Article Round Up: OK Cupid, Fetishists & “Fatties”

April 4th, 2013

Article Roundup

Great post over at XOJane about how free some people feel to fat shame women and the various weight categories users have to choose from when creating a profile.

From the article:

Dick laughed at these and said, “My biggest problem so far has been with the stealth fatties.” Chortle, chortle.
His reference, of course, was to women looking thinner in their picture than in real life. An injustice beyond measure, I would surely agree. 


“That’s not nice,” I said, refusing to play it polite till the end of the date and just never see him again. Not only was his joke mean, the man was 35 years old and using the word “fattie.” 
“Well, it’s not a nice thing to do to a person!” he said. He looked dead serious as he said that to look one way in a picture and show up looking different is genuinely unkind. 
Overweight women are aware that they are not thin, they are reminded of it every day by “well-intentioned” co-workers and sinisterly intentioned advertisers. The potential for outright ridicule is way too high and I simply can’t believe that any overweight woman has actually done this unless as part of some daring social experiment to see just how terribly things would go.
I chimed in and shared my experience with the author. When I was at my heaviest, 190 lbs, I actually chose “Fit” as my body type. Yes, seriously. A man or woman can live in denial for a very long time about their weight. Well meaning-friends will use words like husky, curvy or voluptuous to describe their overweight friend’s shape. And believe it or not, what we see in the mirror isn’t necessarily what others see. It can literally take years for people to realize that they people they’re meeting from Match or OKCupid  walk away feeling intentionally deceived. Once you’re aware that something about your appearance is a possible detractor, you learn how to filter out the folks who probably won’t be attracted to you.
For example, OKCupid has a series of questions that users can answer in order to help them have higher match rates with potential dates. One of them goes something like:
If your ideal match were overweight, would that be a deal breaker?
There are a few possible responses.
  • No
  • Yes, but only if they were obese
  • Yes, even if they were slightly overweight
Any time I read a profile of someone who answers that question, I feel several levels of embarrassment if they choose, “Yes, even if they were slightly overweight.” Even though I don’t currently carry much extra weight and am in pretty good shape, I still wouldn’t respond to someone who selected that answer.  That response, to me, translates as, “Skinny girls only. No fatties.” Next. Those questions not only can reveal someone’s true intentions, but you can also glean from their responses if they’re insensitive assholes with fratboyish humor.
Another question users can answer is:
Can overweight people sexy?
I believe the responses include:
  • Yes
  • No
  • Sometimes
  • Always
If someone were to choose “Always” I’d immediately think they fetishize plus-sized people. Something else that gives me pause is if someone selects “Fuller Figured” as their ideal match’s  body type. I want someone who likes my body, but I don’t want someone who looks at my body or me as some kind of experiment.
Since we’re on the topic of fetishists, here’s an interesting comment from the original XOJane post:
I recently did this online experiment via okcupid where I changed my size from “overweight” few pounds overweight, however you wanna categorize it to “average,” just to see the difference responses I would get.
I found that when I was listed as Overweight, I received a lot of responses from men, the majority of which were only looking for NSA and Kinky sex. When I switched back to Average a month later, I got just as many responses, but the majority were interested in actual dates..very few made ice-breaker sexual innuendos or the cliche’d pseudo compliment that I fucking hate: “You’re pretty cute…for a big girl.” Some of the men actually double-mailed me, even though I had the SAME picture, and it was like they went from Dr. Gentleman Jekyl, to Mr. Horn Dog Hyde, all because my weight “fluctuated” two size brackets on some dumb dating profile.  I’ve never felt more like a Fetish in my entire life than I do on some of these “dating” sites.
This comment is spot on. I’ve said in the past that women should select their body type as Average and post recent full body shots. There are two reasons for this. First, by selecting a body type like Average the user will come up in more searches. Second, opting to identify as “Overweight” or “A little extra” gets you on the radar of all the fetishists. Especially on OKCupid. I get at least one or two messages a week – no exaggeration – from men who want me to walk on their backs while wearing my stilettos. Choosing certain descriptors or including specific keywords absolutely draws the kinksters. At one point I described my hair as “kinky.” Boom. I started getting emails from guys looking for BDSM or casual sex.  Be warned.Words like sensual, kinky, open-minded, fetish and even sexy might bring certain types of people to you. Go through your profile and see if you have any adjectives in it that might have double meanings or innuendo attached to them.
Another point I made was that the high schoolish cruelty expressed by the people the author met was not exclusive to men. Women are equally guilty of cracking on a man’s height or hairline. Though I think we have better social aptitude and know never to say that to our dates. But to our friends? Oh yeah, we’re pretty cruel.
Why do men and women say these sorts of hurtful things? Well, for starters, they feel duped and though someone wasted their time. While in some cases that’s true, often times someone either genuinely has no idea that they aren’t really 5’8″ or carrying ” a little extra.” Then there’s the fact that everybody has their own personalized definition of the body type descriptors. Some people might think that “Fit” should only be used to describe bodies of a certain size or weight. For me, it’s about muscle tone and fitness level. Hence why I identify as Fit.I post a full body shot in my profile, plus a few that show off my legs/muscle tone so that people can see that I do what I can to stay in shape. Personally, I think the photos are far more important than the descriptors. The descriptors are for search purposes only. They get people to your profile. Your photos are what encourage them to contact or respond to you.

As I have explained before, online dating is about transparency. If you keep your pictures up to date and post clear and accurate shots, you’ll lower your risk of having several “great” first dates that lead to nothing.

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35 Responses to “Article Round Up: OK Cupid, Fetishists & “Fatties””

  1. meh Says:

    i’m not a chubbby-chaser but i have been accused of being one by some women. so i have to ask

    what is so wrong with a man who actually thinks chubby women are hot?

    it’s no different from men who prefer blondes or redheads. or men who prefer tattoo girls or leg-men or breast men. those are the things they find attractive. if a man thinks you are attractive, i think it’s self-sabotaging to judge him as being weird.

    women say they want to be accepted for who they are but when one of those guys shows up & shows interest, they reject him as though there is something wrong with him for finding her attractive.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

    • Sarah Says:

      If only women are accusing you of being a “chubby chaser,” it’s probably just sour grapes — shorthand for saying without saying: “I’m thinner/ more educated/ more interesting/ more ambitious/ better dressed/ better groomed than her. Why doesn’t anyone like meeee?” As Moxie has pointed out again and again, women don’t understand what men want in a partner.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  2. mindstar Says:

    Everyone does have their own tastes, what they find hot. What the remarkably oversensitive poster at XOJane fails to understand is that because people find certain things attractive we feel deceived when people turn out to be other than what they claimed to be. The XOJane poster is shocked because a man might be upset that a woman posts deceptive photos. Wouldn’t she be upset if she had said she only wanted to date men 5’10” or taller (very common to see in profiles) and a man who claimed to be that tall showed up and turn out to be only 5’6″? Or a man who claimed to work in investment banking and was actually a teller at a check cashing store? The 45 year old man who turns out to be 65+ when he actually shows up? All of these scenarios have happened to women friends of mine. Deception pisses people off.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

    • Matt Says:

      The difference, of course, is that women, being outnumbered by men on dating sites, have an abundance of choices, so when a guy lies, he has in fact kept her from a more honest choice. Men, however, are expected to take what they can get from online dating and not complain. “Oh, you have standards? Best lose those, bucko, you’re on a dating site now!”

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

      • Mj Says:

        Really? I find women more forgiving then men on dating sites. I went out with a guy who looked absolutely nothing like he did in his pics. Turns out he was using pics from at least 8-10 years ago. He was a nice guy and we had a good date so I didn’t run for the hills and we casually dated for a bit. Everybody has their own ideas about how somebody online “should” look and sometimes that doesn’t line up with reality. I seriously doubt these men are dealing with a 250 lb woman who posts pics of herself looking like she’s 120. I agree nobody should deceive anybody ever but it’s best to go into online dating with an open mind. Nobody looks like a photo in real life and its so hard to judge what somebody will look like in real life. I imagine these “stealth fatties” are women of average size who posted pics they thought were flattering. No woman would put herself through the torture of posting pics where she looks 100 pounds skinnier.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

        • Dark Sarcasm Says:

          I went on a date with a woman that I met on OK that had pictures up when she was 22 years old.

