A Reader Writes: How Skinny Do They Need?

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waistDear Editor,

I am a girl in shidduchim…what else is new? I am not a size 2, but if i may say so myself, I carry my weight well, I’m tall, and I always look put together and very up to date. Why is every other boy not even looking into me because I am not “very skinny”?

I work full time, I am in college, and yes, I do make time to go work out at the gym. How much more can I do? And why is this such a big focus in our world? Is this the whole focus in life? Is that the goal and purpose in marriage?

Granted, one must look for a suitable spouse whom one likes. But if a boy is not even willing to go out with me, how could he be certain that just because I’m not a size 2, he won’t like me and my appearance?

This system is driving me insane. Is this fair? Why is this considered normal?

Chani [last name withheld by request]

Brooklyn, NY


  1. Chubby people get married.
    Skinny people get married.
    Short people get married.
    Tall people get married.
    Smart people get married.
    Not so smart people get married.

    It will happen iyh.

    Only focus on what you have control over.

    You can work towards your goal of finding your bashert by:

    1) Davening every day
    2) Working on your middos
    3) Looking your best – within reason
    4) Networking and dating

    I wish you much hatzlacha!

    From another girl in the parsha 🙂

  2. the “boys” you are talking about are losers. You are better off without them. Don’t stress out, your bashert is out there and you will do fine.

  3. The American culture has since gotten to us. In the last century, the models and actresses have gotten thinner and thinner, and while women aspire to be like them, men have “changed their taste” to desire that.
    Even if a male prefers a girl who is not skinny, he is embarrased by what his friends will say if he marries her. But it is a double standard, as overweight guys are not embarassed to ask to be set up with thin girls.
    Someone else asked how a married woman “has the right” to gain weight after several kids and years of marriage. If you were a woman, you would understand that the body changes with pregnancy and women go through hormonal changes. Once weight is gained it is hard to lose before the next pregnancy sets in, etc. Just think that someone who gains 50 lbs in 10 years, gains 5 lbs a year which translates into overeating by approx 340 calories per week.

  4. A few wise people I know, when they’re asked if a girl is skinny find a way to say, you know, I don’t think she’s for you.

    This is a sign of the ikvesa d’Meshicha. The world will be rampant with opportunities to grow cynical or to wonder if I’m sane and the rest of the world crazy, or vice versa. You’re sane. You will get the mensch you deserve. Don’t make yourself sick to become something you are not and is not healthy for you.

    I and many of my size ten or larger (which is still well within the realm of healthy; hope no one gives me an argument on that) friends would have had a hard time now, unlike a generation ago when we got married. And looking back at the wedding pictures, we looked fabulous!

  5. Yes it is craziness!! these guys all look for beauty and money…. and other things which should be their top priority fall to the wayside and become secondary! We need the solid good boys who know that theres more to life than that….. and we dont want husbands who will be down our backs 24-7 about what we eat or dont eat etc…. They are so vain and unfocused…. IF only those good normal with the program guys will come soon for all of us iyh!!

  6. Any boy who doesn’t want to date you from a mere ophoto or description of dress size is not worth dating. You have to live with a guy for the next 60 years and he can’t even see beyond the superficial. You are lucky they don’t want to date you.

  7. Research has recently shown that the “normal” and underweight don’t live as long as slightly chubby people. So look on the bright side – when you do find your bashert, you will I”Y have more years to enjoy your marriage!

    Seriously, the boys looking for “skinny” girls are usually not the most advanced midos-wise or in seichel. I once tried to red a shiduch to a boy who had a real hang-out-over-the belt paunch – the type that makes a cardiologist look with interest – and his first question about the girl was, “Is she really skinny?” It was all I could do not to burst out laughing.

  8. How are all the beer belly, chulent eating bochurim managing these days? get a life, eat healthy, exercise and look for warmth, kindness and a happy disposition.

  9. Yup we’ve got to do what’s in our power to do…. each pot has its lid as they say… and we just have to do what we can… and trust that there’s a reason this is all happening to us…. i once heard someone say, “whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” we need to grow and strenghten ourselves from this shidduchim whirlpool… and just become stronger and more sensitive people… and not chas vshalom give up and loose it….

  10. My wife tried to set up a girl with a student from a certain large yeshiva in New Jersey. The shiduch was refused because she was a size six. I then tried to set the girl up with a working boy. I told him the girl was a size six he responded “I have no idea what that means”. Of course the girl wouldn’t hear of dating the working boy…..

  11. if you are complaining i guarantee that you are not a size 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 either. otherwise you would not have a problem.

    YOU ARE PROB A SIZE 14+ and that is why you go to the gym.

    You should title this article instead “BOYS DON’T WANT TO DATE ME BECAUSE I AM FAT!”

  12. i am an older guy im slim but im short so alot of girls wont date me because i”m too short i have no problem dating a girl thats not skinny as long as she carries her weight well whats wrong if she is not a size 2 or even a 4 the inside is what counts most i”m not saying ill date anyone but i”m very flexable in that aspect there are some very attractive girls that are not skinny we are all hashem’s children the shidduch system in the yeshiva world is a disaster to shidduchim the way they check out the girl or guy is crazy let them do some basic info. then go out and see for themself! im in it for over 10 yrs i”m telling you people give it up its much better the way i do it if the one setting me up is a person i can trust then i just go out and see for myself

  13. Firstly, it is the crazy mothers of these boys that dictate size. sure boys know but their mothers put way more emphasis on it. at the end of the day you probably don’t want those boys becuase their mothers will be down your back all day on your size.

    i am one of those very tall and bigger girls. yes i work full time too and i go to the gym 3-5 times a week. i hired a personal trainer tbat i work with 2 times a week at a little fortune. i have lost about 30 lbs. and numerous clothing sizes. i think i look good and so do lots of other people. i have decided that he will have to like me however i look. there is only so much we can do to be where the boys’ mothers want us, and there is only so much my body will change.

    apparently it doesn’t make a difference that you are healthy, sane, frum, smart, talented or educated.. you have to be everything plus thin! and i hate to say how many of my ultrathin high school friends today are huge after having children. So there really is no guarantees in life at how they will turn out. metabolisms change and there isn’t that much you can do!

  14. 15, I think thats a rather senseless attitude. Did you ever hear of people going to the gym to be HEALTHY and not just THIN? another comment, 14 IS not, and SHOULD not be considered overweight.

    nebech, after the war (lehavdil) they looked for someone who came out frum… its so sad…

  15. The only remedy is a much greater emphasis on shmiras einayim in the boys dept. In chassidic circles where this is stressed, only the very ugliest and fattest of girls have a hard time finding a shidduch, and even they will eventually find an innocent boy who thinks she is fine because she looks younger than his mother.

  16. 4, the craziness is that boys think that only skinny is beautiful. SIX is too big?!?!?

    It’s hard to imagine that the boys know what sizes are what – what are we raising?

  17. number 15!! How encouraging it is to read your post!! i sent in this letter, not because i needed ppl to upset me….. i have enough of that!!
    I am not a size 14 i am thinner than that and i am 5’7…. so i give a very tall impression and i honestly x look chunky……and still without ppl even knowing me…. they say if she x very skinny the boy will not look into it,,,,,,,

    but gee thanks for your sincere encouragement……

    and yea if you go to the gym,…. there are plenty ppl just working out to feel good and move!! doesnt mean they’re on a strict exercise routine….

  18. Would someone please explain why a woman would care about what size her future daughter-in-law is? I have young sons (& daughters) k”ah and I don’t think that I will care about a future daughter-in-law’s appearance, assuming that my son finds her fine and she is healthy. (And I’d like to think my son will be bright enough to figure out that a woman doesn’t need to be a size 2 or 4 wife). Any interest beyond that on the part of the prospective mother-in-law seems intrusive or worse. Honestly I would like to avoid someone like that for my own children.

    And no, I’m not writing this because I’m obese or even a size 8.

  19. My daughter just got married at a young age (I don’t want to give away my identity so I won’t give away all the details) but I’d like to happily say that she is closer to a 12 than a 6 and the boy couldn’t care less! She is beautiful the way she is and the boy is a lucky boy.

    I have a relative that got engaged to a girl who I would say is also around the size of a 12. The mother told me she is proud her son looked for tochen and was not bothered by the fact that the girl is not a skinny pickle. She is a wonderful girl and comes from a choshuve home and is a very talented girl, but the size was not his priority.
    Those boys who are picky (and their mothers who are picky!) lose out on good girls by making the silliness a priority. On the other hand if a boy is slim and short then you can’t blame him because he is justified if he doesn’t want a girl towering over him.

  20. If boys don’t want to date you because of your weight, it probably makes sense to lose some. You can blame it on the “system”, “crazy mothers”, “picky boys”, it really doesn’t matter. If your not getting dates because of your weight, it makes sense to go on a diet.

