How much does appearance truly matter? Arranged marriage has been a custom for centuries in many cultures, and still exists up until the present day. You know the story. Boy meets girl’s parents and bargains for her marriage price. Boy marries girl without meeting her. Boy and girl live happily ever after…or not. A story came out of Dubai this week that involved a nasty court battle over an arranged marriage in the United Arab Emirates . Apparently, the groom did not meet the bride before his wedding, but had been reassured with photos by the family. When he lifted the niqab (veil) after the wedding, he was in for the shock of his lifetime. His new bride sported a full beard and appeared cross-eyed. Every man surely dreams that his wife will have a nice soft beard…okay perhaps not.

So, the man went to the courts and sued for divorce and all his wedding gifts back. However, he did not receive any settlement from the case other than a divorce, and the wife was proved hormonally female. Doesn’t it seem cruel to divorce someone just because he or she is not perfect in his or her appearance? Usually the flaw is less extreme than a beard, such as some extra weight, or a gap tooth, maybe even a clubfoot. Arranged marriage is a contract I would never enter into under my own free will. As a young adult, I find the dating game hard, but not so hard that I would have to resort to my parents buying and selling me to the most eligible bachelor. What if he was cruel and beat the woman instead of divorcing her? Mail-order brides are another issue related to the arranged marriages. Flying across the world to marry a man that you have never met just to escape poverty? Does it ever work out? Maybe, I will never know.