          She was 41.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

          • Mj Says:

            Lol I’m surprised she thought she could get away with that, and also if she looked 22 but her profile said she was 41 maybe you should have connected the dots. The guy I went out with appeared to be a fit man in his mid 30s but looked nothing like that irl. (He was kind of paunchy and balding)I gave it a chance though. Take everything from the Internet w a grain of salt is what I’m saying.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

            • Dark Sarcasm Says:

              I knew it was a bait & switch, but if you’re resorting to online dating to find someone, you are no longer in a position to dismiss anyone that easily. You have to at least give it a shot, but lower the high expectations a tad.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

              • Matt Says:

                Considering the amount of work that goes into online dating, especially if you’re a guy, I personally am not lowering my current expectations. I refuse to put in MLB effort to get little league results.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

                • Raving Lunatic Says:

                  Then maybe you shouldn’t be trying to play outside your league. Or just stay a bitter dater who never gets good results and blame everyone else. Sounds like it’s worked so well so far.

                  Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  3. CoolDude Says:

    “That response, to me, translates as, “Skinny girls only. No fatties.” Next. Those questions not only can reveal someone’s true intentions, but you can also glean from their responses if they’re insensitive assholes with fratboyish humor.”

    So it’s totally ok for women to want and expect to date marry a tall man but if men want to specify they are attracted to thin girls, that’s unacceptable? Really?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

    • mindstar Says:

      Nope but it’s the way of the world. A man with stated preferences is “shallow” while a woman (who at least in my experience often have a laundry list of preferences) is merely being “discerning and seeking what she deserves”

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

    • Mj Says:

      I read the article in its entirety in xojane and she never said anything about tall men. There are superficial men and superficial women in this world. It’s not a contest. If Men have the right to be turned off by fat or even slightly over weight women, women are also allowed to prefer taller men. Your preferences aren’t more valid than a woman’s and vice versa. anybody willing to toss away a perfectly good person because of something like a slight discrepancy in weight or height is a superficial ass. Now a 5’5 man saying he’s 6′ tall and a 200 pound woman claiming she’s 120 are just bold faced lies. Nobody is excusing lying but a grown man using the word fattie on a date is as immature and mean as a woman complaining about baldies and shorties. People are shitty in general

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

      • fuzzilla Says:

        For real. Do men really not see the difference between “I prefer a man of X height” and “No shorties!!!”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

        • HammersAndNails Says:

          There isn’t any difference. Men are not wrapped up with window dressing.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

          • fuzzilla Says:

            The former is having a preference and the latter is being a dick about it.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

            • HammersAndNails Says:

              You are just plain wrong. Seriously, try to imagine a 6’1+ guy coming home to his roommate complaining how much of a dick his date was because she said she doesn’t date shorty’s. Seriously… go ahead. Imagine that conversation in your head using man voices. It doesn’t play for a second. Most guys that aren’t tall identify as “average height” and would be more offended by saying ” I prefer guys who are your height + 1 inch” rather than “shorties”.

              Everyone has insecurities. Men certainly have them too. Lets just not get in the habit of pretending that’s not what’s happening here.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

          • Mj Says:

            Lolololol men aren’t wrapped up in window dressing!!?? Are you going to sit here and say men don’t care about looks and obsess about it? (Read the comment below where a guy took shots at the xo jane authors looks and is admittedly overweight himself but would rather be alone-which he will be forever with that attitude, than date an overweight woman) Wow I’m speechless. I look at women’s profiles and men’s profiles on okc and almost all of the men straight up said that they don’t want to date someone even slightly overweight and that overweight people annoy them and can’t be sexy. I haven’t seen many females answer those questions like that about overweight men. And I don’t really see women saying short men annoy them or aren’t sexy. Quietly having a preference is one thing (though I don’t personally care abou height myself) and being a complete asshole about it are two different things.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

            • HammersAndNails Says:

              You know that it’s absolutely ridiculous to call the difference between being attracted to someone and not “window dressing” when it comes to a relationship, right?

