Although I’m not a fan of shidduch resumes and photos, it’s unfortunately a reality in our fast-paced and high-tech world. Resumes don’t really depict the whole story, but merely serve as a marketing tool, slanted by the writer. To make matters worse, the required photos are now adding insult to injury and are a recipe for disaster. I have found that 90% of shidduch photos get disqualified from the onset – because boys and girls seem to have an image in their head of what their spouse should look like. The process is equivalent to catalogue shopping, in which most photos just don’t make the cut. If you want a blue top or pink skirt, just search for it on Amazon and you can probably find something suitable at the right price. Unfortunately, Amazon does not yet have a division for finding the perfect spouse. As a matter of fact, Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, just settled his own divorce.

It’s quite difficult for frum girls and boys to get a great picture and unfair to be compared to standards set forth by the images on beautiful billboards, which can be found everywhere you go. It has become a no-win situation or one of survival of the fittest and most beautiful. Although everyone has a predetermined zivug, not everyone was blessed with photogenic features, nor does everyone have the skill or know-how to get that perfect photo. It’s obviously harder to get married if one cannot even get in the door.

So what’s the solution to all of this? Firstly, I say let’s abolish pictures for all, because most people look better in person than in print. Nobody has ever married a piece of paper. Plus, you cannot capture chein or personality strictly from a photo. Also, photos make people appear heavier. If one has any fullness or roundness to their face, the viewer automatically assumes the person to be heavier than in actuality.

If we cannot succeed in getting pictures abolished, then everyone needs to have the ability to put their best foot forward and stand a chance to get in the door. Just like one does not advertise their flaws on a resume, why send out a lousy photo, when bad publicity is worse than none at all. Photoshopping is a popular program that’s easily available to enhance a picture, slim or lengthen a face or body, and fix any flaws. Although I’m not computer savvy, I have seen all the tricks in the beauty industry. When you look at a photo of a model or actress, what you see is not necessarily what you get. Everything is digitally corrected these days, yet untouched shidduch photos are unfortunately judged by the harshest standards. So, girls and boys, if you must send out a photo, find out how you can Photoshop, enhance it, and make your picture the most marketable in order to get in the door.

Risselle Naimark is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist and Skincare Consultant. She carries an extensive line of personalized skincare, cosmetics, and anti-aging products. Risselle is also available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, makeup lessons, and all of your beauty needs. She can be reached at 718 263-5517.