Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Better Than Perfect

I followed Mystery Woman's post to her blog, where she writes about having to choose as to whether her son should go out with a girl who wears a size 8 as opposed to a girl who is somewhat thinner. To her mind, for reasons that utterly escape me, a size 8 means that a girl is less than perfect. Or as she writes in the comments,
    I think it's just that I want him to have 'perfect'. I know there's no such thing, but I'm his mom, and that's what my wish would be.
Aside from thinking Mystery Woman might do well to listen to "Beautiful" by Creed, I thought now would be a good time to cite from Aliza Stareshefsky's magnificent interview entitled, "Interview With An Orthodox Jewish Survivor of Anorexia and Bulimia:"
    The Observer: How do you think the shidduch system and dating affects the Orthodox world with regard to eating disorders?

    Aliza: Dating can get very, very difficult. For example, many times guys ask me the dress size of girls. But in reality, they don't even know what dress size means. I once did a test on a bunch of college age kids. They wrote down what size they thought a certain person was- they all thought she was a 2 or a 4 when actually she was an 8 or a 10. They would be perfectly comfortable with her body size; they just don't know what it means! It's very strange, because the questions are not even reality-based; they have no idea what they're talking about when they ask about sizes. They lack a frame of reference.
As a girl who ranges from a size 8-12 depending on the cut of the dress, I'm here to tell you that I happen to be beautiful, as are plenty of other girls I know who don't fit the 2-4 size range. Of course, there are girls who do fit that model who are also gorgeous. But I think it would behoove people to care about the personality, values, beliefs and attitudes of a person before determining whether their dress size ensures a happy marriage. Or in short: I agree, I'm not perfect- I'm better than perfect. Eminem would concur.

14 comments:

yitznewton said...

Hmm. That's whack. Back before I was married I didn't have any concept of numerical sizes. My two main points of failure with the man-woman situation before coming to Yiddishkeit were fundamental differences between me and most of my peers (e.g. cultural, moral), and differing expectations of relationships. So I was excited to enter a world (the shidduch world) where expectations would be clear from the beginning, and hopefully fundamental differences would be taken care of beforehand.

But stuff like this makes me pine for the days of "natural," happenstance meetings. It seems like the challenge of finding one's (or one's child's) mate has now built up a layer of emotional removal in folks, where I can now relate to a prospective match in purely empirical and indeed numerical terms! Woe to those who want to find their mate...

Anonymous said...

Chana said:
As a girl who ranges from a size 8-12 depending on the cut of the dress, I'm here to tell you that I happen to be beautiful, as are plenty of other girls I know who don't fit the 2-4 size range.

Wow! You are beautiful! I somehow thought that you wear a much smaller size.

MYSTERY WOMAN, what do you really mean by saying "It's just that I want him to have `perfect`? Are you size 2 or sometning and is that your criteria for 1perfect1 and being happy? What rubbish!

Critically Observant Jew said...

Why is the mother choosing the SIZE of the girl's dress for his son? I'd understand if she'd check if there's a history of abuse, gambling problems, pending criminal proceedings, etc. Or even current state of education/employment. But size of dress?

Thank G-d I didn't have a mother like that - otherwise I'd never be married to the person I love!

Mystery Woman said...

Thanks for the link (although your comments are less than flattering lol).

Anonymous, I can definitely answer that, but it's only fair if you read my post first. That line is taken out of context. And, no, I'm not a size 2. Closer to an 8 actually.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mystery woman,

I did read your entire post and all the comments. You wrote in the comments:"I think it's just that I want him to have 'perfect'. I know there's no such thing, but I'm his mom..." Chana didn't take any line out of context, she is quoting back what you wrote.

Anon 2:44 pm

tesyaa said...

It's that word "perfect" that's problematic. I can understand how a mathematical proof can be perfect. I can't understand how a human being can be perfect. And I definitely can't understand how a spouse can make a person perfect.

Mystery Woman said...

I agree, tesyaa. That's why I put that word in quotes. Of course, no one is perfect. I'm just being a mother. Not always completely rational...but a mother sometimes uses emotions instead of brains.

Chana said...

Anon 2:44,

I laughed at that. You realize that by telling me you thought I wore a smaller size, you are still operating off the misconception that smaller= more beautiful?

Mystery Woman,

What you call "less than flattering" I call accurate. In your newest comment to your post you speak to Wolfish Musings and say "the fact is that one is prettier than the other."

I find that offensive and untrue. There are so many different kinds of beauty. There are so many different kinds of women's bodies, for that matter. Did you know that some women's body type will define their dress size? Some women are curvy; some are straight, etc. Attraction is as attraction does; your son should decide for himself what he finds attractive.

Anonymous said...

Chana:"I laughed at that. You realize that by telling me you thought I wore a smaller size, you are still operating off the misconception that smaller= more beautiful?"

No,no and no!. I was impressed by your sharing with your readers of "As a girl who ranges from a size 8-12 depending on the cut of the dress, I'm here to tell you that I happen to be beautiful". I was thinking that I also don't know what sizes 8-12 mean because you obviously look so good.... I didn't express my thoughts correctly. May I please be forgiven?

Anon 2:44 pm

Shades of Grey said...

I definitely agree with your assessment! In defense of Mystery Woman - it seems like we can all fall prey to the social stereotypes that plague our community. Still doesn't make such distinctions based on numbers instead of meeting/seeing the person in any way correct.

Stubborn and Strong said...

Currently my weight is 160-165 pounds and yet everybody thoughts I am 130-140 pounds and they was shocked when they found out how much i really was. that is also apply to my dress size. I am size 10-12 and people thought I am size 6-8.

That is include women's comments to my weight and dress size not only men.

It shows people have no idea what is dress size or weight.

L said...

Beauty has less to do with dress size than personality. I'm a 2/4, and my sister is a 10/12, and there's no doubt that she's the gorgeous one.

The Cousin said...

As a male--let me say, that myself and many other Y-chromasome carriers have no clue what dress sizes mean.

To us males, when we buy pants for example--it's measured in inches (e.g. waist x length). It seems a lot easier that way. *Smirk*


Granted, evne for us males, our body type may dictate what size/cut clothes we buy wear. I'll myself as an example.

Working in an office with girls I constancy hear them talking about their clothes sizes (and the topics whoosh over my head).

To me, a girl's dress size is totally irrelevant. It's more about the "whole package" that makes up the girl--not just physical appearance but more importantly that which is inside the girl that is important. (well to me at least).

Now for a bit of a thought experiment--let's flip this discussion around. How do females see guys? DO they judge them on their pant/suit size? Or by weight?

Stubborn and Strong said...

Dear Cousin,

I am female and grew up with four brothers. They are very different from each other.

I realized what kind i like, I don't care about pant size or weight I care about more like how they dressed, if it is clean, pressed well-together clothing and beautiful face then I am head over heels of this guy already.

I saw a man who happened to be heavy but beautiful face and dress so well and a ugly man who is very skinny, i would pick a man who is heavy over skinny guy any day.

I hope that's answer your question