Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words - But Are They The Right Words?

Here's a short post on what sometimes is a very contentious topic.  I don't mean there is a lot of controversy about it directly, but that there are strong viewpoints on each side.

Should resumes include a picture of the person?

It seems fair that it should work for both men and women but with the imbalance of the men-women ratio in most communities, it seems that the men are driving this issue too.

But since I try to be pretty even handed about things, let's try it this way.  How many girls ask to see a picture of the guy?  That's the same number of guys that should be asking for pictures of the girls.  

No, I'm not being naive.  There might be a difference between guys and girls but beauty is in the eye of the beholder - it's not in a picture.  

I debated this myself for a long time until I had the following Parsha thought.  Recall when Avraham told Sara before entering Mitzraim - "NOW I see that you are a beautiful woman" and Rashi explains that he saw her reflection in the water.  How did that change how he saw her? Avraham saw a 'picture'.  A picture doesn't present the person's character that one appreciates when meeting them.  And this effects a person's judgement about their beauty.  (BTW - if anyone has a source for this thought, please let me know.)

Let the guy ask anyone he trusts about the prospective girls looks - but a picture is just too superficial.  If that's the only way he wants to judge the girl, then fix him up with a superficial girl. So next time a guy asks to see a picture of the girl, ask him if he wants to be Avraham Avinu or a Mitzri.  If he pauses, then you know what you are dealing with.  At a minimum, at least make the guy provide a picture of himself too.  (see end of previous post).  

The next logical question might be - how about a video?  Personally, I think that it would be better than a picture. It would be a more complete impression of the person.  This is probably  much more impractical though.  At least I hope it is and stays that way.  Though I wouldn't be surprised if some enterprising shadchan took this idea and opened up a video based shadchan service to differentiate themselves.  In this day and age of outspending the other, imagine all the extra charges you could layer on for creating the video - effects, lighting, etc. Hmmm...


  1. I like the video idea. what would the video "have to" be of - walking down a catwalk? giving a dvar torah? talking about some personal interests? eating in a restaurant?if we want to keep it superficial, the best would be no talking

  2. Ah yes, that's what would make it so interesting! But actually, it would be more helpful and informative than some of the crazy questions one hears about.