Liars Suck: Why I’m Not Mad at the Guys Who Rejected the Tinder Fat Suit Girl
By: Rosie Valentine |
Last month, the Internet exploded with disgust at the results of a social experiment that tested how men would react when their date showed up looking markedly larger than her photos had suggested on the popular dating app, Tinder.
Here’s how it went down: The guys at Simple Pickup posted photos of a slender female friend on Tinder and arranged for her to meet five matches in real life. When it came time to meet her dates, the girl donned a fat suit, makeup and prosthetics to make her appear obese.
Not surprisingly, the dates were taken aback when the girl they met looked strikingly different than her photos. Each of the men made mention of the disparity and all but one left the date prematurely.
The video of the dates went viral and the Internet freaked out, decrying the men as shallow, rude and disrespectful.
When I read the commentary, I was perplexed. Everyone was crying “fat shaming, “ but I couldn’t help but think something painfully obvious was being overlooked here. Because to me, the real elephant in the room was this: flagrantly deceiving someone into meeting you through misleading photos is also what many would consider shallow, rude and disrespectful.
It Wasn’t Her Size, But the Lies
After watching the video, I honestly think most of the men – with the exception of the guy who left to “use the restroom” then disappeared – responded appropriately. Two of them called her out on the deception and told her point blank they did not appreciate being lied to. And I don’t blame them. No one likes being lied to, which is exactly what happened here.
Now, I understand that plus size women are often subjected to callous treatment and wholeheartedly agree that it is disgraceful and must stop. However, I believe the issue in this scenario is not that the men were categorically sizeist, but that they were annoyed about being tricked into a date through the bait of deliberately duplicitous photographs.
Mind you, if this had been a real profile, the deception would most certainly have been deliberate — we’re not talking about someone who gained an extra few pounds over the holidays. The woman in the photos – one of which displayed her full tiny body in a bikini – appeared to be about a size two. By contrast, the girl who showed up for the date was obese.
I had a similar experience when I first started online dating. I met someone online and liked his pic and profile. But the guy who showed up for our date was quite literally not the man from the photo. He had misrepresented himself by using an image of someone else entirely, and I simply wasn’t attracted to the person who turned up at the restaurant. To be sure, the fact that he lied made him even less attractive.
I sucked it up and stayed for the duration of the dinner, albeit thoroughly annoyed. However, I think I would have been well within my right to have informed him that I didn’t appreciate the deceit and bolted before the drink order.
The Awful Truth: Most of Us Lie
It’s a common complaint among online daters of both sexes: people lie on their profiles. In fact, studies have revealed that up to 80 percent of online daters lie.
Eighty percent! When I read that statistic, my eyes popped and I couldn’t help but wonder: what the hell is wrong with these people? Do they not realize their date is going to find out? And the oddest thing is, people most often lie about characteristics that will be uncovered as false upon first glance.
Top Three Things Online Daters Lie About
This one always baffles me. Studies show that men often pad their height on their profiles, adding a couple of inches or more to their stature. But this one could so easily be disproven with a measuring tape. Naturally, most women don’t carry these around and likely wouldn’t whip one out just to prove someone wrong. However, a woman will at least know how tall she is and will perform visual calculations to assess your height, so if you’re lying, she’ll know it.
Weight or Body Type
Women are the bigger fibbers in this department, and while few dating sites actually require members to plug in a hard number of pounds or kilos, most will ask for body type. If you’ve got “more to love,” just own it as such. But the biggest fabrication lies in your photos. If you’ve gone up a few sizes since the time your photos were taken, update them. This goes for men and women. Because, once again, your date will notice.
Sadly, the nature of online dating sites makes finding matches more difficult when you get older. Nearly all dating sites ask for an age range in your search. So even if you’re a Rob Lowe or Halle Berry freak-of-nature type who never seems to age, you’ll be omitted from certain search results because you don’t fall into someone’s selected age range.
Nevertheless, many folks are simply kidding themselves when they distort their age. I’ve heard men and women alike complain that their purportedly 29-year-old date was clearly in their 40s or beyond. But regardless, if you meet someone and the relationship progresses, eventually you’ll have to come clean and your partner might not be so thrilled that you deceived them.
Oh, What a Tangled Web
Although height, weight and age are the top three deceits, individuals also stretch the truth about income, education, career and even hobbies. Love to travel, you say? Sorry, your commute to Chipotle doesn’t count.
My girlfriend recently went out with a man she met online. In his profile, he mentioned that he had earned his MBA at Harvard. When she brought it up during their date, he laughed and said, “Oh, yeah, I actually just took an online extension course there, but figured I may as well put MBA because, you know, what the hell.”
“What the hell?” That’s like saying you were the star of Titanic when in reality you were one of the extras falling off the boat that’s onscreen for half a second.
My friend wondered what else he might have lied about. Needless to say, there was no second date.
I suppose people make the absurd rationalization that if they can just lock down the date by whatever means necessary – even bold-faced lies – they will subsequently win their date over with their sparkling personality and the blindly forgiving soul will totally forget they were lied to in the first place.
I’m just going to be blunt, because apparently it is necessary: This is insane. The only assessment your date will make of your personality is that you are an asshat. If you survey a thousand men and women on what qualities they are searching for in a mate, I can almost guarantee that not one would be “big fat liar.”
If you’re not having much success at online dating, take a good, hard look at your profile and ask yourself: Am I part of the problem? If you’re unsure whether or not you look like your photos, ask a friend who you know will be honest with you. Stretching the truth might get you the date, but it won’t get you much further than that, and it might get you a slap in the face in the form of rejection.
Attraction Matters, and That’s Okay
Many of the folks who expressed disdain at the men from the Tinder experiment proclaim that we should all pay more attention to inner beauty and place less importance on superficial qualities like appearance. And I agree – we should. But we won’t.
Oh, what a wonderful world it would be if we all cared naught about physical attributes and sincerely believed that it’s what on the inside that counts. Mind you, I think we can all agree that what’s on the inside does count – it counts for a lot, in fact – but there is no denying that physical attraction plays a role in overall attraction as well, even among the best of us.
Don’t despair. The great news is that not everyone is attracted to the same thing. I mean, sure, we’re all aware that the Brads and Angelinas of the world will have an easier time in the initial stages of attracting a mate and it’s completely unfair and we all collectively hate them for it. (If it’s any consolation, the beautiful people of the world do NOT necessarily have more success at finding and sustaining a relationship. Thank God. Otherwise, we’d have to kill them.)
But no matter what you look like, you can have faith that there is someone who’ll be into what you’ve got going on. Plenty of guys are into big girls, tons of women dig short men and even Shrek the ogre found his princess — and he was green with trumpets for ears. If you don’t believe me, there is hard, uncontroverted evidence that proves my point: millions of individuals of all shapes and sizes the world over have found love and are in happily committed relationships.
Just hold your head high and give the world the best version of the real you and you will attract the right person. And if that’s not enough incentive to stick with the truth, there’s also this:
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain