ב"ה
Wednesday, 18 Elul, 5779
  |  September 18, 2019

The Secret Anorexic War

Op-Ed by Rabbi Shea Hecht: When number one on a shidduch list is that the girl be "skinny" I wonder to myself: Is this the son's obsession or the parents' obsession - and have they passed this "skinny" obsession on to their daughters...? Full Story

You Can Vote for the Rebbe

Next Story »

Mumbai Gunman Admits Guilt

53
Opinions and Comments

To keep track of your comments, follow a conversation or flag a comment Login
avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
thank you - im that 31 girl again
Guest
thank you - im that 31 girl again

It’s good to see that you are acknowledging such an issue. It exists, and brushin it under the rug will never help. Thank you!!

weight
Guest
weight

It’s the mothers that are hounding their daughters to lose weight.”If you lose 20 lbs., you’ll do a great Shidduch” they claim, so what do you expect from the kids.The mothers are desperate.

Out of his depth
Guest
Out of his depth

Rabbi Shea is no expert and should leave this
topic to the doctors

Parents are to blame!!
Guest
Parents are to blame!!

I feel bad to have to say this, but studies show that most anorexic girls have perfectionist mothers, regardless of what culture, religion, black or white, it affects girls who feel they have to be perfect or prove a point!!

shadchan crices
Guest
shadchan crices

their is a shadchan crices not a shiduch crices

skinny today, fat tomorrow
Guest
skinny today, fat tomorrow

i became bulimic trying to lose weight. today looking skinny is all that matters, doesnt matter if the girl is sick from trying to stay skinny or if the girl is not a nice person…if shes skinny, a guy will date her. You have plenty of ‘bigger’ girls who have better body kinesthetics than a skinny girl-isnt that wat it all boils down to? how flexible a girl can get, same reasons y they want’em skinny. If the girl has the body of a model, but is abnoxious in personality…guess wat guys?? skinny today, fat tomorrow-after 2 kids, this skinny… Read more »

attention number 3
Guest
attention number 3

Shea has once again put it very well. The first person people often turn to is someone who deals with children at risk. Shea Hecht is such a person.

good but overkill
Guest
good but overkill

nice piece but to be honest i have now read wayyyy to many stories from father and son hecht – all interesting but i think a little more shlichus and a little less pr is needed!

to #3
Guest
to #3

rabbi shia hecht is thankg-d one of the few leval-headed people around may we only see the redemption now.

thank you rabbi hecht
Guest
thank you rabbi hecht

why is Rabbi Hecht being attacked?? who cares who wrote the article??? The issue is there! He just happens to be the one who is brave enough to let the worms out of the can, to approach such a topic when everyone else will continue making as if the problem doesn not exist.
Rule #1: Allow the public to become aware of an issue SO THAT we can all come together and try to solve it!
Thank you Rabbi Hecht

To #2
Guest
To #2

I agree that mothers may be pressuring their daughters to be thin, but as you said – “The mothers are desperate.” I’m not plus-sized, just not thin, and I work out regularly, dress nicely, and have been told by random strangers that I’m beautiful. There are numerous bochurim that my parents have looked into for me who turned down the shidduch because of my waist size. My attitude is that if the boys care so much about my weight over anything else, then I’m glad I didn’t date them – and yet, there are tears in my eyes as I… Read more »

Huh?
Guest
Huh?

Most Americans are fat, and the way people eat…?

Man! The problem is that frum people eat too much and exercise too little!

Right, some girls obsess with weight, and they should not, but the other 93% eat too much and don’t exercise enough.

This starts from childhood, dear mothers, not when a girl starts dating. And how about YOUR eating and exercise habits, mom?

A smart man picks the right girl
Guest
A smart man picks the right girl

Rabbi Hecht. As a man I say thank you. To those of you that are offended and feel you have to critiseize, im Sure RSH did not mean that every Mother falls in to this catagory. 🙂 As a single man i dated the tall slim gorgeous hair type, BUT i felt that it wasent enough i needed more, a better additude a better mother for my children. and so i made the swap, for a beautifull girl who was not as tall not as slim but had 10 times what to offer in every other aspect, and today i… Read more »

#8 fool
Guest
#8 fool

you are such a fool-here is a real issue and all you care about is what the Rebbi should be doing?if you have a problem with him, keep it to yourself.I do not even know this rebbi but i am very familiar with the topic and many girls are “super girls”wanna bees-herein lies the problem.If any guy is just interested in the waist size, then he is not for everyone.he needs to be with some skinny girl who might just be interested in some other superficial aspect of a guy.Let them b happy together if that is what they want.who… Read more »

to#11
Guest
to#11

from#2 Iwant to bentch you, that you should quickly find a chasid yiras shomayim and a lamden,there is a marvelous bachur out there, you just have to find him,who doesnt know the difference between a size 2 or a size 6 or even a size 12 or 14.Just make sure you spend at least a half an hour a day doing something concrete for your shidduch,like a phone call or speaking to someone,doing your exercise doesn’t count.

