One of the things I love most about 30 Dates is the way it has grown into a community of singles all over the world. Yes, I know it’s not just singles who consult the blog for dating tales, and London Date Venue tips, but for the most part, it’s the single readers who engage in dialogue with me. On an average day, I can get anything up to ten emails from new single readers around the world. Often they have their own Henley Boy stories to tell. Or maybe they’re going through a bad patch, and appreciated the blog’s positive approach to being single.
This week two readers emailed me with article suggestions. Inspired by things they had seen and read, they contacted me to see if I’d seen the same things. Which is how I found out about the ‘fat Tinder’ video by the guys at Simple Pickup, before it was picked up by any of the papers over here.
If you haven’t seen the video yet, here’s the one starring the girl.
Essentially what happens is they put a ridiculously hot, slim woman into a fat suit. She gets matches on Tinder looking like her real self, but then turns up on the dates over twice the size of the woman in the photos. They then use secret cameras to film the men’s responses.
Then, they repeated the experiment with a (arguably not-so-hot) guy.
The whole thing was designed to prove that men are more superficial than women. Apparently men’s biggest fear online dating is that their date is fat in real life, while women are worried they are going to meet a serial killer …
If you search ‘Tinder fat suit’ you’re already guaranteed to find tens, if not hundreds, of articles praising the experiment, and bemoaning men for being so superficial …
But not here.
You see, I don’t actually think the guys in the video are that much at fault. I think it’s the video makers who should be the target of criticism!
1) We all know Tinder is superficial!
The whole way the app works is that you select people on their physical appearance. Most Tinder dates won’t have exchanged a great deal of conversation before meeting up. So I don’t really understand the revelation that the men who went on the dates acted superficially!
They went on the date because they were expecting the person in the photos to appear. She didn’t. They hadn’t made any other connection with her, so what would keep them on the date, if all they were expecting was a bikini model, and she didn’t materialise?
2) The ‘fat woman’ was ridiculously hot in real life
She wasn’t a particularly average looking woman, with an average body! She was basically a model, and then they turned her into something resembling Jabba the Hutt! (Before you say anything – that’s not me picking on fat people, it’s my description of the odd chin and neck makeup they put on her). The Tinder-to-reality contrast couldn’t be more dramatic if they tried! Yes, that makes for good TV. But put it this way – they secured 5 guys who thought they were going on a date with a girl way out of their league, and then replaced her with someone they wouldn’t normally look twice at. It’s not a particularly mind-blowing social experiment!
3) It was all too drastic
Because of those dramatic contrasts – which obviously make for good visuals for a 3 minute YouTube video – the video loses any ability to make any real statements, other than the ones we already know. 1) Tinder is superficial, and 2) Make a guy think he’s going on a date with a supermodel, and then replace her with a dramatically overweight woman, and he’s going to be disappointed.
There are far cleverer things they could have done (see point number 7)
4) Any guy who picks a date based on her bikini photos is likely to be pretty superficial!
And any girl who posts bikini shots of herself on a dating site needs to grow up! Come on – most of your colleagues haven’t seen you in your underwear, why post the equivalent for thousands of faceless strangers to dribble over?!
5) Dating is real life
Unless people are doing a 30 Dates challenge, the chances are they’re dating because they are looking for a partner. And they are using their valuable spare time to find that partner. So whilst, yes, I appreciate some of the men in that video are rather rude in making their apologies (or rather not making their apologies) and leaving, I can actually see where they’re coming from.
They used Tinder to find their match, so all they matched on was appearance. The woman didn’t actually look like that, so there was no longer a match. What was the point wasting both of their time, if they knew it wasn’t going to go anywhere? I think men (in particular) do that on dates for a whole host of reasons – not just obesity!
6) Everyone has preferences
Yes, I get that people need to be open-minded, and that this became such a sensationalist story because it seemed to show how poorly fat people are regarded in the dating world. But what you need to remember is that everyone has a type. Physical attraction is a big part of dating for most people, and yes, in the western world we’ve been brought up to see slimmer figures as more attractive. I’m not saying that’s right, but it does play a huge role in dating – which is the whole reason Tinder exists.
The video isn’t about people hating fat people, or picking on them … it’s about 4 men who are attracted to skinny women, turning up to a date with a woman who is anything but skinny, and not having the social skills to get out of the situation politely, or endure it. For example, just because someone isn’t attracted to black people doesn’t make them a racist.
Whilst there are people out there who want to date tiny women, there are also men out there who want to date large women. But obviously the overall statement of the video wouldn’t seem so scathing if they’d wooed men into thinking they were dating a fat woman, and then actually had a super skinny model turn up on the dates.
7) The Video Just Encourages Negativity
I don’t think this was a statement that needs to be made! We all know Tinder users are superficial. And we all know men who want to date supermodels won’t be impressed by an extremely overweight woman.
The way this video has been framed, it almost victimises larger women. But if you’re a larger woman and you are honest in your online dating profiles, you’ll attract men who actually are attracted to larger women – and trust me, lots of them exist in the real world.
One of my biggest rules for online dating profiles is honesty. Be honest about who you are – you want to attract men who are attracted to the real you. As I’ve said before, no one wants their first impression to be one of disappointment!
8) It could have been done so much better
If you really want to make a statement about the importance weight – why not see what happens when you send along someone who is just a few pounds heavier than their photo. Does it affect things? Does their date even notice? And what about someone who is a couple of pounds less, does it make any difference to the date?
Personally I think the best idea, to show just how shallow men are, would have been to use the hot model girl, but make her increasingly obnoxious, and see what men will put up with, for an incredibly hot woman. And then perhaps have a less attractive woman do the same things, and contrast the reactions.
9) The Man’s Video Wasn’t Comparable
All the male version of the video showed was that women are more tolerant generally. But then the guy in the original Tinder photos wasn’t model-hot like the woman was, so maybe his dates were expecting something less dramatic than the men in the first place? Also, he wasn’t just in a fat suit, some of the stuff he was saying was really obnoxious! While the woman in the fat suit was making sarcastic comments, the guy was just an awful date overall, and yet far more women tolerated him, than men tolerated the nicer fat suit lady.
10) The Women May Be More Polite, But That Doesn’t Make Them Any Less Superficial
Yes, the women carried on with the date, but that doesn’t mean they ever pursued anything with the guy. I’ve been on loads of dates where the guy didn’t actually look like his photos – maybe they were old, Instagrammed, or just taken from a very good angle. And whilst I saw out the date, had a fun evening doing whatever we were doing, and was polite and interested, that didn’t mean I ended up fancying the guys or wanting to see them again.
Physical attraction is a big thing for me – I want to date someone who I’m sexually attracted to. And I think most people are the same – regardless of whether they’re male or female, and whether the object of that attraction is thin or fat.
So give the guys in the video a break … and turn your attention to the two guys at the very start of the video. Why did they do the experiment in that way? Was it just a gimic to make easy tabloid headlines? Or did Tinder’s superficial nature really need to be proven on camera???
I’m not convinced!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx