I stumbled upon a recommended video whilst on YouTube.
The title read “Fat Girl Tinder Date (Social Experiment),” and I immediately clicked on the video to watch.
The introduction explained the purpose for conducting the social experiment.
The video claimed that a recent study shows “the number one fear for women dating online is that the man they meet is a serial killer; however, the number one fear for men dating online is that the woman they meet will be fat.”
In order to prove this statement, a beautiful young woman named Sarah matched with five men on Tinder and set a date with each of her matches. The catch is that she would look dramatically different form her photos. A make up team transformed Sarah into an obese woman, giving her double chin and adding over one hundred pounds of body fat.
Three hidden cameras were set up around designated date location. Sarah, in full costume, arrived early and waited outside of a café for her dates. The reactions, body language and dialect by her dates accurately depicted the study’s conclusion: the men were not reacting well to Sarah based on how much she appeared to weigh.
Out of five dates, four left Sarah. One used the cliché, “it’s not you, it’s me” line to leave. A few were angry that she had used “old” photos and lied to them, proceeding to leave after confessing their disappointment and betrayal. And one simply “went to the bathroom” and never came back.
While the video did not provide a formal conclusion to the social experiment, it was apparent through Sarah’s mannerisms and facial expressions how her transformation from a beautiful, skinny woman to a perceived “ugly and fat” one affected her.
Sarah’s body language changed as the day went on. In the beginning she was cheerful and optimistic about going on these blind dates. After her dates started to leave, one after the other, her body slouched, her eyes saddened and her voice sounded more stressed. Only after the last date, where the man did not leave her, and was surprisingly kind and polite towards her did she reveal it was a social experiment all along.
Based on this one social experiment, the data gathered from the recent study held true. Out of five men who went on a date with Sarah, only one was willing to stay after revealing she was obese.
I abhorred the men who left Sarah in such a rude and careless manner; they disregarded her feelings and did not treat her like a human being but as a “thing” because of her weight.
Their body language was constantly non-facing Sarah. They made little eye-contact. And if Sarah would ever try to make friendly conversation, the men would interject and deviate from the subject.
The impolite and disparaging behavior these men exhibited showed how shallow and selfish most men are when it comes to dating. Immediately, they belittled Sarah for her looks (even though some of the men did not match their Tinder photos) and refused to show any respect towards her based on her looks.
Surprisingly enough, when it was the man’s turn to undergo the transformation, the results were the complete opposite.
Willy, a volunteer for the social experiment underwent the same make up transformation as Sarah. He had a double chin, added body weight and had five dates lined up for the day.
The results were as I expected. The women, although shocked that Willy did not match his Tinder profile, were respectful, kind and all stayed for the entire date. Willy even got a kiss goodbye.
The extreme difference in behavior between women and men reflects their values and priorities when they are seeking partners.
Men immediately ruled out Sarah as a potential partner based on her weight while women were willing to give Willy a chance and evaluated his personality before making a decision to see him again.
The sad truth that this experiment showed opened my eyes to the judgmental standards women still have to uphold for men today.
I naively thought that there would be more men willing to go on a date with a woman who was obese, but still attractive. I was not expecting men to disrespect and maltreat Sarah the way they did. I am ashamed that I thought so optimistically as Sarah did about how her dates would go; moreover, I am saddened that society is still mistreating women based on their appearances while men are still treated with respect and kindness despite their aesthetics.
It’s a problem that will continue to fester until men realize that there is something beneath the surface. Women can offer much more than their looks and bodies to society; their minds, goals and personalities can be exuberant and improve society if given the chance. Hopefully that day will come.