The Other Side of the Coin
Guest
The Other Side of the Coin

I think it is very important to acknowledge and work to avoid these types of problems within our community. It is also important to mention the other side, the destructive relationship many people have with food that leads to overweight and obesity. Emotional overeating and similar disorders are just as damaging to a persons physical and mental well-being as anorexia and bulimia, and should be treated as a disorder, not just a lack of control or the willingness to “be comfortable with your size”. What I take away from these Op-eds, and encourage others to do as well, is to… Read more »

hmm
Guest
hmm

I am a tall, size 10 and people think I’m too skinny, going on to anorexic…how could this be? Maybe sizes are just numbers after all

Pre-school teacher
Guest
Pre-school teacher

And everyone needs to keep in mind that all of these emaciated, chronically dieting girls become married women who may have trouble conceiving and then give birth to malnourished babies who are at serious risk for developmental delay!!!! The myelin sheath (which is connected to brain development) is formed out of fatty tissue. If the mothers don’t consume sufficient calories, including some fat, nor feed it to their kids — then don’t wonder why our kids are having trouble in school, chas v’sholom. And don’t forget folic acid – which can prevent birth defects, can be found in enriched grains… Read more »

YKa
Guest
YKa

Yasher Koach Shea. I have a sister who struggles with eating disorders, and everything you write is true.

Obesity and anorexia almost the same
Guest
Obesity and anorexia almost the same

Our generation has major weight issues and both extremes aren’t healthy. Daily exercise and eating a healthy diet, including lots of raw vegetables and other UNPROCESSED foods are essential to good health. I personally wouldn’t date anyone who was either too skinny or too fat, b/c both are signs of illness and a lack of taking care of the body, our soul’s home.

IT'S A STUPID NUMBER!
Guest
IT'S A STUPID NUMBER!

A girl can still be very glamorous as a size 12!

It’s not about the numbers! (Size and weight.)

When someone looks at you they don’t think of a number, they think of WHO you are. (Unless they are Anorexic.)

The most beautiful, attractive girls are the ones who are happy, and don’t focus on A STUPID NUMBER!

mother
Guest
mother

We are “looking” for our son & we told him quite clearly…size should not matter. People can gain or lose weight, but character stays the same. However, I do understand that an obese girl is less attractive to many young men as her pretty face, nice personality, & excellent middos can be overshadowed by her girth & people are afraid she may well be prone to health issues down the road. Some are so immature & shallow they are afraid of what their friends will think if their Kallah isn’t a size 2. That is a serious problem. My son… Read more »

critic
Guest
critic

They say the easiest thing to be in the world is a critic! Is Rabbi Hecht doing something to fix this problem? Reporting and criticizing is nice, but I think its time that he or all of us take this to the next level and try to fix all these problems.

number 23
Guest
number 23

How do I get in touch with you. You sound very smart and down to earth. So many girls are looking for your son and fit your discription. How come when I call most shaddchins they say only skinny girls. Where is your sons name?

no. 8 be ashamed....
Guest
no. 8 be ashamed....

no.8 should be ashamed. the Hechts have done more shlichus that most people do in 10 lifetimes.

beautiful 'not skinny' daughter...
Guest
beautiful 'not skinny' daughter...

my daughter is not skinny. it has always been a struggle for her and she chooses not to be obsessed with herself (which is what one needs to be to control your G-D given genes. she is one of the happiest, goal oriented, smart, loyal, interesting, caring, talented (i could go on but you get the point!) individuals i have the priveledge to know. yet—there’s no one NO ONE that will even think about going out with her. the minute they hear she is not skinny there is a pause and silence. she is 26 and has only been on… Read more »

mother
Guest
mother

He’s not on any Shadchan list yet. All my other Shidduchim were made by family or friends so we’re not going that route unless nothing comes up. I don’t want to give my name, but I’ll try to set up an email name & if you want you can get in touch. But how do I let you know the email address???? Through COL?

COL, do you want to be the “virtual shadchan”??? LOL!!!

mother
Guest
mother

To 26…as a life-long not-svelte person I feel for you & your your daughter. And for all the other mothers like you out there.

