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At home in the Jewish body

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“Can you believe she’s Jewish?”

The photo featured a young woman with straight blonde hair, blue eyes, and a turned-up little nose. It was sometime in the 1990s, and I was looking at the ad for a Jewish dating site.


I was a young Jewish woman with wild, dark, curly hair, dark eyes, and the classic Jewish nose featured prominently on my face. Girls like me were told, routinely – by family, by peers, by media – that we were not pretty, because we did not look like, well, that photo on that there Jewish dating site.


In high school, I went through numerous major magazines targeting girls and young women, counting how many models had dark hair and dark eyes. In that entire collection, I could count the dark-haired models on one hand, and there was exactly one with dark eyes – in an ad for the brand new option of blue and green contact lenses, with the tagline, “Now you, too, can have beautiful eyes!”

It’s been nearly four decades, and I still remember that tagline, word-for-word.

At Barnard College, I loved the sight of classmate........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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