Yvette Caster, a 33-year-old writer from London, has had her weight go up and down several times over the years, and was always curious if that impacted her dating life. She's currently single, so she figured, what better way to figure this out than by crowdsourcing her go-to dating website, OkCupid? Since OkCupid is quite picture-based, she knew that was how most users got their first impression of her, and was possibly the deciding factor as to whether or not they contacted her.
Now Caster's quite comfortable being her size (she's currently an 18 in U.K. sizing). She doesn't go for calling herself "plus-sized," but rather embraces the term "fat," or as she says, "phat." Not only that, she also says she feels much more confident and less self-conscious than she did at size 10.
She created two practically identical profiles, except for a few minor details (obviously the names had to be different for her to register). As for photos, she did a mix of head shots and body shots for both size 10 and size 18 profiles.
The one thing that really stuck with me was how she always felt like she "could do better" with her body when she was a size 10. I think we've all been there, even if by normal standards we'd be considered "thin." The experiment lasted five days, and she recorded all the profile views, likes and messages she received for each profile.
The results were somewhat disheartening, because they exhibit to some degree what most women fear — that thinner women get more attention. However, it wasn't that simple of a conclusion for Caster. Her size 10 self received 36 messages, 211 likes and 210 visits, which was about double what her size 18 self received (18 messages, 74 likes and 81 visits). While this doesn't look like what I'd expect her to want to see, Caster saw the silver lining. At a size 18, she still received 18 messages from 18 guys in five days.
Moreover, the pictures she used for her current size's profile weren't terribly flattering, yet that didn't deter guys from talking her up. There also wasn't much of a distinction between how hot the guys were who contacted her size 10 profile versus her size 18 profile, nor were their comments that different. All in all, yes, sadly the average guy on an online dating site will likely go for the thinner woman first, but that doesn't mean they aren't going for the bigger women at all. So body-shamers be damned! Everyone is dateable, no matter their size.
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