Maybe the time has come to set up a group for parents whose kids are older, heavier, or who don’t care as much about the “norm.” In other words, for REAL PEOPLE, with proper priorities and goals, not plastic robots who have to be like everyone else. What do you think?

to #26
Guest
to #26

I feel for you. unfortunately I’m in the same boat as your daughter. I was always told, ‘no guys is going to be by your door with the way you look’ and i always answered back ‘and if i lose the weight, will there be a line of boys by my door?’ and if there is takeh a line, why in heavens name would I want to date a boy who wouldnt go out with me because of the way I looked 6 months ago?? I keep telling myself and you should tell your daughter too. One day the right… Read more »

Been there, Done that, Back there
Guest
Been there, Done that, Back there

#4, it’s not only the mothers but the girls (and boys in some cases) with the perfectionist nature that makes them “desperate” to be perfect #12, you state a really strong point – the parents (mom’s especially) should be careful of their eating habits so to pass onlyhealthy ones to their children # 16, not only is there a destructive relationship with food but with individuals as well. An anorexic/bulimic person cannot relate to most anything normally. In their world, there is no grey, only black or white. So no relations are healthy. #18, good point! #23, have you thought… Read more »

thank you
Guest
thank you

Thank you to all the wise and older people commenting on this article. I am a young married fella with a baby girl, and this is an important topic I will keep in mind when she IY”H grows older.

Inside the range of normal
Guest
Inside the range of normal

Unfortunately there is a wrong concept out there that a woman needs to be size x or y. However, I may understand that a man wants to date with a woman that is inside a normal physical body weight-shape range. I, as a woman, also want to date (and marry) a man inside a normal range and not a big fat kahuna (even if he still can surf). Also, I heard once that a man should not only look how skinny is a woman, but also her mother: if the mother got big fat over the years, big chances that… Read more »

Seek Medical Help
Guest
Seek Medical Help

Please know that anorexia and bulima can become life threatening conditions. If you have someone close to you who is suffering please seek medical help. Long Island Jewish Hospital has a good adolescent medical group that handles this problem. We have lost neshamas, take your daughter’s weight loss seriously, it can be more than a fad. As to shidduchim, boys raised in this culture want a thin attractive girl because that is what they are used to as a standard for beauty. Also, if a young girl is a size 12 now, what will she look like after a few… Read more »

Does public opinion matter?
Guest
Does public opinion matter?

Too many People lack the ability to see past their noses. A great majority are more concerned what others will say about the person they date/marry. If people (parents and daters) would forget about impressing others and care about their future at least as much the whole situation would automatically improve. How many of you have found yourself saying “she is an amazing girl just a bit overweight – she really deserves a great guy”?? Yet this very same type can be mentioned for your darling son and suddenly she is no longer suitable?! I have seen girls that are… Read more »

Tape
Guest
Tape

Rebbitzein Miriam Lipskier (Chabad Emory) brilliantly addresses this issue in her tape called “sexual revolution” available on line @ Bais Chana “Study and Snorkel” web site

Obesity does not fit on my list
Guest
Obesity does not fit on my list

This is part of a larger problem where parents are looking for nice, neat profiles that fit nicely into their predetermined list of what the bashert needs to fit into. I have seen so many lists with superficial questions to weed out potential shiduchim. When you start to ask parents if question #2 more important to you than question #14 they have no idea how to answer. If parents would take stock of their children and try to define the qualities that would best compliment their childs personality the ‘shiduch crises’ would ease.

Wake up and smell the coffee!
Guest
Wake up and smell the coffee!

to # 3!
Unfortunately, by the time the situation reaches the doctors, it’s a little too late. We need the parents and friends in our community to recognize these eating disorders before our young kids wind up in the hospitals! B”H Rabbi Shea has brought this to people’s attention, and hopefully we will all be more proactive in trying to find and help those who are in need. By any chance, is the reason you are so apposed to his article due to an eating order you yourself possess?

To # 35
Guest
To # 35

I heard the tape, as always Rebbitizen Mirian is once again on target.

