On sites like Ok Cupid, where you have to fill out a series of questions relating to sex, dating, and personality, I'd preemptively check how a guy answered questions like "would you date someone who is overweight? I eventually got over this, and I realized I'd created problems for myself that didn't need to exist.But I was intrigued when I heard about Woo Plus, a new dating app for plus-sized men and women to date freely, without the fear of being fat-shamed.
If that's actually true (I couldn't find the study), I can see how an app like Woo Plus is meant to be a safe space of sorts.
"We're trying to make people comfortable with their bodies, and comfortable with themselves," added Li.
Of course, the idea also has its flaws: Does an app like Woo Plus put too much emphasis on weight, rather than looking past someone's size to get to know him or her as a person?
Does it fetishize big women, or attract people who are simply looking to fulfill a fantasy with someone BBW?
(When I later asked Li about this, she said: "We can't stop it all, but we have a lot of features already in place where we're detecting certain words [like fetish] and removing those users right away. As the age-old saying goes, never judge a dating app by it's user interface.
We're not tolerating that sort of idea on our site.") And how do you decide who is "fat enough" to be on an app like this? After downloading Woo Plus, I started crafting my profile.There's a section to select your interests, but you can only check off five pre-selected options.Illustration by George Heaven Online dating as a bigger woman can be brutal.I've been called a "fatty" or "fat bitch" by men on Tinder, or told that men would only have sex with me as a favor, because men could never be attracted to someone my size.I'm not insecure about my appearance, but when I first got into online dating, I found myself obsessing over my weight in an entirely different way.I worried my pictures made me look thinner than I actually am, and men would call me out for "lying" about my size.