish community and was honored Tuesday night from an organization that helps out Jewish children with cancer, says this is his way of giving back. "A lot of good could come out of all this publicity, if it helps people in my community find their prospective matches and form families and have happy lives," he said.

    Read more: http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21007008181396/controversial-plastic-surgeon-offers-free-surgery-to-jewish-singles/#.T2x9kHWxSF0.facebook#ixzz1pxGzpaHK

  736. Shizue Chana Taerbaum says:

    I agree with what you said Baila, but the problem IS the poor representation, not the concept itself. Cosmetic surgery, gastric bypass and tinted lenses are not solving any shidduch crisis!

    I think this blog post is quite eloquent and nails the problem: http://ladymamale.blogspot.com/2012/03/advice-under-knife-my-response-to.html?m=1
    Especially this:
    "In your disingenuous effort to help cure a crisis, you have perpetuated the problem. Congratulations on becoming yet one more example of what today's young Jewish singles have to overcome in their attempt to be themselves and live up to Judaism's core priorities in a world that is already so blinding and full of pressures. What young singles need today is support, practical tools to aid in their search and to be kept in mind for prospective suitors."

  737. Anonymous says:

    The shidduch system is broken, and the folks inside the system respond by breaking it more. When young ladies stop sending out resumes and insisting on meeting young men in more natural ways: doing chessed projects together, going to mixers and chagigot, sitting together (gasp!) at weddings (Note, Azi, one doesn't need to resort to bars)…when young men stop letting their mothers pick out their brides…then this situation will be repaired. But I don't anticipate that happening any time soon, because the community is on a runaway train of "frumkeit" hurtling to the right, and nobody is willing to make the jump.

  738. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps this article should have been called "The Tyranny of Mothers-in-Law."

  739. Perel Lubel says:

    i think its satirical…

  740. Rachel Furman Stern says:

    No, Andrew, the main problem is not that the mothers are reading the shidduch resumes. The main problem is that they are USING shidduch resumes. Young boys and girls should be offered opportunities for NORMAL socialization in which they actually TALK TO ONE ANOTHER and get to KNOW one another. In this way they gain the skills needed for interaction with the opposite gender — after all, they will spend the rest of their lives married to one another — and they get to know one another in a much more normative way. Reading shidduch resume and looking at photos is a cold, distancing methodology and leaves no room whatsoever for the warmth of human interactions and the richness of those interactions to unfold. We do not live our lives in a sterile unfeeling environment and so neither should our first interactions with one another be so sterile and cold. There are many appropriate social events that can take place, including for instance, bowling, viewing a movie and DISCUSSING it afterwards, even attending shiurim together in which open discourse is practised – you know, the art of CONVERSING about issues? Working on chesed projects together is another rich and fun way to be together. All of these ideas also allow chaperones to be available. But they also allow for the normative social experience that is so necessary for these young adults to learn how to get along with one another.

  741. Rachel Furman Stern says:

    Amanda Dexter Schuster if you woke up one morning, and did not like your nose you would do something about it? Do you actually have the money to do that? And what about the poor girl who does not have that kind of money? And do you REALLY believe she or her parents should "go into debt" for it? I think it is a SIN to go into debt if one does not have the means to repay. Putting food on a table, getting an education, paying rent, those are important things. Surgery for the sake of fleeting beauty??? NO WAY!

  742. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    I agree with you completely, but I think this is the answer for my family and probably yours, not for the society that the article was written for, i.e. right wing, yeshivish, haredi. They will NEVER let their kids go to shiurim together or go to movies under any condition. Is there any answer for people in that world who are unhappy with the system but don't want to become Modern Orthodox? Is there a solution they will find more acceptable? This may not concern my immediate family, but it's the world of relatives, friends, neighbors. As I'm reading the article and comments here, I'm becoming more aware of how far apart our communities have become, how little we have in common. It's sad. On the other hand, I've gotten a lot of chizuk here for my own hashkafot.

  743. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    People within the system have commented here that being pretty is not enough, pretty girls without yichus or money also don't get good shidduchim. Therefore, Ms. H.'s advice is not really helpful, even for people who buy into the shidduch system in its entirety.

  744. Shoshanna Sanders says:

    Yeah, what’s up with the black, black, black? I see beautiful girls in my neighborhood walking around a sunny spring day wearing head to toe black. It makes me want to hand them some money and say, “Please, go buy yourself something fuschia!”
    Rivkaschach, you’ve got a great attitude. Good luck to you in your career and in finding your zivug. If these ladies don’t want you to meet their mama’s boys, it’s their loss.

  745. Ditza Vadnai Friedman says:

    Btw simona, after reading this article, a plastic surgeon offred free plastic surgery to singles :)

  746. Rachel Furman Stern says:

    Someone wrote that these shidduch resumes are no different than the profiles posted by singles at places like Saw You At Sinai, Frumster, JDate, DosiDate, etc. And that is correct. The difference is that, for the most part, the interactions between the members of these sites are just that — between the members of the site and not by the parents of the members! This person additionally wrote that in many cases it is very difficult to differentiate between the profiles, they are all so similar that in the end, the singles wind up referring to the photos to make their choices, and thus the emphasis on appearance is justified. This made me think. It made me think back to the years before I met my late husband, Barry. I remember, it was 1996 and I had posted my profile on many different Jewish singles sites. Back then, the internet was still the wild and unconquered west, there were not as many Jewish singles online as today, certainly not as many RELIGIOUS Jewish singles online, and even fewer FEMALE Religious Jewish Singles online. In a way, I had an edge — less competition! When I first posted my profile online I was cautioned almost beyond reason about posting "identifying details" — including posting a photo of myself. And, in the beginning, I did not post my photo. But then, I came to realize that men are "visual creatures" and decided to "take a chance" and post my photo. Upon doing so, the number of responses to my profile increased — something like 200%! So, yes, there is no doubt that men are visual creatures. However. I also remember this: when I perused the profiles online, I ignored those for which there are no photos. After all, I reasoned, they are seeing my photo so it is only fair that I see theirs. Then, in October 1999 I received an email from a potential suitor indicating interest in me, based on my profile (and photo, of course). That potential suitor did NOT have HIS photo posted. At that point, I had been "single and looking" for four plus years, and I was approaching the "old age of forty", and feeling desperate. I decided to respond to this potential suitor. We exchanged a few emails, some instant messaging, and a brief phone call before he asked me out on a date. Ultimately, I married him and had an amazing marriage. I never saw a photo of him before I met him. THIS is what makes me wonder if we DO put too much emphasis on externals, on appearances. Today I am once agai n single, albeit unwillingly so — I am widowed. It is much more difficult for me to be single today — the pool of normal stable age appropriate men is extremely small. But I am looking. And, I am TRYING to learn the lesson of my past – and to consider meeting men for whom I have not yet seen a photo. It is scary. But, I think this is a lesson not just for me, not just for women. I think this is a lesson that both men and women need to learn. The values that Yitta Halberstam has appeared to espouse here do not, nor cannot, help us to learn this lesson. It is gratifying to see, via the outpouring of sentiment here, that most of us are not accepting of what Yitta has suggested. But there is a difference between words, and action. Perhaps we might start by requiring that our young adults learn to meet one another on truly "blind dates" — without the so-called benefit of having seen a photo first — because after all, there must be a focus on that which is real and lasting and not the fleeting, subjective concept of beauty.

  747. Sharon Beck says:

    So beautiful written, so full of valuable ideas.

  748. Have you read her response at the back of this week's Press? It clarifies and tries to mitigate her reasons for writing.

  749. Simona Roth says:

    Ditza are you joking is serious??

