In 2014 54% of Canadians reported themselves as being overweight.
That’s 14,222,521 Canadians… thereabouts. And those are just the ones that admitted to it.
Because, let’s face it, nobody wants to admit that they’re overweight.
Case in point: In the past few months I’ve been on and off a couple of dating sites.
I know, I know. I was. It’s a thing.
The fact of the matter is that you don’t meet people awkwardly fondling citrus anymore. It just doesn’t happen.
During this little rendezvous into the high powered and incredibly lucrative world of match making I noticed a couple of things.
Number one: there are a LOT of nurses on online dating sites — like a LOT of nurses. I think they should have a site called “Plenty of Nurses”, because there are a metric fuck-tonne*. (*not an actual measurement*).
Number two: people are afraid to admit the shape and size of their bodies.
Tinder, not so much, because you don’t have to come out and say your “body type”. Although you can twist and contort the angles of your face to make yourself look a little more svelte.
I’m pretty much an all-star at that.
Plenty of Fish has been around since 2003. The brain child of Markus Frind, the site offers people from all over the world the chance to connect with other singles (or in some cases non-singles, couples, goats — you name it).
It’s a free service that you can pay for if you want to. When you pay for it you can find out if people have read or deleted your messages. You can also find out other helpful tidbits like if they’d rather eat in a restaurant or not, or if they’re a middle child. Why any of that matters is beyond me.
But, I digress…
One of the points of interest with POF is the extensive sign-up process.
This is where you click boxes to best describe you you are and what you’re after.
Your profile is then created from this information.
During this little sign-up thingamajiggy, there’s a section labeled “body type”.
You have several options, and they are as follows.
1.) Prefer not to say
5.) A few extra pounds
6.) Big and Tall/BBW
If you’re overweight, this is the part of POF that really kicks you in the preverbal guts.
If you put down “prefer not to say” people will automatically think you’re hiding something, if you put down average but then your photo says something different then you’re lying, and if you tell the truth… well… if you tell the truth chances are you’ll experience the online equivalent to tumbleweeds blowing in the desert.
You’d have a better shot at starting a conversation as Anders Behring Breivik than somebody who’s “a few extra pounds” for Christ’s sake.
And that guy ain’t exactly a dreamboat, if you know what I’m sayin’.
Overweight is synonymous with a lot of things:
Know what is missing from that list?
For all intents and purposes (or porpoises) fat people are best described as animals. Beasts of burden on a crumbling health infrastructure.
Whenever the government is short on cash you can bet your bottom dollar the first thing people cry for is to tax the drunk, the smoking, and the overweight.
And, sure, I’m all for a tax on junk food. I hate that in some places in this country it’s cheaper to buy a big mac than it is to buy a head of cauliflower — but I don’t set the food pricing. Do I?
The real puzzling part of misrepresenting yourself online when looking for the love of your life, or of July, whatever comes first — is that you aren’t just misrepresenting yourself to a perspective match, you’re misrepresenting yourself to you.
It indicates a level of self-loathing and shame that is perhaps even more societally prevalent than obesity.
What is this mythical standard that we all hold ourselves up to?
Is it the George Clooney’s and the Gwyneth Paltrow’s of the world?
Because, I guarantee you, as sure as there’s shit in a cat those folks probably aren’t too fussy on themselves either.
What’s the solution?
Stop fucking comparing yourself to a broken ideal. To a fucking unicorn that doesn’t even exist. And start telling the truth to the person that counts the most.
Be you. Love that.
If other people don’t like it, then — to quote my mother — “stick bubbly, I hope their balloon bursts”.
I have no clue what that means… it just sounded right in this context.
If you’re not perfect right now, don’t worry. You never will be. You can improve things about yourself, for sure. But, if you think that some day you’re going to wake up and be perfect — it’s time to lay down the pipe, cause it ain’t happenin’.
In the meantime, If anyone needs me, I’ll be at Sobey’s violating the lemons.