Big and fat singles dating
"Ok Cupid has questions that focus on body shape — like, 'Can overweight people still be sexy? "But you see questions like that, and you think to yourself, In a way, she's right.
People are attracted to who they are attracted to, which leads back to representation, which turns this whole situation into the proverbial snake eating its own tail.
Ok Cupid's algorithm then uses that information to calculate a match percentage between a particular user and a potential partner.
But some of those questions can be decidedly fat-phobic. Ok Cupid has come under fire for some of these fat-phobic questions, and has responded by saying that they're always working to clean up or delete inflammatory inquiries.
Their CEO, who started the app after suing Tinder over sexual harassment she experienced as a cofounder there, has always been an outspoken advocate against sexual harassment and abuse.
"I've had men message me and ask to feed me," says Laura Delarato, a sex-educator and branded video producer at . It's on regular sites like Ok Cupid and Tinder." According to Delarato, if you're a plus-size woman on a dating app, you should expect your body to be "the forefront of the conversation."The easy (and typical) explanation for this is that swipe-based dating apps have made us more shallow.
These changes point to an understanding on the part of app developers about how harassment affects some of its users, particularly those who are plus-size.
Unfortunately, small tweaks to interfaces can only do so much if all users don't play by apps' often easy-to-break rules.
"We conducted research [internally] that found that there was an increased time spent in evaluating potential profiles that were in monochrome," says Meredith Davis, head of communications for The League.
"We found that not only did users spend more time evaluating each profile, but that [users] were nice and gave people more of a shot when shown the monochrome profiles." Davis didn't provide information on how many profiles were tested or why black-and-white photos, specifically, led to greater engagement, but she says the research showed that interaction with profiles went up "across the board, regardless of the profile user's hair color, skin tone, body shape, etc." But it's hard to tell at this point how effective these measures really are across the board.