  750. Yaakov Snyder says:

    With all due respect, I thought the use of the Rebbe’s example of paying for false teeth was ridiculous and unfair to the Rebbe. Of course it goes without saying that if someone has a severe physical blemish, whether male or female, it’s worth getting it fixed if medically possible and safe. And plastic surgery is allowed for women in some cases. But the idea of making a blanket call for girls to get plastic surgery is horrendous. A great deal of beauty is in fact subjective. It is really true that many men do not even like make-up. Certainly any young woman dating should do the basics to make herself look her best, in her own eyes. But what this means varies person to person. People (men included) should put their best foot forward simply because they are standing up for themselves in a shidduch. A man should find his wife attractive, but he should also be open-minded and give things a real chance to develop. If he doesn’t he is only cheating himself. As a community, the Jewish people need to stand up for internal beauty more than external beauty and not be cowed by the superficiality of the modern world. This article takes things way too far. The means don’t justify the ends. Hashem made us the way we are for a reason, after all.

  751. Yaakov Snyder says:

    Sorry I meant the ends don’t justify the means, not the other way around.

  752. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    Thank you for sharing your personal story.
    As a mother of 5 boys, these comments are of personal interest to me, and makes me think about what messages I want to convey to them about dating.

  753. Lynn says:

    Wow, Ellen, finally after more than 700 comments, someone finally said something that I can really agree with. The girls are all ‘amazing’; they all do chessed and have beautiful values. I really cringe when I think of a girl permanently, surgically altering her features in the hopes of finding a shidduch. Plastic surgery should be thought of a permanent and some women mourn the loss of the face that they had rather than being totally happy with the new face. They were that other person and now they are someone new! It should really be thought of as a last resort when less permanent methods have already been tried. I would not go so far as to say that it should never be done because some rabbonim do allow it under specific circumstances.
    At the same time, the boys are very aware of what secular society sees as beautiful. It is not always possible to change a lifetime of impressions about what constitutes beauty. Therefore, it is not out of line to suggest a little make-up, hair styling, and nice clothing.
    We do not, however want to give the impression that Orthodox women are expected to undergo surgery to look beautiful. Nothing could be further from the truth. We also need to educate boys that beauty fades but midos are forever. The most beautiful girl is not always the most caring girl although beauty and midos are not mutually exclusive.

  754. Chanah-Rivka Notyourbizness says:

    Yonatan Silver So then…this hatred is ok because it's not baseless? What about ahavas yisroel? When we are more worried about the din, and not focused on what it is H-shem actually wants, we start to rationalize why it's ok to hate something or someone.

  755. Ellen Lipton says:

    Reading this article 30 years ago I would have been angry, indignant, and frankly disgusted. That's because I was one of those frum, single girls in her mid-20's convinced that spending time applying make-up for anything but a special simcha, or spending hours fighting the natural tendencies of hair, was only for 'JAPS'. I thought my time could be much better spent going to an interesting shiiur or lecture, doing chesed, or studying a bit more for that important exam. And, of course, my 'beshert' would be the kind of person who would be so overcome by my personality, midot, intelligence and sense of humor, that all else would be irrelevant. Baruch hashem I did eventually get married to someone with precisely those values just short of my 28th birthday.

    But today, as the mother of 3 single sons in their 20s and a teenage daughter I have a somewhat different perspective. Although I know I have done everything to transmit my personal philosophy of relationships to my sons, they have their own ideas. And one of those is that appearance matters. No, they're not looking for super-models, but do want to see that a girl has put enough effort into her appearance (subtle but skillfully applied make-up, flattering hair style, and stylish but not necessarily expensive clothes) to send the message that she wants to be attractive to men. Of course my boys (and most of their friends) are not so shallow that if they happened to meet a wonderful girl at school or at work who wasn't so 'put together' that they would write her off as a potential mate. However, most young people are not lucky enough to meet that way and have to rely on either the formal or informal shidduch process. Since most shidduch resumes and descriptions of girls by friends sound almost interchangeable, who can blame these boys for prioritizing who to ask out based on the picture or description they're given?

    Since I don't believe that we each have only 'one beshert', I realize now that I probably could have gotten married earlier and spared myself and my parents a lot of grief if I had been a bit less stubborn, spent a bit more time on my appearance, and made myself available to those other wonderful but slightly 'shallow' boys like my sons. I do believe that plastic surgery should be reserved only for features that are truly disfiiguring or distressing to a girl's self-esteem. However, an appointment or two with a qualified cosmetician and hair stylist if she (and her mother) need some advice, is an excellent investment. A balanced diet and regular exercise have benefits well beyond finding a husband. And yes, the same advice goes for the boys – dress nicely, get and stay in shape!

  756. Yair Hakak says:

    Let's make a deal, Ms. Notyoubizness. When you know, and i mean really, really know, what hashem actually wants, call me. Immediately. at 4 AM. On shabbat, even (presumably if you know what hashem wants, i would expect you to share it with the rest of us as soon as possible). When, on the other hand, we (and by we, I mean you) hew to a happy-bunny lets all sing "hashem is here, hashem is there, hashem is truly everywhere" type of Judaism in which people can make up ridiculous humrot and we all have to accept them because we all live in fear, that's when we rationalize why we're allowing people to be exploited and not doing a damn thing about about.

  757. Yair Hakak says:

    And one last thing. There is no need to put a dash in H-shem. As i'm sure you know, Hashem is the word we use to describe the deity that IS NOT the actual word the Torah uses to describe him (her?). It of course, literally, means, "the name". If we start putting dashes in words for no reason, that's really —-ed up.

  758. Yair Hakak says:

    messed up, of course.

  759. I am 33 and these days a big part of the reason I am single is the closed-mindedness of the girls I date. I am a ba'al teshuva who believes that the Torah was given to us in order to elevate the world and embrace it in holiness, not shut it out or call it "mundane" ("cholani"). I believe that the Jews were brought into the world to serve the nations by leading through example, and not to aggrandize ourselves as many religious Jews do in front of their own brothers and sisters. I'm tired of little narrow-minded hashkafot and the galut mentality that perpetuates them, and to me it's clear that if you believe what the Torah says, then if the religious Jews acted like we were supposed to, then everyone would want to join us. And the fact that they're not is a finger pointed right back at us. If the religious Jews are the ones with all the answers, then we can't go blaming others for our failings. So I say things like this to people, and they often blanch and tell me that I'm a "koifer", when I'm just trying to hold our faith in Torah to a higher standard and to be real, to be an idealist in a bidi avad world. I pray that we all help each other understand and love and bring our world into the age of moshiach. And as part of that, I pray that all of my brothers and sisters make Aliyah to the land that G-d gave us, so we can celebrate our family reunion in the Bet haMikdash.

  760. Rachel Tova Rott says:

    Amen!

  761. Chaya, if certain religious people were more real about their Torah observance, then all the shmutz in the world wouldn't sway their children. So the problem is not "them". It's us.

  762. And that is partly why we have the widely ack. "more intel" Hilonim who carry the Economy of Israel on their backs…B"H. Also, the BT World is not part of the Frum World per se. There is not one Rav who argue against this. Take my advice…whitewash your identity and make out you are a Sabra aka get out of the Immigrant Ghetto…….

  763. And that is partly why we have the widely ack. "more intel" Hilonim who carry the Economy of Israel on their backs…B"H. Also, the BT World is not part of the Frum World per se. There is not one Rav who argue against this. Take my advice…whitewash your identity and make out you are a Sabra (Dress Tel-Aviv style, [Castro/Armani] as well) aka get out of the Immigrant Ghetto…….B"Hatzlacha.