  21. i love it!!! people telling others what they should find attractive.

    I’m also a little suspicious that this girl is more than not so skinny.

    finnally maybe she should be looking for such a type a guy who is so into externality. maybe it is HER who doesn’t want a more yirei shamyim guy thats not so into looks. so she wants the cool guy, but doesnt want him to care that she’s fat.

    finnally(for real) i think that some of the comments may have been a bit insensitive(including my own perhaps) but its hard to be too sympathetic for someone who is dumb enough to write an “open letter” especially one condemning a whole generalization group of people

  22. if i’d be the way ppl are assuming on their own…. i would have no dates…. ive gone out with over 20 boys in the past 3 yrs and most are in the ballpark give or take…. some i said no to and some said no to me….
    with that being said, i am bh not talkin about no dates…. i am talking about ppl who wont even take down a girls name and resume…. before clarifying if she is “very skinny” and ive heard of too many of those……

    and as far as ppl givin me advice…. ive been careful wiht my diet for 4 yrs now so…. and i just came home shvitzing from the gym…. so dont be so quick to judge…..
    and being out the entire day and being in college at night, in other words being out of the house from before 8 til after 10…. doesnt make for an easy dieting schedule

  23. the ladies are at fault here its do to their lack of tznius that thte sizes are discussed i went through the whole parsha without discussing sizes because i didnt want to

  24. anonymous 30- yeah agreed….. amazing how ppl are so insensitive! i decided to write an open letter just because its getting so freakin frustrating that i wanted to see who else there is out there that feels the same way as i do……. someone my friend was redt to… said no to her bec she is a size 6, and her family isnnt skinny enough!! and they arent unhealthy… they’re just not skinny mini petite!! what is this worrld coming to>>>

  25. I am not a size 2, but if i may say so myself, I carry my weight well, I’m tall, and I always look put together and very up to date.

    You sound fat.

  26. 34, aunt jemima… thanks… and if im fat, so are you making my shidduchim journey easier? what is the pt in your crucial comment? im not seeing the point you’re making?

    and yea that is the crux of it? why is it fair that im being judged as fat just bec im not a single digit size??????? you are one of the ppl warped by todays society!! and so yea if u really care im a size 2 wiht a 1 in front of it and im tall!! and i always dress well…. so what are you trying to tell me by that statement?

  27. to 14,15, & 34: you may not be fat, but you all sound sick!!!!!!! I cannot believe the level of NARISHKEIT people will lower themselves to. I can only hope that there is more substance in your brains than there appears to be in your hearts!

  28. Jion the club!!
    if it is not about weight than they pick find something else to pick on.. someone has to speak to the boys and the boys parents to make them realize what is important in life and in marrage.
    someone else in the same boat!!!!!

  29. aunt jemima- I can’t believe that you are serious!
    Just because it’s all anonymous here, we are still all human beneath our anonymity here.
    The girl wrote a letter for chizuk- let’s stop the babyish name calling!!
    To Chani- hatzlocha, and just like my daughter found her basherte even without being a size 0, you should be zoche to find someone like my son in law (who is quite good looking k’ah) who didn’t care about sillyness. However, maybe look for boys with more tochen and less shallow.
    I’ll also give advice, which doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does: a boy whose mother is not thin, sometimes won’t even be bothered by a non thin girl, whereas a boy who comes from a very thin home, will find it more difficult. Please don’t jump at my statement, but I’ve seen that happen more than once.

  30. Please to all those girls out there! Be content! Be happy! Be Positive! If the date is broken it was never ment to be! He was not your besheret! Work out if it makes you happy! Put on make up if it make you happy! DO your hair if it make you happy! Where clothes that make you feel confient and positive! Just be happy! Your never fully dressed without a SMILE! 🙂

  31. To all the women and girls (and men too) out there who are wondering what the world has come to and feeling negatively inclined toward boys’ non-appropriate opinions and general attitude about girls’ dress sizes and looks, please pause a moment before automatically labeling boys in general as the ones in need of reproof. W

    hile many comments touched upon legitimate concerns about our boys’ attitudes and it definitely needs to change, in the interest of unbiased accusation and blame (I realize that sounds strong but we are talking about an emotionally heavy topic and people tend to cling to their own emotionally based opinions without honestly considering all the facts and/or the bigger picture.) we are over ooking an important societal influence and I’m not talking about that of the secular or non-Jewish sector.

