In online dating, it’s often assumed that you actually want to see what the person looks like. Silly concept, right? But this is why when I see that terrifying grayed out silhouette of a man’s profile appear next to the name John or Gary or Charizard, I delete it. Immediately (if not sooner). I don’t know what this person looks like. What are you hiding from me? What do you have going on that I don’t know about?
So pictures — very important. They say a lot about you.
For instance, if a guy pretty much exclusively has selfies of himself, I think, “dude, why don’t you have any friends who could take a picture of you?”
If a guy has a bunch of pictures where he’s showing off his abs, or he’s shirtless, or he’s flexing, I think, “great, you’re a self-obsessed meat-head who is going to give me a hard time when I’m eating my third pint of Haagen Dazs Peanut Butter Pie.”
For the guys who have pictures of their house/car/boat, I think, “You have money and can take pictures of the things you’ve purchased, but no friends, family, or fun times to photograph.”
And for the guy with tons of pictures of his dogs, I think, (a) “A carefully staged ‘aww so cute’ picture for girls” or (b) “When I get back from taking out my contacts and brushing my teeth, my spot in bed will be 87% taken up by a giant heap of horse-sized canine which will inevitably growl at me as I try to sardine myself in beside him, and then I’ll end up sleeping on the couch.”
So online dating sites have gotten smart. Sites like eHarmony actually post “guidelines” for putting your best photo forward. And what does that mean? Include a picture of your entire body — not just your face.
Now I understand the point — you want a good idea of what the person really looks like so there aren’t any surprises. But I feel like I’d be a lot more surprised by meeting a middle aged man with leather elbow patches on his blazer (after seeing his crew picture from college on his online profile), than by meeting a guy who was 20 pounds heavier than his profile pic.
But this must be one of those “men versus women” thing.
Now granted, I’ve never looked at girl’s online dating profiles (…yet……..), but I think I notice this most when it comes to the most horrible online dating question of all time (that’s right, I said it):
I’d rather eHarmony ask me for my social security number.
So here’s the break down of body types on OKC:
Yes, “rather not say” is an option. But I’m pretty sure this is the “I’m a cow” option, and every guy knows it, too. And who would ever in her right mind select “used up” as a body type? I’m pretty sure there should be a “delete online dating account” button next to “used up” if that’s really how you feel about yourself. Go have some “me” time and come back when you can click one of the only slightly more uplifting options.
Then there’s not one, but five ways to basically call yourself “fat.” Thanks Cupid.
Now that’s one thing. But this… THIS is what pisses me off:
And I see it everywhere.
(Okay, I get that I just mixed and matched OKC and Match.com, but you get the point.)
After careful analyzing, calculations, and research (or based on the fact that I have a blog about online dating and people read it, so therefore I am an “online dating expert” by definition, right?) (Or I basically pulled this number out of my ass), I have determined that 97% of all men’s profiles categorize the body type of the woman he is “looking for” as only slender or athletic and toned.
I would like Bucky Badger to come to my birthday party and do those crazy headstands he does at UW hockey games. That doesn’t mean that’s going to happen, either.
What is this meant to make women think? Sure, in a perfect world men would all date super skinny girls who look great in bikinis and run without sweating. But this isn’t a perfect world, and instead you get women like me who get winded just walking up a really long flight of stairs. That, plus when you’re a 300 pound guy, your shot at a slender or athletic and toned girl downsizes to pretty much zero, unless you make a crap ton of money and will probably die soon. I hear that works in people’s favor sometimes.
And if we ARE in this perfect world, I would be dating Joseph Gordon Levitt and we’d frolic through Ikea ‘a la’ 500 Days of Summer, but without the crummy break-up and super cliched ending. Autumn? Really? Good movie ruined. Booooo.
So instead, we have a society of women who are told we’re “too fat to be beautiful” from magazines, TV and movies, and now we’re being told we’re “too fat to find love” from online dating. Let’s just be clear — I am 100% not slender, nor am I athletic and toned (I’m not being degrading, this is just the truth). But I have been on dates with guys who specified on their profile that they must date the skinny, twiggy woman, and then have told me I’m beautiful. I’ve got breasts and an ass, and getting on a treadmill three times a day isn’t going to make them go away. Women are told we have to have no stomach fat, but also have an hour glass figure. I think Sofia Vergara is literally the only person to accomplish that in the history of the universe, and I’m sure there’s been a little nip/tuck going on there.
I was reading People Magazine last night and there’s an article about Scarlett Johansson . The very first paragraph contains the following:
What does terrify her is the very non-science fiction notion of online dating. “Just the thought of building a profile gives me anxiety. Ahhh!” she screams. “I’d try to be fair in answering my questions, but you think, ‘Who’s the freak I’m going to meet?’ and ‘How do I know if any of this is true?’ I’d be terrible at it!”
This woman, who is objectively gorgeous, is terrified of online dating. What’s that say for the rest of us?
So I want to have a side-bar here with just the men — if you’ve ever looked at a woman who weighed more than 120 pounds, who didn’t do Zumba and who probably wouldn’t look great in yoga pants with a t-shirt out in public, a woman who maybe went back for a few extra Oreo’s, and you thought she was beautiful, then I beg you to change your body type check box.
And for all you ladies who have to wear two sports bras when you jog, who sneak the extra pasta left-overs from the fridge in the middle of the night because it’s so good, who suck in your gut in front of the mirror and who look longingly at those skinny jeans at the store that will simply never look good on you, you are beautiful, too, and don’t let anyone tell you different.