  764. Mrs. Halberstam – thanks for having the guts to write an article like this. As a culture, we must start talking more openly about systemic problems such as these, no matter how sordid or disconcerting. Ilya – I’m shocked I agree with anything you say.

    As Orthodox Jews who hold the Torah’s lofty wisdom near and dear to us, I have always found it quite ironic that our dating structure fosters more superficiality than Hollywood tabloids. As I will try to prove, the superficiality is an innate component of our current dating system, and to change it, the system itself must change. Again, I agree with this article *only* because our dating system is perverse and capricious. Rabbis and leaders: if you want nose jobs and botox to stay in Hollywood where they belong, and *not* part of Torah life, our system’s fundamental structure must change.

    What is perverse and capricious about Orthodox Jewish dating? It’s not the shadchanim, it’s not the resumes, it’s the “blind dating.” Blind dating is a “game” and a superficial one at that. Some are good at it – they may be good looking and know how to accentuate their features, or they may know what to brag about and what to keep under the rug. Thus, some are empowered, in control, and thereby can manipulate it to extract what they want by making the right chess moves. Others are enervated by it and leave penniless.

    Carl Jung, influential and prolific psychologist of the 20th century, theorized that there are two types of people: sensory (S) and intuitive (N). S-types focus on the world around them to construct their information; N-types allow their gut to bubble up intimations and interpretations. Kabbalah explains that S types are composed of Earth and Air, and N types, fire and water. The midrash explains that hashem created shamayim with fire and water. Hence, N’s are more connected to the spiritual world while S’s are more connected to the physical world. N’s are more abstract, idealistic, and romantic while S’s are more focused on brick and mortar tachlis.

    Generally speaking, from personal experience and observation, I find that S’s are suited to play the blind dating game and the N’s more likely to become casualties of the blind dating game. Why? N’s generally don’t spend a first date ticking off superficial things off a checklist. They seek to establish deep mind and soul connections. This is impossible in one or two dates with someone who you have just met.

    So the biggest problem I see in the shidduch system is that those who are not wired for blind dating, those that Jung calls the intuitives, are, perforce, made to play. They must blind date because there is no other venue, no other opportunity, to meet anyone.

    I don’t have a solution to this problem that would be acceptable to Jews at large. Tectonic shifts in Jewish life, even if much-needed and halachically-appropriate, are not welcomed. I therefore, don’t issue a clarion call for social change. Instead, I tell a story and hope, as Booker T. Washington hoped for the American Blacks, that social change will occur gradually.

    Imagine the following scenario. Boy meets girl in class and doesn’t think anything of her. She’s not particularly attractive or captivating at first glance. Throughout the semester he listens as she asks questions in class, how she appears on a good day or bad day, in makeup or pajamas, how she tosses her hair. They have chit-chat after class where they talk about the lecture. They cover the basic “where are you from” and “how many siblings” in a casual way. Months pass and boy find himself magnetically attracted to girl. Once again, girl is mediocre-looking. However, boy is able to see *beyond* her nose and beyond her frizzy hair (that’s you, Mrs. Halberstam) to the neshama inside. Boy and girl start dating in a meaningful way from the get-go.

    This boy would have never allowed the relationship to progress even to a second date if they blind-dated. This is due to N-types not being suited for blind dating and for the reasons Mrs. Halberstam so bravely outlined.

    This story may sound ridiculous to religious ears. Maybe so. But it is the way many of the 7 billion people meet and get married in the world around us. In the wider world, there exists a venue for N-types who can’t, and won’t, stoop to the level of superficial and odiose blind-dating.

    In the Orthodox world, no such venue exists, and our society pays dearly.

  765. Really? Seriously? Do you really think writing this will fix the problem! YOU ARE THE PROBLEM LADY!

  766. Adriane Tick Meyers says:

    This is a powerful slam exemplifying what can/will happen to daughters of mothers who are raised to "believe the greatest asset she could bestow upon her awkward little girl was a marketable facade." What really bothered me about the article was that the author was advocating mothers to act in this way:
    http://www.poetrygrrrl.com/2011/02/07/katie-makkai-pretty-pretty-powerful/

  767. Gilan Israel says:

    You tell them, brother. You tell the world.

  768. MBD says:

    Let’s look at what the GIRLS want.. They want $$$$$ and the fancy life in the 5 towns – yet no one is bashing that at all. A working-class Jew has ZERO CHANCE in the non-heredi circuit and a slim to none chance in the non-observant world…and uh-oh – it looks like slim is leaving the party w/Christina who appreciates him…

  769. Avita C. K. says:

    Wait, wait, wait. I’m 23, female, single- and surprisingly, I don’t feel like my time has run out. There are a few factors I believe have contributed to this: firstly, I wasn’t raised to believe I came with a sell-by date, and I was also taught that who I was as a person was far more important than what I looked like (even if, gasp, I look older every day!) So I chose not to date until I had a more firm idea of who I was and what I wanted, at the ripe age of 21 (and yes, we were looked at askance for daring to wait- what would happen to my prospects?!) I don’t wear makeup, or do my hair on a daily basis, even though I work with teens that have a field day trying to guess how old I am, because I except them to respect me based on who I am and what I do, not what I look like. And although I dress nicely and do myself up for dates, I never thought that was too high of an expectation to have of my husband-to-be. Too, I am not looking for a learning boy (to which you seem to attribute their lack of interest in makeup and their hair). What, because I don’t expect my husband to earn full time, I *should* expect him to be shallow?
    So, yes, I am bristling after reading your article, even though I am not one of the mothers you were addressing (I find it interesting that you did not similarly apologize to the daughters). I bristle on my behalf, on my friends behalf, on my future sons and daughters behalf. (I also bristle- quite literally- because it is humid outside, and before you ask, no, I opted not to spend my money and valuable hours of my time to fix something so ephemeral, especially as no matter how one smooths my hair, in this weather…well, it would last two hours at most.)
    To finish: I look presentable every day, more presentable when I need to be, and I do put more effort in when I have a date- just as know the guy has put effort in too, in getting a haircut, cleaning his car, whatever. But I don’t define myself by how I look, even more so because I don’t plan on looking like this for the rest of my life.
    When you said it was too shallow and ignorant to judge a girl by her resume, I agreed. So why do you think it’s ok to judge me by my cover?

  770. Lynn says:

    What I see missing here is a sense of reality. If Jews live in neighborhoods where all women wear tznius clothing and few women wear make-up, than that is the reality for that neighborhood. This is the reality for neighborhoods such as Kiryat Yoel and New Square. Those Jews who live in mixed neighborhoods, however, have more of an awareness of what the outside world views as beautiful. In my neighborhood, for example, most stores are large chain stores so I see the styles and colors worn by non-Jewish women.
    Those who fault frum men for being attracted to secular ideas of beauty should revisit this topic after their children are married. They may see that their sons, and daughters are less angelic than they imagine them to be.
    Keep up your idealism though. I hope your kids appreciate the asparagus.

  771. Avita C. K. says:

    You bring up an excellent point. Many people do act this way. It does bother me slightly when people refer to me as a girl- and I’m only twenty three! But when people refer to a mature, responsible adult woman in her 30′s as “girl” because she isn’t married…you’re right. It’s indicative of a problem in our community, where the only place a woman has once she’s a certain age is- married. Some people have chosen to attack this problem form the “Let’s get everyone married path”, but there should be an attitude change as well.

  772. Chanah-Rivka Notyourbizness says:

    Yair Hakak I like the way to you go into such detail. Very well written, very well said. Anger is not the same as hatred, you're right. How can we stop being angry at other people's short comings? Did getting angry effect change when it came to the rights of people with disabilities? No. We engaged in a cooperative effort to effect change through education and legislation (that's just for example, of course). I lived in Israel for a short time. I know what you mean when you speak of Kollelniks. It's frustrating to say the least. But getting angry does nothing.

