‘Ugly’ Not OK With OKCupid: Site Has ‘Ugly’ and ‘Fat’ Filter
Time and time again we’re told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s true: beauty is subjective. Some women find a few pounds sexy and comforting, while others are really turned out by a bald pate. Others find rippling muscles and romance novel hair hot (think: Fabio) while still others are charmed by the All-American boy next door. My point is that there’s something for everyone, that no one man/woman will find themselves alone and unloved because they don’t have a specific look. So shame on OKCupid for their new “premium” membership that allows users to filter out both fat and “ugly” — because how can technology judge how attractive someone actually is? And on that note, how can we?
I wrote an entire book on online dating, and I never liked OKCupid, mostly because its users were cheapskates. Someone who would rather try to shag his way through cyberspace for free instead of shelling out $50 a month on Match.com isn’t someone who’s truly looking for love….know what I’m saying? But now OKCupid users can actually shell out money for a more specific search — and I’m officially disgusted as to what they’re actually paying for.
A premium membership on said site comes with the ability to filter out any members who list themselves as ”curvy,” “full figured,” “used up” or “overweight” . For $4.95 a month you can also filter out people with low attractiveness ratings based on a five-star scoring system determined by OKCupid’s own “algorithms”. Premium members are allowed to search for other members whom have been rated a 5/5. Which says something subjectively about their physical appearance, but what about their inner beauty, hm? There’s no OKCupid rating filter for toolbags, apparently.
This makes me think of that awful site called Hot or Not, which was created by two Silicon Valley-based engineers, James Hong and Jim Young, in 2000. It was meant to be a technical solution to a disagreement they made one day over a passing woman’s attractiveness, but the result is that it made women feel terrible about themselves. Honestly, my current self would be indignant and pissed, but my insecure 20-year-old self would have broken down in tears to have been dubbed a ‘not’ on Hot or Not.
Shame on both sites!
And on that note, I’ll return to my previous point, which is this: what you think you want is rarely what you end up with. I was convinced that I’d end up with a cultured, green-eyed, brunette Brit with a love of travel and a wild streak. What I’ve actually ended up with is a man who is so American, loves sports, family and BBQ’s. Never in my wildest dreams would my wanderlust have brought me home to a man from the Midwest. But you can’t predict the future, and you can’t always be so rigid about who you want.
You never know who it is in the long run that will actually make you happy, sometimes even if he’s right in front of your face.
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About the Author: Laura Schreffler is a former New York Daily News columnist who left the world of celebrity behind to focus on what makes her happiest — love and travel. She is the creator of LoveTrekker.com — a website devoted to these two passions that she fondly calls “looking for love in all the right places.” In her spare time she likes to play matchmaker for her friends, dream about her next vacation and gaze at photographs of Taylor Kitsch. For more advice on love, relationships, and happiness, check out http://lovetrekker.com & her book "Internet Dating 101". And follow her here at Happiness Series with her weekly blog about finding love.