What’s in a nose? A Miami plastic surgeon doesn’t want a big schnoz to get in the way of true love, so he’s decided to offer members of his local Orthodox Jewish community free or greatly reduced nose jobs in order to increase their chances at finding a mate.
Dr. Michael Salzhauer is an Orthodox Jew, and a father of five, so he feels it’s perfectly reasonable and respectable to offer the service to bad-nose-having members of his community. But others say it’s rather tacky and controversial.
Big noses in the Jewish world are nothing new (um, hello!). So it stands to reason that an Orthodox Jew seeking to marry another Orthodox Jew would be well familiar with big proboscises. Explains CNN.com:
In order to qualify for the procedure: All applicants must be referred by their matchmakers, which are common in the Orthodox community. If they are younger than 18, they’ll need parental consent. Financial need must be verified by a matchmaker or a rabbi. And each patient must meet criteria – medically, aesthetically and psychologically – before being deemed eligible for surgery.
Salzhauer’s offer has definitely raised some eyebrows among the generally conservative Orthodox community, where plastic surgery is generally frowned upon, unless it’s for medical purposes. And the American Society of Plastic Surgeons questioned whether Salzhauer was acting in an “inappropriate and offensive” way by holding what amounted to a “contest” for plastic surgery services.
But at least one member of the religious community is behind Salzhauer. “We all want to live up to our higher selves, and our higher selves don’t look at the size of a cheekbone or a nose,” said Rabbi Benzion Klatzko, founder of Shabbat.com, which helps find young singles places to celebrate the sabbath. “But there’s a reality that exists.” Klatzko notes that he’s seen women overlooked by potential mates because of, he claims, unwieldy noses.
But isn’t the problem, then, a culture in which both men and women lack self-acceptance and prefer a beauty ideal that isn’t actually attainable? Why not instead create and define a new idea of beauty — one in which big noses are better?
Still, Salzhauer sees what he’s doing as a mitzvah — or good deed — for the community. He’s even created a nonprofit around his “scholarship” nose jobs, called Operation Chuppah. The name refers to the canopy used in Jewish wedding ceremonies. [CNN]
Thanks to commenter rocknrollwife for the tip!