  773. Chanah-Rivka Notyourbizness says:

    Yair Hakak …in other words, getting angry at this author does nothing. Awareness is the problem. I had a friend who could not find a shidduch for her son because he had a congenital heart condition. Sick and wrong, and it goes both ways. But you gotta wonder, in light of Purim just having passed, does it matter how much our leaders yell at us? I mean, the prophets of the time were shouting on deaf ears, telling klal yisroel to do teshuva. Nothing short of total annihilation is what got us to wake up. So regarding the problem this article perpetuates, what's it gonna take? That's the scary part.

  774. Love your response Joan.

  775. How do you measure an A-List boy? Based on what standards? Perhaps you should consider creating your own set of standards.

  776. Stephen Leavitt says:

    Dear Readers: A number of people have posted (or complained privately) that their comments were taken down. I just want to clarify that we are not taking down comments.

    The JewishPress.com system allows you, the readers, to report a comment as inappropriate. When a comment gets enough flags it get taken down automatically, and we're alerted that it needs to be reviewed.

    Certain people are repeatedly reporting certain comments (or perhaps certain commentors) which they disagree with, as opposed to reporting actually problematic comments that should not be on the site (such as something sexually explicit, using foul language or missionizing to give 3 examples).

    99% of the reported comments are put back up within a day or so after we review them for inappropriate content.

    When this article first went up, we were in the middle of migrating to the new facebook commenting system, so some comments may be missing from the facebook section from that first day, but they should all be visible in the native comments section (the part below that currently says 791 comments).

    The same for comments that are reported. If you don't see them anymore in the facebook section (because they were reported), you should probably still see them in the more complete native commenting system at the bottom of the page once they are restored.

  777. As a psychotherapist who specializes in the field of eating disorders and someone who helps women to be all they can and feel good about themselves, I was deeply saddened reading this article.
    When I read how you felt mothers should encourage and even pay for their daughters to have cosmetic surgery procedures it even more so FED into the work I do. So many of my clients talk about their mothers and their own body image and how it has contributed negatively to their own. But you are actually encouraging mothers to tell their daughters that they should feel dissatisfied with their bodies and do something completely unnatural to change that. What if a woman feels okay without makeup on? beautiful? confident in who she is? Who are we to tell her to get a nose job? straighten her hair?
    There's another aspect of elective surgery that I am not going to get into here but just wanted to point out how dangerous and oftentimes deadly it can be. Don't believe me? I encourage you to watch America the Beautiful, a documentary film produced by Darryl Roberts. A man.
    So all this unnatural changing of the self…. for what….to attain a man.
    I work on a weekly basis to help woman build themselves up from debilitating eating disorders, and problems with their body image. I retrain women to learn to feel good about themselves and their bodies, and to feel beautiful. I help them live with all the little imperfections that G-d has given them.If you only knew what women go through on a daily basis to struggle to feel whole as a person and a woman maybe you would change your mind about the things you have said in this article.
    Is this where we are today in Judaism? Encouraging women to become someone who they aren't in order to get married and have a happy life. I know that at least once a month I come across something in the Jewish world relating to the crisis of eating disorders in the Orthodox world. These talks usually discuss the need to take action in the community against exactly the type of thing you are discussing here. I know that because I speak on a regular basis to students in schools and work to try and get young women to feel good about themselves, and navigate this crazy world we live in today. Where women are told through the diet, beauty and plastic surgery industries that they will never be good enough unless they buy into the products they are selling.
    Telling women that in order to attain a man and get married they need to have makeovers, plastic surgery, completely revamp their look….How is that at all a Jewish value? How is that not coming from the outside world the idea of having unnecessary plastic surgery? When did this become something that can lead to a good Jewish home life?
    By encouraging someone to have plastic surgery in order to be able to attain a man you are basically saying you are not good enough they way you are, which I think goes against the whole idea of tzelem elokim. That G-d created each and every one of us in his own unique image.
    What you are proposing that you believe will lead to the right life, can often times lead to body insecurity, more self loathing, and pain. It is hard enough in society for women to find their place and feel good about themselves and their bodies. Now there is actually an event where women can get "Sized Up" by prospective mother in laws to see if they are good enough for their sons. Who are these women to tell these young prospective women whether or not they have what it takes to marry?
    And let us now take a look at the other side of the story….the man.You may feel that your son is perfect….but others may feel differently.
    Maybe they should have an event where mothers of prospective brides get to check out an array of prospective grooms and decide if they are right for their daughters. Somehow the onus is NEVER on the man. There is no responsibility on Orthodox Jewish men to look good. They can gain 100 pounds and it is in no way looked at with the same severity as a woman who gains 15 lbs from pregnancy.
    One of my favorite all time stories I love to tell is that of a mother calling to check up on a girl to see if she would be the right match for her son.
    The women asks "now is this girl the type to gain a-lot of weight after pregnancy" to which the person on the other end involved in setting the girl up replied coyly "I don't know is your son the type to loose his hair early".
    If we are going to put responsibilty on anyone when it comes to appearance lets make it equal. The next time they have one of these events alllow the mothers of prospective brides to attend as well. Let them equally decide whether or not the men are acceptable with regard to appearance. Maybe they could use some plastic surgery as well.
    In relation to the Eating Disorder crisis in the Orthodox world might I just say that you are helping to FEED IT!

  778. Here is my response to the Jewish Press Article.

  779. As a psychotherapist who specializes in the field of eating disorders and someone who helps women to be all they can and feel good about themselves, I was deeply saddened reading this article.
    When I read how you felt mothers should encourage and even pay for their daughters to have cosmetic surgery procedures it even more so FED into the work I do. So many of my clients talk about their mothers and their own body image and how it has contributed negatively to their own. But you are actually encouraging mothers to tell their daughters that they should feel dissatisfied with their bodies and do something completely unnatural to change that. What if a woman feels okay without makeup on? beautiful? confident in who she is? Who are we to tell her to get a nose job? straighten her hair?
    There's another aspect of elective surgery that I am not going to get into here but just wanted to point out how dangerous and oftentimes deadly it can be. Don't believe me? I encourage you to watch America the Beautiful, a documentary film produced by Darryl Roberts. A man.
    So all this unnatural changing of the self…. for what….to attain a man.
    I work on a weekly basis to help woman build themselves up from debilitating eating disorders, and problems with their body image. I retrain women to learn to feel good about themselves and their bodies, and to feel beautiful. I help them live with all the little imperfections that G-d has given them.If you only knew what women go through on a daily basis to struggle to feel whole as a person and a woman maybe you would change your mind about the things you have said in this article.
    Is this where we are today in Judaism? Encouraging women to become someone who they aren't in order to get married and have a happy life. I know that at least once a month I come across something in the Jewish world relating to the crisis of eating disorders in the Orthodox world. These talks usually discuss the need to take action in the community against exactly the type of thing you are discussing here. I know that because I speak on a regular basis to students in schools and work to try and get young women to feel good about themselves, and navigate this crazy world we live in today. Where women are told through the diet, beauty and plastic surgery industries that they will never be good enough unless they buy into the products they are selling.
    Telling women that in order to attain a man and get married they need to have makeovers, plastic surgery, completely revamp their look….How is that at all a Jewish value? How is that not coming from the outside world the idea of having unnecessary plastic surgery? When did this become something that can lead to a good Jewish home life?
    By encouraging someone to have plastic surgery in order to be able to attain a man you are basically saying you are not good enough they way you are, which I think goes against the whole idea of tzelem elokim. That G-d created each and every one of us in his own unique image.
    What you are proposing that you believe will lead to the right life, can often times lead to body insecurity, more self loathing, and pain. It is hard enough in society for women to find their place and feel good about themselves and their bodies. Now there is actually an event where women can get "Sized Up" by prospective mother in laws to see if they are good enough for their sons. Who are these women to tell these young prospective women whether or not they have what it takes to marry?
    And let us now take a look at the other side of the story….the man.You may feel that your son is perfect….but others may feel differently.
    Maybe they should have an event where mothers of prospective brides get to check out an array of prospective grooms and decide if they are right for their daughters. Somehow the onus is NEVER on the man. There is no responsibility on Orthodox Jewish men to look good. They can gain 100 pounds and it is in no way looked at with the same severity as a woman who gains 15 lbs from pregnancy.
    One of my favorite all time stories I love to tell is that of a mother calling to check up on a girl to see if she would be the right match for her son.
    The women asks "now is this girl the type to gain a-lot of weight after pregnancy" to which the person on the other end involved in setting the girl up replied coyly "I don't know is your son the type to loose his hair early".
    If we are going to put responsibilty on anyone when it comes to appearance lets make it equal. The next time they have one of these events alllow the mothers of prospective brides to attend as well. Let them equally decide whether or not the men are acceptable with regard to appearance. Maybe they could use some plastic surgery as well.
    In relation to the Eating Disorder crisis in the Orthodox world might I just say that you are helping to FEED IT!

