I have three sisters, so I hear a lot of complaints about single eligible religious guys. Hands down, the most common one is that guys only want supermodels; anyone who does not look like Kate Upton or ‘90s Cindy Crawford need not apply. A pleasant and nurturing personality doesn’t matter unless you’re a size two. Perhaps the best sign of this is people who try to set me up and sound so apologetic that their candidate is not perfectly stunning, as if I’d reject such a person out of hand.
Yeah, no. It’s true that there are many guys who are either in such high demand – or think they’re in such high demand – that they think they can shoot for the “top of the heap.” But most guys aren’t seriously shooting for the frum Kate Uptons any more than most girls might be gunning for the Jewish George Clooneys. We would be perfectly happy with girls we find reasonably attractive – both physically and personality-wise. Believe me, most guys will far prefer a 6 who shows interest in him and invests in him than in a 9 who won’t give him the time of day.
Which brings me to the flip side of this equation: many girls have convinced themselves that since men want a standard of beauty that is out of reach, there is no point in working on being reasonably attractive. Men are expected to “just accept them for who they are” without any effort on their part. I have met quite a number of girls who could go from OK to pretty and even stunning if they’d invest some effort in their appearance – no surgery or crazy diets needed. But either the fear of never matching up to Kate Upton or some other equally negative thought prevents them from being the best they can be.
Being physically attractive to men is not necessarily more “objectifying” than it is to dress up to impress other women in your social circle – it is merely a form of social investment, a demonstration that you consider your opposite number valuable enough to put in an effort for them. Women legitimately want men to work on their personality, confidence, appearance and other traits in order to attract them. Such effort by men shows that they value the women they’re with enough to want to improve for them. It is much the same the other way around.
And what of personality? Doesn’t that matter?
Absolutely – attractiveness is both an external and internal trait. A pleasant personality can greatly increase attractiveness – especially smiling and general happiness. If you don’t believe me – try smiling more at guys you’re interested in. You’ll more than likely get approached or at least noticed more. This too is part of the investment.
As for the guys, I’ll get more into their part in my next post here.
Avi Woolf is a 31-year old content editor and budding tech writer with Modern Orthodox attitudes and a libertarian streak. He’s dated for eight years looking for a girl with whom to brave life and have a family. Likes chess, hates phoniness
Deena’s note: This piece is about the need for women to give guys more credit. It reminds me of Women of the World by Brian Thomas, our fellow Times of Israel blogger. Check it out.