There’s these two videos going around the internet these days. I’m sure most of you have seen them. A hot guy and a hot girl post profiles of themselves on Tinder and then when their dates show up they are wearing fat suits. It’s been labeled a social experiment to see how men and women react when the person they meet online doesn’t look like the real life version standing in front of them.
These people did a great job with their videos because initially the videos forced me to elicit the exact reaction they wanted – anger and disgust.
The men’s reactions to their overweight date was deplorable. One guy went as far as to ask the woman flat out if she was the pregnant and another went to the “washroom” only to never return. The women, on the other hand, seemed surprised at first but were still kind to their portly potential match. One kissed him goodbye and other made plans for a second date. Complete polar opposite reactions to the same situation.
Yes, the videos were entertaining and yes, they did serve to show how men and women react differently. However, my issue with the videos lie in the fact that I believe they were not necessary.
Tinder, in itself, is a superficial medium for dating. One quick swipe puts someone into a “no” pile based straight off their looks. On top of that, are we really that surprised with how this experiment turned out? I do admit I was shocked at the level of blatant disrespect the men had for the women and the fact that because a woman was fat, men felt it was acceptable to talk to her in a belittling and de-valuing way.
I, do however, believe it would have been 100% acceptable for the men to point out the fact that the woman did not look like her photo. I mean, come on, I would have. In her Tinder profile, she’s wearing a bikini and has a flat stomach, and in real life she doesn’t look like that. I think it’s fine to ask why someone would post such a misleading photo. I do not think it’s okay to ask a woman if “she likes to eat” because she is overweight, nor is it okay to lie to her so you can just leave.
Whether intentionally or not, the creators of this social experiment are making fun of the overweight body. By choosing to create a man and woman so obese and who look, to me at least, like they are wearing a fat suit, is too extreme. Inadvertently, the man and woman come off looking humourous. I think a similar result could have been achieved had they made both the man and woman look more realistic.
The bottom line is: Did we really need this social experiment? Did it teach us anything new about our society?
I think most of us know that the same standards for women do not apply for men. Look at shows like King of Queens that shows an overweight man with a beautiful, slim wife. Have you ever seen a show where the wife is overweight and the husband is a hunk? Similarly, we are bombarded with campaigns telling women to love themselves just as they are, whereas the dialogue about men and their potential flaws does not exist.
I bet if you asked 100 people how the experiment would have turned out, they would have been able to answer correctly without having to watch the videos. I believe that the makers of these videos had the best of intentions, but they taught us nothing new. It was at the price of making women feel worse about their bodies and bringing more awareness that we need to worry even more about our appearances as women.
At the beginning of the video, the creators stated that a woman’s number one fear with regards to online dating is that their date will turn out to be a serial killer. I beg to differ. I think a woman’s number one fear is ending up with any of the superficial idiots in the video.
Do you think the videos were important in sharing male/female stereotypes or do you think they did more harm than good? What would you do if your date showed up looking nothing like their picture?