Feminists of both genders, take out your heart medication.
The mother of a newly engaged Jewish man is offering some advice to women who are still single: Consider plastic surgery.
“I know I’m going to be crucified,” Yitta Halberstam writes in New York’s Jewish Press, “but if the appeal I make below helps even one girl . . . then it will be worth all the fury and outrage.”
In the essay, published this week in the Orthodox paper’s “Family” section, Halberstam urges husband-hunting Jewish women to consider “cosmetic steps that changed my life: a diet, hair-straightening, and most significant of all: a ‘nose job.’ ”
The piece cites a variety of sources for inspiration, including the recent Purim holiday and an unusually pious rabbi who survived the Holocaust. But its jumping-off point is Halberstam’s dismay at a recent matchmaking event, where the writer says she was “jolted” and “stunned” by the “conspicuous and glaring lack of make-up on a significant percentage of the girls’ faces.”
“What were they thinking?” Halberstam writes. “How had their mothers allowed them to leave their homes with limp hair and unadorned faces? . . . There are very few women who can’t use a little extra help.”
While she acknowledges that women’s appearances shouldn’t be the basis on which they’re judged, “unfortunately we are not living in an ideal world,” she writes.
Beyond her prescription for “homely” women who want to get married, readers may take issue with the matchmaking event itself, in which “girls” between the ages of 21 and 24 are introduced not to their potential husbands, but to the men’s mothers. Halberstam, who proudly notes that her own son is “continuously sought out,” acknowledges sympathetically that he “wields the upper hand” thanks to the gender and cultural politics at play, which allow older men to marry younger women, but not the reverse.
“Inwardly, I rail against the unfairness of it all . . . the stark realities of supply and demand,” Halberstam writes.
Some families might look at the situation and decide it’s not for their daughters, rather than resorting to the medical makeovers she suggests.
Halberstam doesn’t recommend a particular plastic surgeon, but we can think of one under investigation in Miami who considers himself a specialist in “Jewish noses.”