The last online date I went on was with a forty-something guy I was considered a 98% match with. According to his profile he was a well-travelled senior lecturer of two fascinating topics at a top South African university. According to his profile he was an out-doorsy type, with a devil-may-care approach to adventure and loving.
So that’s what I was expecting.
In reality? He was living with his parents, worked at the university for a semester, but was mostly jobless and penniless. He also had an Australian girlfriend who had dumped him not a month before and was nursing a broken heart and dream to get back together with her. Oh and he stayed indoors mostly due to a seeping rash that covered most of his body.
Good times. I paid my bill, went home and deleted my profile.
I was reminded of this when I saw the latest YouTube video gimmick from Simple Pickup, one of those pickup artist sites that teach men how to bag that chick etc etc.
They posted two videos, Fat Girl Tinder Date and Fat Guy Tinder Date, based on a rather spurious reference in a 2011 HBO doccie about online dating to an unnamed (and as yet, unfound) survey that stated: ‘In the online dating world, women are afraid of meeting a serial killer. Men are afraid of meeting someone fat.’
Now I have worried about crazy people, but have never thought I should worry about serial killers when choosing a potential mate from a dating site. Despite what mini-series would have us believe, our communities are not that populated by murderous psychopaths. Trolling sociapaths maybe. In fact, I’m way more concerned about how accurately my potential beau’s profile matches really real reality.
Because, mostly, what you see is rarely what you get.
So I was curious as to why the guys’ reaction in the Fat Girl Tinder Date was considered so appalling.
Let me explain. The basic set-up is this: A man and a woman set up a profile of themselves as themselves on dating app Tinder. In their profile pics they appear as well-built, very active beachwear-model types. They will then meet their matches – but not looking like themselves. Instead, they’ll don fat suits and their dates’ responses are recorded.
Now, let’s just quickly underline the fact that Tinder is an app that is based on the old ‘hot or not’ chestnut. It is practically a face catalogue to which you sometimes attach a chat. You are swiping left or right (pass or like), based on superficial information that is primarily all about looks.
So back to the video and the dates’ responses.
In a nutshell, for the Fat Girl Tinder Date the media soundbite went like this: The guys were sexist arseholes because they did not like what they saw and said as much; one lied about going to the bathroom, another asked the woman if she was pregnant … they were rude, mean and disrespectful.
Shock shock horror horror, guys are arseholes and stereotype women based on their looks. (Did I mention this was a Tinder date where BOTH sexes play tag with people on the same pretty scale?)
In the Fat Guy Tinder Date video, however, the women were lovely. They only mentioned that he didn’t look like his pics, still stayed and chatted nevertheless and even set up future meets.
Is this supposed to prove that women are just nicer and less superficial than men? Or that they’re just more polite about being lied to?
Before you answer that, here’s the interesting thing about their interactions that has nothing to do with looks. The ‘fat guy’ and the ‘fat girl’ had very different attitudes to the incorrect information they had supplied.
Although the premise of the videos is the same, where ‘the fat guy’ admits his photo was at least a few years old and acknowledges this difference, ‘the fat girl’ pretends to have no idea what they’re talking about. She says the much skinnier pics of her were taken only a few weeks ago and asks her dates if it’s maybe just the angle of the photo that had them confused.
So now her dates are lied to and condescended to. Wouldn’t that piss you off? It would piss me off. Would you feel the need to be nice? If so, why?
I’m just curious as to why we applaud ‘niceness’ with complete strangers, when sometimes ‘fuck you, are you for real?’ might be a more appropriate response.
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