  780. Shani Slod says:

    I wholly agree that girls (myself included as 35+ single female) should constantly be putting in the effort of highlighting our physical attributes and appearing put together. I do however draw the line at encouraging these girls or their mothers to seek out surgery to appeal to today's beauty standards.
    Far better of a suggestion and course of action to ending the shidduch process would be a concerted effort of all mothers, rabbaim and shaddchanim is to accept that size 10 is average, not heavy and encourage the boys to realize thus. You will automatically increase the "percieved pretty pool" by 50%. I was somewhat aghast when my 10 year old niece who is by no means even close to slightly heavy, was already expressing concerns about being fat. We are perpetuating a generation of girls with eating disorders and low self esteem.

  781. That's so absolutely awful that she died on the table. There are no words for that. That story is an important one to share, Rebecca, so people don't only see an opinion- but the dangerous reality of this type of physical enhancement. Thank you for sharing that with everyone. If I read your comment before I wrote mine, I would've refrained from saying anything. You said it all.

  782. I wish I had the patience to respond to this fully, but I am so nauseated and horrified by this article that I can only manage a few words. The sad thing is that the author sincerely believes she is speaking truth and doing a service to all the single women out there. Women who she characterizes as being homely, pathetic individuals who would miraculously find their bashert if only they had cosmetic surgery. It is such a horrendous statement that one might mistaken this for a satirical text. I do believe there are shallow individuals out there who have an unrealistic image for what their future wife should look like. Most probably they have been raised by mothers just like Mrs. Halberstam. I would hope that most men are more level headed and sincere than that. I think the ridiculousness of this article speaks for itself. One merely needs to skim the text to recognize its flaws and hideous message. The bigger message that hopefully most people are also seeing relates to the very beginning of the article. Mrs. Halberstam describes a venue where a throng of single women meet with who they hope to be their potential mother-in-law. I know this might be a crazy idea, but how about this: rather than have a bunch of mothers sit and interview each girl, what if their sons actually met the girls on their own! And this is even crazier – but maybe, instead of mothers scanning resumes, their sons should be given the independance to decide who they want to date without the pressure and inappropriate nagging of their parents. Crazy, no? Mrs. Halberstam, rather than encourage women to get nose jobs, and who knows what else you are implying, perhaps mothers should encourage their sons to approach the women they see in everyday life. To engage in conversation with the women they meet on the train, in a store etc. Rather than teach your sons to create unrealistic expectations for themselves, rather than training them to be shallow individuals – teach your sons to value and recognize sincerity, honesty, and good nature within a person. Teach your sons to be confident enough in themselves so that when they do see a woman who is appealing to them, they have the courage to speak with her on their own.

  783. Dalya says:

    Yita, I think you need to take a good look at how you have been influenced by culture and society around you, and ask yourself whether this fits in with our ultimate purpose in this world as true Torah Jews. Obviously girls need to feel that they look after themselves and dress in a mechubad way for themselves and their future husbands, but when this translates into becoming the ikar, and then even further, when a superficial facade is advocated, there is something seriously gone wrong in your way of thinking as you have obviously missed the whole point.We are living in a time of absolute obsession with the body and material things to the point that its disgusting. We should be educating our children in exactly the opposite way. Your suggestion might make a wedding, but forget about the marriage!

  784. Lynn says:

    I think that what everyone is forgetting here is that the author regrets this intrusion of secular values into our way of thinking just as much as you do. She states that again and again both in her original article and in her reply. She is also speaking about a specific group of RW Orthodox girls who are all competing for the same boys. Two weeks after the original article was published, this topic has not died down. Many people became frum to escape from the falseness of secular society only to find that what they ran away from also exists among frum people. We should realize that observing Torah is not an escape but what is expected of a Jew. Nevertheless, there are those whose comments seem to indicate that frum people should not have the same normal desires that other people have. I am not sure how we can expect that of someone. Every society has an ideal of beauty and frum society does not exist in a vacuum.

  785. Ari Stein says:

    Ummm… I think one of the big problems is that the mommies are going on dates with these girls in order to decide which ones should go out with their precious little boys. Perhaps the young men and the young women should go out with eachother and leave mommy out of it. It’s time to grow up kids… — Oh, and I wish Yitta luck on marrying off her precious little gem of a perfect son that is so sought after, after she used a run-on sentence. When I was in the dating world my mommy would never have allowed me to consider a girl who’s mommy used a run-on sentence.

  786. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    "Is your son the type to lose his hair early?" LOVE IT!
    Thank you for lending an experienced, authoritative voice to the growing controversy surrounding this article.

  787. julia freedman says:

    Oh, I get it!! Your son is ugly and not that smart and you are really worried about him so you wrote this article as a ploy to gain interest in him. Good job! Though I highly doubt anyone will look twice at him because it means you will become their mother in law. And that, dear woman, is the tragedy here.

  788. Julie Weinrach says:

    After reading this article over a couple of times and toying with its suggestions and content…I have a question for Mrs. Halberstam. What happened to what we say in the shema, "v'ahavta l'raycha at ha kamocha" (please excuse my errors in attempt at transliteration), or "love your neighbor as you love yourself"? Your words seem to imply that we cannot love ourselves unless we act/dress/present ourselves in a certain cookie cutter way. If we cannot love ourselves for who we are, then how on earth can we love others? While some of your suggestions may come in handy when health is concerned, we shouldn't be made to feel as if we can't be love or we can't love ourselves for how we look and who we are. As a woman who struggles with not being too hard on herself on a daily basis, your words made me feel as if I'm not even making an effort. However, I do not find this to be true. I get out of bed every morning and try to be the best me I can be. Furthermore, say a woman does "go under the knife". What then? She should automatically be pleased with herself? While we should be constantly striving to improve ourselves in a number of ways, and should be reflecting on ourselves on how to be good people who are striving to create certain connections with people and G-d, how can we do this if we are always in a struggle with ourselves? So many people have commented and have shared their valuable opinions and thoughts…maybe one of the reasons why you had to write this was so that we could put our thoughts out there and recognize what is important to each of us. It's time for some people to stop living in lala land and wake up. Relationships are not a one way street…we aren't the ones who are making things difficult because we aren't changing our bodies, or not wearing make up. There isn't one beautiful; there are many. It's up to individuals to figure out how to recognize it.

  789. Inna Natanel says:

    HAHAH Julie, I was just about to post this as an excellent response to this lady's article!

  790. Inna Natanel says:

    Btw, I'd like to add that a lot of research has shown that women who DO alter their appearance are not any happier then women who don't. As a side note though, don't we thank hashem for making us in his image? Does this lady suggest we should mess with that?

  791. Julie Weinrach says:

    Inna Natanel , I remember learning at MRv'C that while there are some of us who wish we were different than how we are, we are how we are because that's how G-d made us. Just to clarify to the general public: I'm not stating here that we are all perfect and have no need for self improvement; we all need to work on ourselves. We're all here for a reason. But self improvement is to improve ourselves, for ourselves…not because someone's mom isn't happy with how we look.

  792. Rivki Steiner says:

    I feel physically sick after reading this article! This is really one of the most disgusting things I have ever read.
    1. Esther HaMalka refused all extra cosmetics offered to her. It was reshaim like Achasveirosh and Vashti who were so hung up on cosmetics and physical beauty.
    2. I just got married not quite 9 months ago. I was never considered a particular beauty and worked before a date to make myself look formal and appealing. However, I NEVER changed anything about my body, only superficially enhanced a few features with makeup. Guess what? The first time my husband saw me not in makeup and dressed particularly shlumpy (I had been Pesach cleaning) right before we got engaged, he told me that he really liked the way I looked naturally. My husband is not superhuman. He most certainly cares about physical appearance. However, he liked the REAL me, not some fake, super-model-wannabe version of me.
    3. Boys have every right to care about looks, but someone needs to tell them that real girls don't look like super models. They come in all shapes and sizes and there is nothing wrong with that. They need to be taught what really beauty- both physical and spiritual- is.
    4. At some point, these boys are going to see their wives without makeup. They will wake up in the morning and see the real her. What will they think then?
    I really feel sorry for you that you think the answer to the shidduch crisis is changing the girls G-d created into what boys have been taught by society to expect. Pathetic!

  793. Julie Julip Weinrach says:

    *correction: okay, we don't say this in the shema, but a) we should and b) v'ahavta l'rayach is still a key thing we hold by

  794. Julie Julip Weinrach says:

    After reading this article over a couple of times and toying with its suggestions and content…I have a question for Mrs. Halberstam. What happened to what we learn, "v'ahavta l'rayach at ha kamocha" (please excuse my errors in attempt at transliteration), or "love your neighbor as you love yourself"? Your words seem to imply that we cannot love ourselves unless we act/dress/present ourselves in a certain cookie cutter way. If we cannot love ourselves for who we are, then how on earth can we love others? While some of your suggestions may come in handy when health is concerned, we shouldn't be made to feel as if we can't be love or we can't love ourselves for how we look and who we are. As a woman who struggles with not being too hard on herself on a daily basis, your words made me feel as if I'm not even making an effort. However, I do not find this to be true. I get out of bed every morning and try to be the best me I can be. Furthermore, say a woman does "go under the knife". What then? She should automatically be pleased with herself? While we should be constantly striving to improve ourselves in a number of ways, and should be reflecting on ourselves on how to be good people who are striving to create certain connections with people and G-d, how can we do this if we are always in a struggle with ourselves? So many people have commented and have shared their valuable opinions and thoughts…maybe one of the reasons why you had to write this was so that we could put our thoughts out there and recognize what is important to each of us. It's time for some people to stop living in lala land and wake up. Relationships are not a one way street…we aren't the ones who are making things difficult because we aren't changing our bodies, or not wearing make up. There isn't one beautiful; there are many. It's up to individuals to figure out how to recognize it.

  795. estee k says:

    I am a single girl and have been dating for a few years. First, I have a few friends in the same situation as myself and what disturbs me the most about this article is that NONE of us ever leave our houses without wearing makeup. It can take me 20 minutes in the morning to apply makeup and dress properly in case “someone” sees me, and still make sure I get to work on time. Therefore this article completely does not make sense-I don’t know one girl my age who would go to an event like that without wearing makeup.

    But all of that is completely irrelevant because of the more important and pressing matter of our generation-the author mentions that it’s not only about the inside of a person but also the outside, and she also mentions that she has a son in shidduchim. Well, I get many phone calls from boys’ mothers asking for information about my friends and the first thing they want to know about is “looks.” RARELY do they ask about middos. IN A GENERATION LIKE TODAY WHERE WE HAVE SO, SO, SO, SO MANY TZAROS IN KLAL YISROEL-THIS is what’s important? THIS?

    Yes, looks and chemistry are important, but they are not #1. People talk about the “shidduch crisis” and how it’s all the girls’ fault. Guess what, the mothers of boys are plenty to blame, for prioritizing like this. In today’s day and age it’s about looks and money, and that is it. When we have children being killed, young men having heart attacks and dying on the spot, where Sloan Kettering is FULL of frum people, in an age of no guarantees of anything, that’s all that people are looking for??

    Finally-I just thought I should mention that there are plenty of boys who walk into my home for a date looking overweight, faces full of pimples and even balding. Maybe we should suggest that THEY go on diets, do exercise, have bariatric surgery, have hair implants or nose jobs. Is it always the girls that are to blame?

    I do not mean to make this a scathing comment, but it is so hurtful to read an article like this when ALL of my friends are great, great, great, pretty, smart girls with unbelievable middos-and this just knocks us all down.

    I hope you can somehow retract some things that you say here and may we only share in simchas in Klal Yisroel B’mhaira.

  796. Adina Bernstein says:

    This article makes me so mad. What's wrong with the shidduch system (in my experiene) is the boys' MOTHERS. They ask the most horrendous, shallow, intrusive personal questions about a girl's clothing size, her looks, etc. I am a reference for a bunch of my friends, and I have yet to be asked what kind of middos a girl has, if she is respectful or kind, the REAL questions that count. It's the mothers who really care about all this shallow nonsense. Most guys don't even notice what you're wearing most of the time, let alone care if you've had a nose job! Yes, girls should look presentable when they go out. But to go to the extreme of getting plastic surgery just to get a guy? How shallow. It's digusting. What kind of values are you teaching here, Mrs. Halberstam? This is the most useless piece of advice I have ever heard regarding shidduchim. For shame!

  797. you go girl, I agree wiht u 100% :)

  798. lol that is totally what i felt too, exactly!! :)

  799. Stan Mazo says:

    so why not date open-minded girls?

  800. Eliyahu Bassman says:

    Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders Are you arguing that pretty girls don't have more options? It isn't all or nothing. In a difficult economy, one does every little thing to make one's self marketable. Why should this be any different?

  801. I'm sorry, but the "shidduch crisis" is caused by this absolute nareshkite. The boys and their mothers are at fault and this pervasive attitude, this elitism, this entitlement, this Hellenism is anything but Yiddishkite. I am not sure what is going to be when my sons and daughter are in the parsha in 20 or so odd years, but I hope that this attitude is obliterated from our midst at that time. This is not Jewish thinking, it's Western thinking. Quoting Megilas Esther as a proof text as to why a young lady should make herself up to meet a potential mate is a completely illogical proof text! It is the opposite of a proof text. Unbelievable.

  802. Yehuda Mond says:

    There are definitely many more factors contributing to the crisis, but yes, this mindset is appalling. I do not believe, however, that it is anywhere near mainstream prevalence. You may be relieved to know that many people I know would even reject a shidduch prospect if they knew that the person (boy or girl) had a appearance-modifying surgical procedure. Still, this mindset is so extreme and antithetical to our values that it deserves a strong reaction.
    I will say, however, that lobotomies might be one surgical procedure that might relieve the shidduch crisis.

