If you have a child currently in the shidduch parshah, you might have noticed that the shidduch résumés you’ve been sent in the past week or so have not come along with a photo.
“For quite a while, there’s been discussion among shadchanim about the topic of shidduch pictures,” says Lisa Elefant, executive director of Adopt-a-Shadchan. “Shadchanim are always put in a difficult position. We don’t like to send out photos. We don’t think it’s appropriate for a bas Yisrael. Especially when they are just entering the parshah.”
Even if a girl is attractive in a photo, people analyze and dissect. They zoom in and find something they don’t like about a photo, often rejecting a shidduch before they even make one phone call to a reference.
“I work with older singles and recently, after a speed-dating event, a boy told me that he wanted to go out with a certain girl he had met at the event.
He didn’t realize it was the same girl he had said no to a year earlier, based on the photo.
“People are simply different in person. If you go out in real life and meet the person, you get to see the whole person, not just one aspect.
People are multifaceted, and you can only see that when you meet someone face to face. ”
While some might think a little headshot is innocuous, it is not. First, in the age of WhatsApp, photos are definitely overshared and seen by more people than are meant to see them. Also, the range of photos that people have become accustomed to asking for has gotten out of hand.
“People want to see not just the headshot, but a full-length shot. And not just a shot from a wedding, but a casual shot as well. Every girl I meet is someone’s daughter and I treat them as my own. It’s really overwhelming; they’re being put through the wringer.