The Tinder Social Experiments on Fat Bias

Hello my loves,

Some of you must be aware of 2 videos on YouTube channel Simple Pickup that have caught the attention of the masses. In the first video, a girl posts her profile on dating website Tinder and arranges for a meetup with a few prospective fellows. The twist here is that she posts a regular picture of herself on her profile but then dons a fat suit (just typing that out makes me cringe with annoyance) for the meetups to see the reaction garnered from the guys. The second video is of a guy doing the same thing when he meets prospective girlfriends from Tinder.

If you have not watched the videos,
Here is the one with the girl and Here is the one with the guy. If you’d like, watch them before reading the rest of my post.

I don’t even know where to begin with what I dislike about these social experiments.

First of all, I know so many confident, attractive people in the Fatshion community and some really gung-ho, headstrong fat positive icons who would have loved to be a part of this fat bias experiment. You want a realistic result? Get actual fat people.

Perhaps Simple Pickup shied away from that idea out of politeness..I cannot speak for their method but I am insulted that they made a non-Fat person don a hideous suit – they were clearly going for a dramatic flair. When have fatsuits ever looked authentic?

I am not discounting the rudeness of the guys and girls in the video. The men in particular were offensive, rude and total assholes. The girls’ reactions were more subtle, although there was one girl who wasn’t having any of it.
Online dating has it’s dodgy moments, people post pictures of celebrities as profile pictures (like seriously, don’t doubt my intelligence), wax lyrical about themselves but turn out to be complete letdowns in person. I can understand being disappointed and angry when you get cheated online.

Another turn the experiment could have taken, that I would have preferred? Post a proper picture of a big person and then suss out the different people that come forward to meet them. Because, that in itself is Very interesting.

Fat girls have reported meeting men from the internet who view them as a fetish. Others have spoken of meeting men who are embarrassed to be with them in public but enjoy their company in private. A few have talked about meeting men who feel like they can ‘own’ them and be hurtful to them because of their weight..these men get off on showing dominance.

Fat guys often speak about girls who want something monetary in return for their company. So he brings her shopping to expensive places, dines at pricey spots..but don’t treat him well unless they need financial favours. Aside from that though, women are more open to dating men of all sizes.

Why?
I think the hubster hit the nail on the head when he said:

“because there a lot of men that idolise the perfect female body than real female bodies and are unable to see themselves with someone any less than that. A lot of women don’t filter guys according to their size and socially acceptable state of attractiveness but more according to their personality and goodness”.

Good men are hard to find. It’s a fact.
We still live in a patriarchal world. We still have to fight for freedom over our bodies and the right to be what we want to be. If a girl gets raped, they ask her what she was wearing to provoke the man as if men don’t have any self-control and are rabid horny monsters.

I have dated my fair share of good guys, bad guys and dipshits. When I met my husband, I was so sick and tired of men. During my yo-yo weight cycles, I noticed varied reactions from boyfriends. If I was slender at that point of time, I was something to show off and parade in front of friends. Like a lion showing off to his pride. If I was chubby, I was berated and shamed for being that way..and I was kept hidden from his people. If I was wearing something sexy, he would be jealous, over-protective and shout at me for trying to act like a slut. If I was dressed plainly, he would call me a prude. If I didn’t speak to him respectfully, I was a bitch. If I was too meek, he would call me a doormat and prove his point by walking all over me.

I have not spoken of the pre-hubster days. Those years still anger me, upset me and is a sore topic of discussion. But this experiment has gotten me talking and I think it will be good to share what I have been through to give you guys some perspective on your lives and help you get to know me better. We are the sum of our parts and this is a part of me that taught me a great deal about fat shaming in the dating world.

Today, I smile and beam with joy when I look at Instagram pictures of beautiful zaftig ladies with their partners who love them for all that they are.

I get told that I am “lucky” to have found someone like that. Should I count myself lucky? Is it a privilege to meet a good guy because I am Fat?
I think not.

These social experiments on Fat bias had a lot of potential to open the eyes on how it is to put yourself out there to find romance. Unfortunately it was tacky, predictable and frankly upsetting to watch – We don’t need the reminder. We know. Tell us something new.

I read a fantastic quote on Tumblr by Fat Anarchy that I have to share as the ending of this post :

“It is an act of courage to be fat in public”.

You better believe it.
and I send a huge shout out to my Fat girls and guys – You are more courageous than you give yourself credit for.

Be kind to your bodies.
all my love xxxo Aarti Olivia

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2 thoughts on “The Tinder Social Experiments on Fat Bias

  1. I saw this video last week sometime and felt some type of way about it as well. I love the questions you pose here, it would have been interesting to see “real” people and not people in these phony fat suits. All in all this social experiment was something that left me SMH. I too know far too well how women are often treated based on appearances from past relationships. When I was skinny, I was more of the trophy and when I was thicker I was often the recipient of snide comments when I ate something and little put downs here and there until I realized my worth and decided I was happier single. I am married now and thankful my hubby loves me for me BUT I know what you’re saying Aarti! I feel you girl thanks for sharing this!!

  2. You want a realistic result? Get actual fat people.” = my favorite part of this. I actually had the notion a few months ago to do an fat girl on Tinder series, but as a married woman it seemed wrong. I think you are right, that is a very interesting topic, but wearing a fat suit turns it into a novelty, not a social experiment.

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