I think this may be the last post on the topic of resumes as part of the resumeology series. I think we have covered everything. If I have l neglected anything in this course please let me know. Just as a reminder: there may or may not be a surprise final. ;-)
So let us now conclude with the final topic, pictures.
Pictures are a peculiar thing. Maybe I should start off a post like this with the idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words” (hey that’s like two or three posts! No small feat :-) ) but that would be a simplistic approach to a very complex situation. Furthermore, we like our resumes short so a thousand words might be a bit verbose. But this topic is nonetheless one of necessity since obviously there is a growing demand for a (girl's) picture on a resume.
While I (by I, I mean the research team) have never requested a picture, I can say with certainty that a picture does provide answers to questions that would be somewhat inappropriate to ask. Will I go out with a girl without a picture? Sure. Back in the old days, when I was naïve and believed everything I was told by the shadchan, I had gotten mislead to put it mildly. In that situation seeing a picture would have been a very useful activity. You know what the odd thing is? I have yet to meet a girl who looked better in her picture than on a date. Okay, maybe there was one, but that was a fluke. :-/
Before I go further, you must understand something. I have seen a lot of shidduch resume pictures. I know how hard it is to get a really good picture. I can see how hard it is to find that picture in which one has the perfect smile in the perfect dress with the perfect lighting etc... I get it. I think most people do. I think most people aren’t that vain that they will hold a middling picture against you. Even so, if your prospective date were to value your picture and looks so decidedly important, i.e. the boy is looking for a girl who is superbly gorgeous, then why would you want to go out with him if he is going to dump within 15 seconds? IMHO most normal people use a picture to assuage their worries and answer the questions they don’t feel comfortable asking. And no, normal people don’t sort resumes by pictures, unless the only thing that’s important to them is looks.
The first realization I have come to is this. The picture really isn’t even for the boys, since we will see a girl's looks in person and make a decision. It’s more for our mothers. They want to know what a girl looks like. They want to analyze her face/smile/”look” and whatever else females seems to do and read into these things. They want to know about their potential daughter-in-law's appearance. Is that really so wrong? Think about it this way. A girl’s parents get to meet the guy early on in the process while the boy’s parents don’t (at least in my circles). Wouldn’t it be fair to at least allow a boy’s parents to see a picture early on in lieu of that?
The second realization I have had with the picture is that looks aren’t something you can cover up. While people have creative ways of hiding their skeletons (closets, graves, trunks, and urns) you can’t hide the way you look. A few inquires to a non-biased or loyal source will reveal to some extent what one looks like, imperfections and all. And once someone goes that route, there is no going back. For example: If one were to make inquiries into a specific girl and the feedback received contained disparaging remarks about how said girl looked, to which they then requested a picture from the shadchan, only to be told that the girl refuses to sent a picture, what message does that send? To me, that sounds like somebody has something to hide.