              I’ll leave the rest alone. You may find a quick google on “logical fallacies” educational.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

            • LostSailor Says:

              Oooh. Someone’s apparently been burned in their past. You apparently didn’t read my comment very carefully (and you have to admit, that it’s a very odd photo of the xojane author).

              I’m not perfect and don’t expect perfection in the women I date, but 5-10 pounds is a bit different than 20-25 pounds “overweight”. Beside, I carry it quite well. And you make quite an assumption that I am “alone.” I merely said I’d rather be alone (and quite comfortable in my own skin) than be with obese women.

              Typically, men are not “obsessing” about these things, it’s just a preference. And I call BS on your false observation that all of the men on OKC say straight up in their profiles that they won’t date fat women. There may be a few, but not all.

              I’m guessing that now, MJ, it’s time for you to hit the gym…

              Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

              • Mj Says:

                The funny thing about you telling me to hit the gym is that you have no clue what I look like. At all. I only mentioned the things you admitted in your comment. I have no clue what you look like and won’t reduce myself to tell you to hit the gym because frankly I really don’t care. Making fun of the girl in the xojane article and telling a stranger you never met or have seen in your life speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. Sometimes I cringe when I see xojane articles reported here because of people like you tearing their looks apart. That girl who wrote the article was a pleasant looking average girl. Why did you feel the need to make fun of her? You’re a single guy in his 40s who clearly hates women.

                Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

                • LostSailor Says:

                  Since you made certain assumptions about me, I thought you wouldn’t mind having certain assumptions made about you based on indicators of a certain…sensitivity…in your comment. And you do it again here, asserting I “hate women” without having the slightest actual knowledge of me, among other erroneous assumptions.

                  I will own that my full comment was inappropriate; I should have just noted it was an odd photo and left it at that, and Moxie has rightly edited the comment to reflect that.

                  And we should all be hitting the gym, because it’s a healthy thing to do…

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

            • mindstar Says:

              Actually Mj I was surprised at the very large number of female profiles on OKCupid which state that they won’t date a man who is even slightly overweight. Now that may be a bias of the age range of the woman’s profiles I was looking at then (40 years and above), but I would not be surprised if it also applied to the younger set as well.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

              • Mj Says:

                Makes sense since I don’t date women. What I was originally getting at is that there are superficial people of both sexes and while everybody has the right to their preferences, a grown man in his 30s calling women fatties on a first date is very immature and problematic. Same would go for women making fun of men on a date. I by no means think women aren’t guilty of having ridiculous standards but I guess being a female who dates men I notice it on mens profiles more.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. LostSailor Says:

    On linked article: WTF is up with that photo?

    But I agree with Moxie that while both men and women can harbor harsh judgments about weight, height, hair, etc., it’s pretty crass to actually voice these on a date. But if guys are actually doing this, better for me. I was raised to have better manners than that and realize that coming off as a douche on a first date is a poor strategy (Mom taught me to reel ‘em in first…).

    I can’t address true fetishists who are chubby chasers. Don’t know any. But I don’t agree that the comment where she experimented by changing her body description brought out fetishists. Guy just thought that the “overweight” profile woman was an easier mark, which is why the messages were overtly sexual. Yeah, some may be actual fetishists, but it’s more likely that they’re just looking at someone who they think has fewer options and will be easier.

    I have no problem with women who have specific preferences regarding height, or hair, or weight, etc. If I’m don’t meet those checklists, I just move on. No skin off my nose. After losing a significant amount of weight myself several years ago, I, too, have my preferences for women who are not overweight. Sure, I could still stand to lose another ten or so, but I’m in decent shape and those ten are not apparent until the clothes come off, and I don’t expect a woman to have a model’s physique. A “few extra” is fine with me as long as it’s really just a few; A few is not 25.

