The "Jewish-Dating-Blogosphere" frequently features pieces regarding the question of whether or not to include pictures with resumes. Often, the female bloggers and commenters feel that pictures have no place in the process and that guys are problematically shallow. Be that as it may, I thought that I would write about another aspect of superficiality, which in my experience tends to be more prevalent among the fairer sex...ashkenazi females.
If you're a reader of my blog you'll know that while I am absolutely observant and by all standards a ben Torah, I have not adopted the yeshivish style of dress. (For new readers, you can become more acquainted with me here: Why Am I Not Frum?) Many of my friends fall into the same boat. When it comes down to it, our hashkafos by and large align with that of the yeshivish world more than with that of the modern orthodox, externals aside. However, I cannot tell you the number of times my friends and I have had shidduchim nixed by the girl because they are hung up on the fact that we categorize ourselves as anything but yeshivish (Hirschian, Modern Orthodox Machmir, etc.), that we don't wear velvet kippahs, or that we don't wear black hats on Shabbos. I assure you that in terms of how often we're kovea itim, our level of learning, and all other practical matters we're every bit on par with our more yeshivish brethren, and yet there is a disturbingly closed-minded and destructive cultural obsession with enforcing arbitrary divisions among the Jewish people based on meaningless items of clothing.
Granted, I don't blame them, as these girls have been raised in a system that encourages a blind fixation on externals, but after all, how is that any different from a young man who has been raised in a culture that glorifies beauty? These girls would prefer to date someone who wears a
velvet kippah and a black hat on Shabbos, and frankly I would rather date someone with blue eyes, but when it comes down to it I think
that these are roughly equivalent in terms of how unimportant they are
when considering the long-term success of a marriage.
At the end of the day, shallowness and superficiality are present on both sides of the mechitzah and I believe damaging and destructive in all of their forms. Isn't it time that we started questioning how we are raising our children and what we are teaching them to prioritize? When searching for a spouse are the qualities that we should be emphasizing external, transitory qualities or ones that will actually impact on the long term happiness and success of their marriages?