  803. I don't know of any shiduch really being nixed for physical reasons today more than at any other time. I have however heard of people refusing to date someone because the parents are divorced. I also think as a math/science person

  804. I also think as a math/science person if there is a crises today it is due to population increases. Consider 100 years ago there may have been 5 girls and 5 boys in a community resulting in 25 possible matches (5*5). There was also little to no travel between communities. Today in Baltimore we can have approximately 100 boys and 100 girls in the parsha 100*100= 10,000 different matches. Travel between cities is also easier resulting in basically an infinite amount of matches. It makes it easier to think that there is someone better out there. Another point: It is not always the guy that end it women today are just as vain as men. So they need to grow up as well.

  805. I think the problem is sinas chinam, plain and simple. Like for example an ffb won't marry a baal t'shuva because she is a baalat nidah. Or one side won't marry the other because she or he has darker skin. It is pure sinas chinam. And our people are suffering for it. Agree it has to stop, but we have to recognize it for what it is.

  806. Wow. I believe that this author just committed professional suicide by writing this article

  807. The woman who wrote this article is seriously disturbed. She actually had plastic surgery in order to find a husband. She needs help.

  808. I'm sorry, but I agree with the author. While I don't think you need to go to the extreme with plastic surgery, unless of course, you have a terrible feature, I DO believe in makeup. I see so many women who don't wear any and it drives me insane. There is no reason why you should leave your house without taking 10 minutes or so to make yourself look better. The ONLY time you will ever see me without makeup on is Yom Kippur. Everybody can use a little help here and there. I am married to a wonderful man for almost 6 years, who doesn't particularly care if I wear makeup on a regular basis, but I do it for myself, to make myself look better. And When you look better you feel better. I know some of these men need some help too. People need to take care of themselves, help make themselves more attractive and appealing. While looks aren't everything by any means, they are still important. You want to be attracted to the person you spend the rest of your life with, wake up every morning next too. Both men and woman should take some extra time to improve their looks.

  809. While I do see many flaws in the shidduch system, and agree that it's unfair that the boy has the upper hand, I agree with the author to some extent. I don't think you need to go to the extreme with plastic surgery, unless of course, you have a terrible feature, I DO believe in makeup. I see so many women who don't wear any and it drives me insane. There is no reason why you should leave your house without taking 10 minutes or so to make yourself look better. The ONLY time you will ever see me without makeup on is Yom Kippur. Everybody can use a little help here and there. I am married to a wonderful man for almost 6 years, who doesn't particularly care if I wear makeup on a regular basis, but I do it for myself, to make myself look better. And When you look better you feel better. I know some of these men need some help too. People need to take care of themselves, help make themselves more attractive and appealing. While looks aren't everything by any means, they are still important. You want to be attracted to the person you spend the rest of your life with, wake up every morning next too. Both men and woman should take some extra time to improve their looks.

  810. Stan Mazo Almost all of the girls that would be a good match for me are ba'alot teshuva and asur to me as a Cohen.

  811. Danielle Siegel-Cohen says:

    why not change the system instead of giving into it? Why not start teaching our men to b men instead of telling our women to cow tow to the boys we have created where men should b? I was married to a boy that was a product of this upbringing. To all the mothers out there that think they are doing a service to the world by raising a guy who thinks he is god's gift I have news for you…you r single handedly contributing to the high divorce rate. Abuse in the Jewish community is on the rise and your boys are the sole cause. Wow! puts it in perspective doesn't it?

  812. I think you guys are being a little harsh and forgetting that, like it or not, this article is not the problem, the problem is that the dating world has gone mad with an obsession for the best looking, best learning, best cooking, best bank-account candidates for people who misrepresent themselves through mothers like this and a system that keeps them immature and gives them no responsibility for their own relationships… Shidduch resumes, shadchanim setting up the dates, parents screening the suitors and weeding them out based on their own issues… and yes, those of us who are dating and may not be the top tier do get slack from well meaning (the path to hell is paved with good intentions) and concerned 'friends' and shadchanim who let us know just how imperfect we are and how with, as this woman suggests, minor to major tweeks we could get what we want, married. And she may not be wrong, but you can't negate her words since it's true that this community has gone haywire in the dating area and the unreal expectations of most young people are expounded on by parents who think they are gods and a society who we claim we are above who gives us every guideline we have for what's beautiful…. so my experience has taught me that this 'world' progresses very slowly, and unfortunately for us in the dating scene this woman isn't far off– and that is the real problem. She is merely the messenger (and sheep) of a backwards system that is ruining the lives of our young people. I'm lucky that I am not a part of this dating nightmare, as my parents could care less about anything than my happiness and would never dream of projecting their ideals onto my dating life… And this is an issue for guys as well, girls are not immune to being critical about the guys they are dating and ruling out great guys based on the same issues she speaks of. While it's true that chemistry is key to any relationship, one thing everyone must do is filter their expectations and look for people to date and not ideals…

  813. Leah Baranowski says:

    I think it's important to note that the author only mentioned plastic surgery as a last resort and only in very special cases where it would either correct a major disfigurement, and/or clearly bolster the woman's confidence and self-esteem, and that it is not for everyone. Her main point was that mothers who never have, should take the time to learn and invest in showing their daughters how to take pride in their appearance in a healthy way, and give them the tools to do so. This should go without saying for men as well, but her point was that with the reality of how people form first impressions, and the numbers working against women in shidduchim, it's important to teach young women to play to our strengths.

    My favorite part of the article was this, and it lines up with one of my personal rants as well: "As a friend recently told me: “When my nephew was 19 and started shidduchim, he went out with 19-year-old girls. When he turned 20, he still went out with 19-year-old girls. He kept getting older, but the shidduchim that he was “redt” continued to be 19-year-old girls. Now he is 24 and baruch Hashem just got engaged –to a 19-year old girl.”.

    "Sadly, women do not (usually) have this same recourse, (and for men it should NOT under any circumstances be encouraged)."

    I think the one major mistake the author made was on page three, regarding her rather flippant retelling of a woman with low self esteem who remade herself with surgery and cosmetics, and then implied that this should be considered an acceptable attitude… I believe she really meant to make a point of the exception, and readers took it to mean that our "religious" culture as a whole should encourage this.

    It seems that no one really thought about what she was saying as a whole, and instead attacked the one or two lines that should have been edited or left out of the article.

    Overall, a thought provoking and worthy discussion, if you read the response.

    http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/rabbi-shmuley-boteach-make-men-more-mature-rather-than-send-girls-under-the-knife/2012/03/28/

    and take some time to think about where BOTH authors are coming from.

  814. Susanna Zlotnikov says:

    From what I remember of Megilas Esther, Esther was the only one of the women being paraded before Achashverosh that refused to put any make-up on, wear the fancy clothes, or adorn fancy jewels. I believe some mefarshim even say her skin was a shade of green and that she was not physically attractive at all. So your connection to purim is not accurate. Furthermore, why you would use an example of an non-Jewish immoral king who kidnapped young girls in his kingdom to support your claim is beyond me.

    Yes, women should make an effort in their appearance (through exercise, good hygiene, and wearing clothes that flatter them) and have good eating habits (in order to live a long and healthy life). But plastic surgery?

    Yes, maybe one girl will take your advice, get a nose job, and marry a superficial immature man. I'm just not sure the potential damage you're causing is worth it.

  815. professional suicide indeed. and killed her son's shidduch prospects as well.

  816. Shoshanna Goldstein Sanders says:

    "I think it's important to note that the author only mentioned plastic surgery as a last resort and only in very special cases where it would either correct a major disfigurement, and/or clearly bolster the woman's confidence and self-esteem, and that it is not for everyone."