    Frankly, I’d rather be alone than with a woman who is really overweight. It’s not shallow, it’s a preference. Don’t like it? Don’t date me. I’m fine with that…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

  5. HammersAndNails Says:

    XOJane is the most insane stuff-thats-seriously-wrong-with-modern-women circle jerk ever. They celebrate so much bs that holds people back from happiness. This is the last time I click the link. That site is a terrifying glimpse into the minds of some of the worst kinds of girls. I really hope I’m missing the joke, but they seem pretty sincere. Even the “well meaning” stuff is so twisted.

    Hammersandnails@xojane.com
    Emails asking for sex will be deleted because I’m proud that i get solicited for sex and want to brag about it, but because I’m waaaaaay too good for that and soooooooo deserve better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  6. Brad Says:

    “I get at least one or two messages a week – no exaggeration – from men who want me to walk on their backs while wearing my stilettos. ”

    I would watch this. Tell them you will do it but only at a bar with your friends in attendance.

    Moxie, how would you advise a guy (pretend I’m a client) to proceed if the girl has one picture, and you can’t tell what she looks like from the chest down?

    I’ll send you an example in email if that helps. In online dating i have been disappointed and pleasantly surprised in these situations, it seems like there is no one-solution-fits-all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      I’m editing comments that make any references to the looks of the author of the XOJane piece. If you want to make a mature and constructive observation, that’s fine. But don’t write nasty things just to be nasty.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Based on the picture you sent, I wouldn’t meet her.

      I never meet anybody who only has one photo on their profile. That means that they couldn’t find any other photo where they both resembled the one the posted or where they look good. Plus, she’s hiding behind a table and bending over in a way that makes it look like she’s hiding something.

      PS? She looks under 25. Dude, seriously? You’re in your 40’s.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

      • Brad Says:

        “She looks under 25. Dude, seriously? You’re in your 40′s.”

        In the spirit of ATWYS… I be in my 40’s but I look 10 years younger!

        Seriously, though – why not? If a woman of any age could date a billionaire, they would. Why shouldn’t guys be able to do opposite-but-equal?

        But 25 and chubby is still chubby, thank you for the photo insights.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

      • HammersAndNails Says:

        ” dude seriously” you don’t think he can pull it off, or ” dude seriously” you have a problem with him pulling it off?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  7. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    New post, kids. With photos!
    http://atwys.baltimorewebsitedesign.net/2013/04/05/coffee-talk-open-thread-april-5-2013

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  8. Mark Says:

    With all due respect to the author of the XO article, I believe that she materially distorts the original tenor of the original dialog with the man who made the comment(s).

    It seems that she was taking exception to his belief that women were intentionally posting photo’s of themselves that accurately reflect their current physical appearance. Specifically concerning weight. Not just a slight difference, but substantially different. That’s what he was chiding. The posters knew or should have known that these photo’s were not a true representation of them, but put them forward anyway.

    This particular guy’s point of view was that he was attracted to a particular body type and not all that attracted to other body types. That was his personal preference. He acted on that preference based on what these women proffered as a true representation of themselves. He felt deceived and was voicing his frustration of those deceptions.

    Was he a bit crass about his commentary? Possibly.

    Was it called for? Maybe/maybe not.

    But the fact remains that to this guy, a certain physical appearance was a priority. To him it was important. That was his preference. Be it good, bad or indifferent.

    Just as many women may feel that men above a certain height are potential candidates for dating material while those below it are very often passed over. That is their personal preference. Again: good, bad or indifferent. They would feel that they were lied to if a guy would show up who is not the height that he claimed. Not just an inch, but several inches.

    Then again, the same arguments might be made about any material misrepresentation… of any type…. of both genders. The OP of the XOJane article wants to spin this and take it in a direction that doesn’t really address the guy’s underlying point.

    Moxie does make some great points about the self awareness issue. True enough. Then again, it can be a hard thin for someone to objectively view themselves as others view them. It can be tough, and many folks have a blind spot or two. All the more reason to keep profiles as straight forward as possible, Photo’s included.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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