under Online Dating
The adjectives you use to describe yourself in your profile can be more harmful than you may know. The worst word a female can use to describe herself is “cute.” It simply doesn’t illicit a positive response. “Cute” is translated into meaning unattractive, just as “curvy” is translated into overweight. Babies, puppies and stuffed animals are cute. A personality can be cute, but you should find other words to describe your looks. Use a thesaurus if you must.
My friend Mike started chatting with a girl on JDate® who didn’t have a photo but described herself as “cute.” Mike made the rookie mistake accepting “cute” as a description from the girl herself! Now, as I mentioned earlier, attractiveness is subjective, but when Mike asked her to send him a photo, she made up excuse after excuse which should have alerted him. Instead, he made plans with her on the basis that she send him a photo before the date. Again, she had an excuse, but again, he ignored his suspicions and drove thirty minutes to meet her anyway. Lo and behold, she wasn’t exactly Mike’s version of attractive, and he learned a lesson the hard way.
Luckily your JDate profile includes photos, so your own descriptions of your looks doesn’t totally matter.
The opposite of Halo Effect is “Beauty Bias.” The Beauty Bias is a term created by Stanford Law Professor Deborah Rhode to explain the phenomenon in America of why the less attractive you are, the less likely you are to be married and more likely to be poor, the more likely you are to receive a longer prison sentence, a lower damage award and a lower salary and poorer performance reviews. It’s the first part of the description “less likely you are to be married” that concerns me as the JDate expert.
Just as good looking people are incorrectly judged as automatically being good people, less attractive people are erroneously judged as being less desirable. We’re all guilty of it, regardless of how attractive we deem ourselves. If we believe someone is less attractive than us, we don’t give them a chance because we assume they don’t have any other qualities we would be interested in. It saddens me to see less attractive people getting rejected without a second glance by people who think they look too good. And, conversely, I give a little chuckle when a really good looking person who is lacking in personality is rejected by a less attractive but incredibly great person!
My hope is that a better understanding of the Halo Effect and the Beauty Bias will help people look past looks. I hope singles that are putting forth effort on JDate or at Jewish singles and networking events or on shidduchs will also put forth the effort to get to know someone before passing judgment based on their attractiveness quotient. Of course, attraction is important, but attraction comes from many places, not just from outward appearances.
I challenge all singles to stop judging people based on their looks and to give people a chance whom you wouldn’t necessarily have previously considered.