Awhile ago I was helping a friend who decided to bite the bullet and write a personal ad. She asked me how she should fill out some of the sections; one in particular was “body type.” The options were:
- A Little Extra
Some of those seemed redundant to me, but whatever. Now for this particular friend, she was conflicted on whether to use “curvy,” “average” or “athletic.” I told her to pick athletic. I felt like that was a good representation of her body type. Sure she has some womanly curves but she’s also very athletic and strong.
The whole process sent me down memory lane. I remembered when I filled out a personal ad on Match and OkCupid way back when. I did it several times in my life. The first time was when I was obese. I know that I had picked something a long the lines of “overweight” or “curvy.” It was a time in my life when I was still lying to myself about just how big I had gotten.
The second time in my life was after I lost about 60 pounds. For a year I had been focused on my weight loss goal and had lost enough weight to start feeling more confident in myself. I decided I was almost ready to be open to a relationship and decided to test the waters out with a new profile.
By this time, I was perplexed. And much more aware of my body, body type and I was being more honest with myself. I still “had a few pounds to lose” and selected something along those lines. There was no shame in that, though, because I felt really proud of myself for losing 60 pounds! I got a lot of responses, a lot more than ever thought I would. I was still talking down to myself, telling myself I was fat and had a long way to go. Getting responses that were positive was a nice feeling! I started to wonder: maybe people DON’T care about weight as much as I thought they did!
The whole process was uncomfortable: selling yourself to a stranger in hopes that they notice you and are interested. What I decided was that people were interested because my attitude had changed. I was no longer the victim, the “woe is me” person who felt uncomfortable in her own skin. The big attitude change made such a difference it was astounding!
A little while later, I updated my profile once I was close to goal weight. I hadn’t met Michael yet. I selected “athletic.” Being able to label myself as “athletic” was a very cool moment for me. I felt accomplished and proud of the weight I had lost so far.
In the end, my friend met a great guy and the whole question of body type turned out to be irrelevant! And I met a great guy, too, and my body type was irrelevant as well. 🙂
QUESTION: Have you had experiences like this with online dating ads?