In my previous post, I wrote about my recent experience of being a shidduch reference for a friend of mine. One question I was asked, which I expected, was about her physical appearance. This reminded me of the time when someone I know was asked the question about a friend, “What dress size is she?” That question bothers me a great deal, since dress sizes are not an effective way to determine attraction, which is the intention of the inquiry, for a few reasons:
1. I find that guys have no clue what a dress size actually means- it is just a number that they cannot use to correctly identify to a certain body type. After hearing the dress size, therefore, they will be no better informed as to whether the girl is thin or overweight.
2. Sometimes a girl doesn’t look as big as her dress size. This is especially true if the girl is tall. What might be considered a large size for a short girl is actually healthy for a tall girl. I have friends who told me their dress size and my reaction was, “What?? No way. You are definitely smaller than that.” Dress sizes don’t mean that much.
3. There are women and men who are overweight who are still attractive, and there are very, very think women and men, who for other reasons are not attractive at all. Dress sizes are not a good determination of this.
4. If a potential date sounds like a good match in every area- hashkafa, personality, background, etc, but you are told that they are overweight, or you see a picture of them and they are not 100% unattractive, I really think you owe it to yourself and that person to at least try it out and go on one date. If after a few hours of talking to the person, you can’t stand to look at them, I understand not going on a second date. You might not think that a person is attractive right away, but once you get to know them, they become more attractive to you. Additionally, pictures are not always reliable. People do not always look the same in person as they do in pictures, so the only way to know for sure that you are not attracted to them is to meet them in person. If everything else matches up perfectly (which, I might add, is pretty hard to find), then I think refusing to go out with them solely based on looks is not right.
Luckily when it came to being a reference for my friend, the question I was asked was “What does she look like?” and not “what is her dress size?” Baruch Hashem, I had only good things to say in this area, and I described her as best as I could, though I’m not sure how it helps the guy to know what color hair and eyes she has.