    Nobody can argue with the fact that women themselves in ALL circles (you fill in the name type .. yeshivish .. modern .. litvish .. etc) have become much more focused on looks. It is not uncommon for women of all ages to be seen in certain clothing and wearing skirts and/or other styles of dress that (sometimes intentionally)….is not appropriate.

    And no, it is NOT practical and irresponsible to expect people to “just don’t not look” as is so often heard in response women questioned about their mode and style of dress in public.

    Ladies, to bring this point home, as an experiment try going about your daily routine without looking at men’s faces (or, if you think you are up to the challenge, avoid looking at them altogether). For those that may be getting indignant… I’m very sorry to disappoint you… but it is unacceptable to lay the blame at the feet of the mythical phenomenon that men and their attitude have created a self-need among woman to dress up (or down) their style of clothing.

    Ladies… who are we fooling… can you honestly say that society hasn’t in any way influenced us as well into slowly changing our perception of how we should look and dress. One may even be able to say that the women and not the men have had a greater affect on and are cause for men wanting their wives to look and dress in the aforementioned manner.

    It would seem that men and women as well are equally affected in this area of tznius and it is a gross unfairness and perhaps even a double standard approach for women to wax self righteous and condescendingly denounce the attitude of men, boys, and the shidduchim mothers.

    While it is true that our boys need to redirect their focus and search for the real qualities and characteristics of a potential spouse, they are not the sole cause for the distressing phenomenon mention in the above letter to Matzav.com that is taking place all around us. P

    erhaps it time women took responsibility for their own tznius which is one of, if not the most, important aspects of character development that the torah has charged women with in much the same way as that of the constant torah study and character development that the torah expects from men. Women can change their own attitude toward Tznius and raise the standard of modesty slowly influencing their men folk as well.

    To the letter writer, know that your intended is out there. Daven and don’t give up hope (I’ve had a long wait too. I know what it’s like.) May your wishes be fulfilled soon!

  32. LOL who commented… what are you trying to say? you are one of those shallow guys and 10 yrs later you’re still the same?? do you stand and watch what she eats? is she pressured from you??

  33. I second #43 from Let’s be Fair. I’d only add a word about shmiras einayim for the boys. Tznius for the ladies is of utmost importance, but unless moshiach comes real fast not all ladies will look like bnos Yisroel in the near future.

  34. 44. tzippi, I didn’t mean to offend. I didn’t write that because I think there’s something wrong with being a size 8 or size 12, or with having a daughter-in-law who is that size. I only mentioned it because often when someone writes that a woman’s dress size shouldn’t be the first fact one mentions about her, some posters will inevitably discount it with the response, “You’re just saying that because you are heavy yourself”.

  35. im sorry to tell everyone but not always is it in a persons hand to lose weight, i know alot of ppl that try and try to lose weight and just cant lose it! everyones body is different and everyone has a diferent metabolism. i have a baby and am size 0 and i did nothing to lose weight. so everyone should stop making fun and be dan lecaf zecus.

  36. Its not only the boys.
    I’m a 22 year old girl, size 4, and I would NEVER date a fat guy.
    Looking good and trim is a priority in my life. Everyone’s priorities are different. You will find someone who likes you the way you are, not for their mothers etc.
    Good luck

  37. that’s just it….. you’re missing it…. im not fat…. im just not lucky enough to have a size and metabolism like you….

    hope you find a shidduch really soon

  38. How lucky you are that you are not a skinny minny. When you meet your true bashert he will want you for the right reasons , not for your size. As for the others, when they get married , a size zero, love will fly out of the window when they start having kids and their size increases.

  39. Dearest chani,

    people think that if they say their opinions in an insensitive way, they will get their point across.
    that is not true.
    on the contrary, the person will just get defensive.
    I would like to tell you something.
    I am also in the shidduch market, and i think it is downrite sick what people look for, but ya know what? its not entirely their fault, it is the society that they are being influenced.
    so you have an option, stick to your weight, and get less boys,
    or diet and get more boys. I promise you that the boys that are refusing you are excellent boys. i’ve got alot of top boys, excellent middos, but as sweet as they are, they do not feel comfortable going out with someone overwieght.
    chani, honey, this is reality!!!
    just do it! you have to give up those sweets!
    yea, in other words, kill yourself to drop down to a single digit.
    personally, i’m not the type to look all great, but i do my part.
    please chani, don’t be stubborn, do your part!!


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