I haven’t heard any recent jokes about profile photo’s from online dating sites recently, but I recall it used to be common.
Remember the jokes about people putting up old photo’s from when they weighed less (girls), or had more hair (guys), or even fake photos. Sometimes outdated photo’s that had an unusual angle which made the person more attractive when the actuality was they just weren’t.
Of course for shidduchim purposes putting up a fake photo (or worse submitting a bad photo of yourself), is really counter-intuitive . But it does make me wonder how accurate are photo’s that people do submit.
While I used to say that I would never judge off a photo and always give the benefit of a doubt from photos, I believe that was more from lack of experience. While generally a single photo is not a very good representation of someone, and looking through several photos does help garner a clearer idea of the person. A single photo can generally represent enough of someone that you can picture the person just enough to help decide if you should make more of an effort to meet them. These photo’s are not for casual dating purposes, we’re talking about shidduch dating a more serious level. It’s not like people show random photos of you that they select. You pick and choose a photo that you think captures your essence best and you give that out.
I’m not saying you should nix the other person off the list entirely if you don’t like what you see, but certainly when it comes to things such as out-of-town dating and you have a budget/time constraints, sometimes you will have to make hard decisions who to see and of whom to date. If they are local, I always believe there should be an extra leniency for dating as it is only one short evening meeting someone.
If a guy learns information about a girl who sounds like his type, and THEN see’s a photo which is cute, but he just doesn’t feel right about it (maybe she’s just not cute enough for him in that photo), and then makes a decision not to see her. He is often looked down upon as vain. Sure she probably looks better in real life and other photos, sure if he saw more photo’s he’d realize he’s making a mistake. Sure there are one hundred other things someone can argue about his rash judgement. Rightfully so he is probably making a mistake, but that does not necessarily mean he is wrong. An example of a wrong choice would be if he made his judgement based solely on the fact he did not think she was attractive from a single photo and decided she is not for him, then that would be wrong of him.
I am sure this opinion will offend many. Let me play devils advocate for a second (because unfortunately I don’t have many followers currently) to debate the issue.
Let’s argue that it’s entirely not realistic for a guy to start judging the photo’s and using that as a large basis to meet a girl. The reality is that not everyone has model looks and for the average guy to make decisions about the average girl from pictures is just going to lead to a very unbalanced situation where guys will have a skewed perception of reality and expectations of girls. It’ll lead to an unhealthy scheme of the shidduch world and it’s a worse outcome overall. Especially putting more pressure on girls.
I want to quickly counter-argue that point: Everyone has different standards, and that for that guy who looks at a photo of a girl and says no not for him, there’s equally another guy who sees that same photo and jumps at the opportunity to meet the girl. Thankfully men & women have varied tastes and desires and this I believe is what balances the scales.
I’ll end off here for now. Maybe at a future date I’ll revisit the issue of photos and shidduchim.