What qualifies as a disability is a highly debated topic in today’s world. With options such as extended time, computer use, and extra help, faking a disability can seem like an attractive option to many of today’s youth. However, one area in which faking a disability may not help with success is dating, especially when that disability is weight related. With the growing nature of online dating, it may be tempting to hide certain aspects about oneself, including disabilities. The prevalence of social media adds pressure for everyone to constantly look their ‘best’ (online). Simple Pickup, a popular YouTube channel, explores the idea of going “too far” in misrepresenting your best self. Basically, they want to know if having a “disability,” being overweight, but pretending to be thinner online will impact a potential relationship.
They had a standardly attractive (basic) woman match with several men on the dating application, Tinder, and set up a date. When the men arrive, the woman is there, dressed in a fat suit. With the help of makeup artists and costume designers, the woman appears at least one hundred pounds heavier than in her photo. Upon seeing her, several of the men made excuses to go to the bathroom and snuck out of the restaurant, some commented on her weight gain, while only one stayed for the entire date. Unfortunately, this pressure to be perfect can lead to similar real-life situations with comparable outcomes.
In a stark contrast, they repeated this experiment with the gender roles reversed. All of the women finished the date, and most even agreed to another. What does this say about gender roles in today’s society? Is it more acceptable for men to be overweight than women? Do we expect men to lie more? These ‘experiments’ bring up many interesting questions.