    I'm really not sure where you are reading that in the article. I found nothing in the entire piece that encourages any caution whatsoever in undertaking plastic surgery, but maybe I missed it. She does state specifically, that "any girl" can be "turned into a swan". As for her own nose, she does not say it was grossly disfigured, only that she had newfound confidence when it was "resculpted".

  817. Leah Baranowski says:

    Yes, but:
    1) the swan comment was not mentioned in the part where she talked about plastic surgery,
    2) the tone of the article and the implication does NOT suggest that surgery should be considered normal or mainstream, (she also didn't explicitly say that it should be considered normal or mainstream)
    3) if you have time, read Gila Manolson's response,
    http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/gila-manolson-a-response-to-yitta-halberstams-plea-to-mothers-of-girls-in-shidduchim/2012/03/26/
    she is a better writer than I and has summed up my feelings about the matter.

  818. Leah Baranowski says:

    Yes, but:
    1) the tone of the article and the implication does NOT suggest that surgery should be considered normal or mainstream, (she also didn't explicitly say that it should be considered normal or mainstream) though I do feel that she crossed a line, which you will see if you read my whole comment.

    2) if you have time, read Gila Manolson's response,
    http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/gila-manolson-a-response-to-yitta-halberstams-plea-to-mothers-of-girls-in-shidduchim/2012/03/26/
    she is a better writer than I and has summed up my feelings about the matter.

  819. And then what happens the day after the wedding, when the man wakes up and finds that actually the eyeliner is NOT part of her eye and the blush is NOT built into her cheek? Must she wake up in the middle of the night to fix herself so that she will never be seen for who she truly is? This idea is horribly shallow and ridiculous.

  820. It should be called "The Tyranny of Mothers-in-Law."

  821. And yes, mind-bogglingly, jaw-droppingly outrageous. Elective surgery????

  822. I do not know Yitta Halberstam or Rabbi Boteach, and I do not judge any of them Chas VeShalom.
    There is something interesting in the Talmud (Nedarim 66A) about Rabbi Yishma’el, VeHaMevin Yavin.
    Shabbat Shalom OuMevorakh.

    תלמוד בבלי מסכת נדרים דף סו עמוד א.

    מתני'. פותחין לאדם בכבוד עצמו ובכבוד בניו, אומרים לו: אילו היית יודע שלמחר אומרין עליך כך היא ווסתו של פלוני מגרש את נשיו, ועל בנותיך יהו אומרין בנות גרושות הן, מה ראתה אמן של אלו להתגרש, ואמר: אילו הייתי יודע שכן לא הייתי נודר – ה"ז מותר. קונם שאני נושא את פלונית כעורה והרי היא נאה, שחורה והרי היא לבנה, קצרה והרי היא ארוכה – מותר בה, לא מפני שהיא כעורה ונעשת נאה, שחורה ונעשת לבנה, קצרה ונעשת ארוכה, אלא שהנדר טעות. ומעשה באחד שנדר מבת אחותו הנייה, והכניסוה לבית ר' ישמעאל וייפוה, אמר לו ר' ישמעאל: בני, מזו נדרת? אמר לו: לאו, והתירה ר' ישמעאל. באותה שעה בכה ר' ישמעאל ואמר: בנות ישראל נאות הן, אלא שהעניות מנוולתן. וכשמת ר' ישמעאל, היו בנות ישראל נושאות קינה ואומרות: בנות ישראל על ר' ישמעאל בכינה; וכן הוא אומר בשאול: +שמואל ב' א+ בנות ישראל על שאול בכינה.

    רש"י: וייפוה – שקישטוה והלבישוה ונראית יפה.

  823. Rachel Nathanson says:

    Mrs. Halberstam, let me make a plea to YOU, and to anyone who considers this good advice. Come spend a day with me. Just one day, just to get a small taste of what an eating disorder can do to destroy a life, even one lucky enough to still be living, to be actively recovering.
    You claim to want to help and understand the girls’ end of the shidduch crisis….come watch “Hungry to be Heard”, the documentary that the Orthodox Union put out about eating disorders in the frum world. Come to the Renfrew Center’s May 20th seminar on eating disorders and body image in the frum community.
    And see exactly what you’ve done–all the hard work on the parts of myself and many many more dedicated, visionary people before me–that you’ve UNDONE with this one article….telling girls and young women that, in the end, our bodies ARE what will decide if we get married, that being a size zero IS what counts, and that it doesn’t matter HOW we get there, as long as we do.
    Don’t worry about the abundance of resumes that you receive for your top son. Now that you’ve given this advice, the pressure to be perfect, the pressure to be thin–already devastatingly strong–eating disorders will rise in the community, I can guarantee it. And girls will die. Maybe some will marry, but many will die.
    I’ve had an eating for more than half my life. I’ve lost more friends than I have fingers on my hand. The lucky ones of us who survive have long-lasting damage to our bodies. Multiple heart attacks. Organ system damage….sometimes organ failure. Fertility problems. And, of course, because we couldn’t possibly enter into shidduchim on psychiatric medication, constant risk of relapse and depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues that accompany eating disorders.

    No, you didn’t advocate anorexia, but you’re playing with fire that you don’t understand. When you tell a girl she has to look a certain way to get married–tell a person they have to lose weight, or look a certain way, period (eating disorders affect both men and women, and as a girl who was begged to consider a guy who was “slightly overweight”–so slightly *I* couldn’t even tell–the danger isn’t JUST for the girls here), and a percentage will go to extremes to comply. At any cost. Whether plastic surgery (unnecessary risk?) or an eating disorder (deadly disease that DOES NOT GO AWAY).

    It’s not just about fueling deadly eating disorders (although that’s a BIG problem). It’s about promoting everything that frumkeit is NOT about. How is it tznius to re-create one’s body for a potential mate? How is this demonstrating the essence of “kol kvoda pas melech pnima”? Yes, a wife should be attractive to her husband, but by HIS standards….not YOURS, Mrs. Halberstam, not secular society’s, not ONE specific “type” for all.

    I’m both horrified and sickened by the idea that THIS is considered “help”. This is hurtful, harmful, will possibly be responsible for the death of girls who just want to get married, who start starving themselves to lose that weight, and find themselves stuck in the gehenom that is an eating disorder–sick and miserable, AND not married.

    I invite YOU, Mrs. Halberstam, and ANY reader who thinks this is good advice, to spend a day with me. Watch “Hungry to be Heard”. I mean it. You’re playing with fire so deadly, so painful, you have no idea. I do.

    I have to believe it’s worth waiting for the guy who wants the real you. Because NOTHING is worth the misery of trying to make yourself “perfect”.

  824. Lynn says:

    I think that we have to give Yitta credit for alerting us to the situation, even if the outcome is that people stop and question whether or not men want to marry surgically altered women. I don’t think that there is a single thing wrong with advising women to wear make-up and have their hair styled. Most people could use good nutrition and exercise, even if their weight is totally normal. This whole discussion may have made people aware that there are those who won’t stop at going to the drugstore to by a lipstick. Maybe gatherings for mothers of boys to meet girls are not so healthy. Maybe some girls might want to reevaluate what kind of boys that they want. Maybe some rabbonim will come out against boys looking for underweight wives. People who are slightly overweight are usually healthier than people who are severely underweight. Underweight people should not be thought of as attractive. We do need to change that perception. The whole discussion is one that has to happen.

  825. alizasloan says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCuiN2JnjpE
    Like most issues in Judaism, even plastic surgery for marriage is nothing new…a song from Mad Magazine from 1961. Enjoy!

  826. AY Lawrence says:

    Then let the dating, courtship and marriage process evolve more naturally and organically; make it less contrived.

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