OkCupid keeps getting uglier

OkCupid used to be free, and now it has several different paid tiers. Each membership level offers increasingly smarmy features to users willing to fork over a few bucks each month. But this latest story is the ickiest yet.

Half cocked.Now, you can pay to filter out profiles of fat and ugly people. Yes, I know those terms are both incredibly subjective. No, I don’t have any faith that this setting actually works. Yes, the Internet is collectively outraged.

Apparently they even created these goofy personas based on body type and average star rating, haha. Sort of like your Meyers-Briggs of sketchy egotism.

I’m sure my opinion is controversial in its own way, but I don’t  think this feature is all that bad, if that’s how OKC wants to monetize their thang. See, I think it’s almost like a Darwin Award of Dating. A feature, not a bug!

Anyone who is narrow-minded enough to intentionally filter this heavily, and is cocky enough to think they themselves deserve to be able to filter this heavily, is not someone you really want ot be matched up with. Male or female, gay or straight, I think I’d find a date or conversation with someone who considers themselves five star only material to be pretty lame, you know? And OkCupid is going to reap plenty of hilariously bad press for this move; let them keep digging themselves in further.

Here is my plea to the outraged annals of the Internet: let it go. It’s no sweat off your back. Keep doing a good job of online dating, knowing that this is actually a tool to help filter a certain type of creep out of your inbox, ya know? Go on fun dates with more open-minded singles. Go on dates with people whose body type you wouldn’t have checked in your “in an ideal world” box, but whose writing and stubble more than make up for the difference. Poke around with manual searches and be surprised by the unexpected and even refreshing connections you make. Ignore the algorithms. Ignore the quivers and the quickmatches.

However you go about it, just seek out some people and go on some dates. Be secure and even smug in the knowledge that the people you go out on these dates with probably aren’t the asshats who pay five bucks a month for an ego trip. And most importantly, just have fun. Let the fat and fugly shamers go play in their own boring playground where they don’t have access to any of the good appetizers. [icon-heart]

Comments 6

  1. pete

    Why is this even an issue? What’s so evil about filtering out body types you’re not interested in? It seems to be confused with being disrespectful towards fat people. I think everyone is deserving of respect, but why am I a bad person just because I’m not physically attracted to a specific body type? Is it somehow more altruistic to date someone who is overweight?

  2. Virginia

    There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with it, Pete; being physically attracted to potential mates is incredibly important! I think it rubs many people the wrong way because the fact that it’s a paid feature makes the site feel elitist and fractioned. I agree that this is a non-issue.

    From my (admittedly biased) perspective as an online dating coach, the bigger point is that turning to filtering features like this is a misguided strategy in your quest for love. Yes, body type is important, but when you lean on OKC to filter down to an “only the hottest” queue, you’re vastly limiting your ability to make meaningful, organic connections.

    Here’s a personal example in practice. I’m not attracted to guys who are shorter than me (and I’m kind of a giantess). But I found that when I stopped worrying about such metrics and just sought out interesting people by putting out an interesting profile or personal ad, I wound up going on MANY more enjoyable dates, with people who happened to better fit my desired metrics. Like, exponentially better than when I filtered for my desired height ranges.

    In my decade plus of online dating experience, in which the systems keep getting more allegedly sophisticated and my clients keep getting increasingly stressed out, I’ve come to believe that relying on a search or matching algorithm to produce connections for you is counter-productive. You have to introduce a human element, like cherry-picking people you wouldn’t normally find in your superduper targeted Advance Search results. That sort of thing is what makes you date a more innately diverse crowd. I see this filtering system as kinda self-defeating. But most of my clients would not make the “most attractive” cut (because they’re realistic pretty people, not models with perfect photos), and most would be put off by knowing someone was using A-list filtering features even if they couldn’t quite articulate why. So it’s kind of convenient that it separates the population, ya know?

  3. pete

    I suppose, I live in a city and it seems like there’s so many matches that there’s room to be picky. Although I guess I don’t really know how many people there are.

  4. Virginia

    Pete, there may be tons of people, and even tons of people who are great matches, but how many of them are you going on dates with? A flush market doesn’t always mean people are able to easily connect. New York is one of the loneliest places for many people, even though it has a massive userbase on all the dating sites, ya know?

    It sounds like you’ve found a good balance where you live, just based on your tone. But give me a call if you do end up struggling to make connections despite there being tons of singles in your area. Sometimes, just a simple tweak to how you’re putting yourself out there makes all the difference!

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