Its all backward
Guest
Its all backward

It amazes me how so many of the men in this community are obsessed with finding the perfect woman, when they themselves are not exactly all that. A disproportionate number of the young men in this community are overweight, out of shape, unkempt, not exactly well groomed, and lacking in having secure jobs, yet feel entitled to dictate exactly what size woman they are willing to go out with. There is something so backward about this. There was a time when men would pine for women, acquiring whatever credentials necessary in order to be lucky enough to have a chance… Read more »

join the sefardim
Guest
join the sefardim

OK, so what should all those wonderful young ladies do if they don’t fit into size 2 or 4? perhaps instead of wasting the years waiting for those “chasidish” bochurim to wisen up, look for a shiduch with the Sefardi Yidden to whom the Cherem de’Rabeinu Gershom did not apply…

comment, comment, comment
Guest
comment, comment, comment

alot of good points are brought up over here.
for everyone’s general information, if you suspect you child has a problem, Mrs. Rita Sachs was very helpful to me in trying to help my daughter. when her efforts were not bringing results, she referred me to an excellent psychiatrist who specializes in treating eating disorders of all kinds. hatzlacha and good health to everyone.

a yeedeesha mammma
Guest
a yeedeesha mammma

what happened to yiras hashem he tishala – somebody (body) who has yiras shamayim middos aidelkeit strength priorites TZNIUS…..

Bochurim too secular
Guest
Bochurim too secular

The sad thing is that many guys are attracted to girls who are not so thin. Not everyone wants to be married to a skeleton. Its just that the secular media has taught us for the last 30 years that women must be v. thin, so either bochurim are worrying too much what others think, or they have been conditioned to think by secular values. Its terribly sad to see so many girls feeling that they are not acceptable when there is really nothing wrong or unattractive about them. Bochurim should be speaking to mashpiim or married friends to get… Read more »

OUT OF TOWN BOCHUR
Guest
OUT OF TOWN BOCHUR

In defense of the guys, “Not every guy wants a skinny girl”. There! Yes, overweight can be a turn off – especially for a guy who battled his whole life against obesity – but the whole stereo-generic observation that “EVERY GUY WANTS A SKINNY RICH GIRL” has really got to go! We’re not all that primitive! (Only enough to actually comment on this post).

to #43
Guest
to #43

I am a a young unmarried girl who is overweight. I get it from my parents and i always hear all these things like:guys only want skinny girls, lose some weight…bla bla bla. Most ppl think its disgusting that guys only want skinny girls but to tell you the truth, you can blame it on secular culture, hollywood, what not. I think its perfectly normal. why would a good looking or skinnier guy want an overweight girl? and the other way around. it is external, but you do have to like the way your spouse looks, thats not what its… Read more »

TO #44
Guest
TO #44

Bravo to you! Its not a stereotype. Shadchanim dont want to hear about a girl who is overweight. The overweight girls are constantly rejected because of their weight. And if a guy agrees to go out with an overweight girl, she is berated if she says no if she feels the guy is not on the same wavelength as her. She is therefore told, stop making such a fuss, your overweight and its the best youre going to get! This is far from a stereotype, its the majority. (ps “overweight” I mean a girl who is heavy, but not grotesque.… Read more »

Just some thoughts
Guest
Just some thoughts

I never took a poll so I don’t know the statistics. I also cannot understand why some people here are using words like MOST and MAJORITY and the like when they cannot factualy back up what they say. I can tell you from my experience that girls are just as shallow and superficial as boys. For some boys it’s the waight and for some girls it’s the hight. I know a number of people on either side who are shallow as well as those who are deeper. I think it is important to see the person first and if you… Read more »

i recommend...
Guest
i recommend...

i recommend the ppl read the book “we need to talk”

to# 30
Guest
to# 30

you guys spend to much time reading each coment

to 28
Guest
to 28

if i’m size 2 can my mother join this group? I dont want to marry someone who only cares about marrying a skinny girl!

What is a size 2 anyway?
Guest
What is a size 2 anyway?

A bochur needs to know what a 2 by 4 is, not a size 2!!!

unfortunately I kinow
Guest
unfortunately I kinow

eating disorders are not about weight and body image. they are about esteem and control. many, many boys (mine too) don’t want a size 0-2-4 as those girls are too ‘high-maintenance’, and girls DO care about height (my boys have been turned down for being less than 2 inches taller than the girl), age (been turned down for being the same age as the girls- the girls wanted ‘older, more mature’) and for dress styles- if you wear black and white, you are TOO chassidish, without looking into the rest of their hanhagas, SO, mothers of girls- what attitudes have… Read more »

Appreciate the post
Guest
Appreciate the post

Thanks for the op-ed… For those who mentioned that R. Hecht isn’t a counsellor, this doesn’t matter… What is important is that he’s brought about a sense of dialogue within the community. For at the end of the day, eating issues are a big issue for those girls who suffer from them. Personally, I come from a Lubavitch community, but have much to with the secular community (and please don’t be fickle and criticise me here, it’s not the place or the point!) However, on the whole I see it that girls within the Lubavitch communities have more of a… Read more »

X