Monday, September 29, 2014

The Fat Suit Dating Experiment

Goldie Hawn in a fat suit, but she still looks like a normal woman.

You may have heard about the fat suit experiment or maybe you haven’t. An attractive fit woman and similar handsome man advertise for a date on Tinder using recent snapshots, and then they don a fat suit for the actual date.   

The entire Tinder dating phenomenon is about looks and availability.  With this in mind, the company Simple Pick Up, is in business with a sole purpose to teach men to pick up women. Simple Pick Up chooses a gorgeous swimsuit-worthy female.  Then, of course, the people running the experiment make her almost hundred pounds overweight. Quite a difference when you consider the photos she had on Tinder.

Five different men show up at different times for the date. All five are initially friendly. None of them is the date who walks by and doesn’t like what he sees and heads out without speaking. The woman stays in her chair and allows the men to approach. Once they identify themselves as her date, she becomes quite friendly and chatty.

It’s obvious the first four men are uncomfortable with her weight. One storms off concluding that posting thin pictures makes her a liar. A statement I’d have to agree with, but he could have handled it in a classier way. Another man confesses he’s married before ducking out. He may have been married, there’s no way to know. The third gives a polite speech about not suiting. The fourth goes to the restroom and never comes back. The fifth guy doesn’t do a disappearing act a couple of minutes into the date. For his persistence, the woman reveals that it is all a social experiment and points out the cameras. That’s his reward for sticking it out with the fat date.

What we’ve learned is that men in the 24-36 age range have little tolerance for overweight women. More specifically, men who expect some fit hot chick, and meet a woman who bears no resemblance to her, tend to go to pieces.  Men are single-minded, linear thinkers, which might explain their reactions. The simple conclusion would be that it’s not okay to be an overweight female.

Let’s move onto the guy in a fat suit video, which is really, what the whole social experiment was really about.  The creators of Simple Pick Up want to show how you can pick up girls no matter how you look. There was a not so hidden agenda here.

Five fit women choose to meet the man who is actually a dating coach in a fat suit. This person tells men how to meet girls. All the women are polite and stay through the date. One asks him if he prefers fit women to non-fit ones and calls him a hypocrite when he admits he does. That’s as ugly as it gets.

They stay through the date even though, in my opinion, the man spouted a great deal of garbage, often taking a counter viewpoint to whatever the woman said. At one point, he even admitted he hated dogs. Seriously, he was not acting like an average overweight guy, but more like a bombastic bad boy who expected women to fall for him.

As a result, the makers of the video claimed the man had successfully snagged two additional dates and a kiss, proving their point that they could teach any man to pick up girls. After I watched the video initially, my first two thoughts were women are more polite and less judgmental. Men can get by with carrying weight in society more than women. Don’t believe me? Check out the UK study where women prefer men with a spare tire to six pack ab guys. The reasoning behind this distinction is that six-pack guys were devoid in personality and obsessed with their looks. Women also didn’t want to date a man in better shape than she was.

After considering the video overnight, I came up with some other conclusions. Women often say things on dates they don’t mean such as pretending to plan for a second date. Acting as if you’re happy on a date is learned behavior most women know how to do while counting the minutes until it’s over. The girl who kissed him did not kiss him on the lips. It was a sweet kiss reserved for someone you just met, a relative, or a co-worker. It could have been a pity kiss too.

Even though I thought the women showed good manners and made an effort to be a decent date, male commenters on the video viewed their actions differently.  Some believed the females showed up for the free food.

There is a mention of this is taking place in LA.  A city noted for its beautiful people, chocked full of wannabe actors and models where personal beauty standards might be understandably higher than elsewhere. I’ll leave you with this thought. If you were making a video about a guy successfully meeting girls in a fat suit, would you show any bad meets?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Is the Single Middle-aged Woman Invisible?

Often, women in their mid-forties complain that the fashion industry bypassed them in their effort to garner the attention of the twenty-plus female. Dating often feels like being stuck in the junior section of the department store where nothing fits right or looks good. Apparently, many men think so too, as they pick younger women to date. What gives?

People are more likely to divorce in their forties as opposed to any other age. Once the kids leave home, a couple realizes they have nothing that holds their bond together. With people living longer, the promise of a better, exciting life is more attractive. Ironically, the promise doesn’t materialize immediately.

Society and the media have schooled men that dating younger implies virility. Younger women do not challenge men in the way women their own age would. A younger woman usually is agreeable to a relationship faster than a mature woman is. Divorced men tend to be reactive too, which means they don’t want to date anyone like their ex-wife, which would be a middle-aged woman with children. Dating is hard. Most men don’t want to be troubled with the time and effort involved. Ironically, the man who was so keen on the brand new, better life will quickly settle into a mediocre relationship.

This makes the middle-aged single woman despair of ever finding herself in a relationship again. Face it; people treat a single woman different from a married one. In a Guardian article, one woman pointed out that after a divorce even friendship dynamics change. While some folks joke about who gets the friends in the divorce, the simple fact is, no one invites a single woman to a party. Only when she was in a relationship, did invitations to dinner parties appear.

Part of the problem is how middle age women regard themselves. Often, their belief that they are unattractive keeps them from drawing romantic interest or noticing men who are interested in them. In the same article, British actress Lynda Bellingham confessed she didn’t take seriously her current husband’s wooing efforts because she was a mature woman. Despite being a vivacious, talented beautiful woman, she accepted the general belief that men always date younger. Obviously, her husband did get his message across eventually.

In the same article, one woman confessed her future was a dismal, loveless one. How sad that she measures happiness by whether she’s in a relationship or not. This is usually a trait of younger women. Older women have usually learned that relationships come and go. Being true to yourself, pursuing your dreams and interests will keep you vital. Refuse to define yourself in the terms of a society that provides no appropriate role models. Mature crooner Tony Bennett still packs houses, proving there are plenty who want to listen to his style of music. He pointed out in a radio interview that music producers chase after the younger audience who often “borrow” or share songs on the Internet, while ignoring the baby boomers, who represent a bigger and more profitable audience.

What does the middle age woman do for companionship? More and more women are dating younger men. In fact, several sites have been set up for that purpose. Why do younger men date older women? According to the landing page on Toyboy warehouse, it’s for their confidence, experience, zest for life, and lack of game playing.

The simplistic answer to the middle-aged woman dating dilemma is attitude. If you see yourself as used up, then others will too. Staying home and feeling sorry for yourself gets you more of the same. As a single woman, you can do whatever you’ve always wanted to do, from trying out new hobbies to traveling. Chasing your dreams will bring back the confidence you lost in your divorce or along the way. Value yourself and your achievements and you’ll discover others will too. Even though this may seem counter-productive, imagine your worst scenario of living alone. You can go out when you want, go where you want, eat whatever you want, spend your money how you choose, and live a life where you’re the sole architect. A full life filled with friends, family, and activities you love.

Life can be perverse because once you’re okay with who you are and being alone, you usually bump into someone. As a strong single woman, you can decide if you want to invite this person into your life or not.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

"Taking a Break"

Courtesy of Deviant Art

Who hasn’t heard this dreaded phrase? There are variations on it. “I need to find myself,” or “I need to think about us,” or even “I need distance.” Whenever anyone suggests taking a break, it is the slow breakup. Now, some couples do get together after taking a break from each other. So, it can be good, right?

Not necessarily. The person who wanted to take a break, find her or himself, or needed breathing room, just wanted to shop around without the guilt of being a cheater. He or she was crafty enough not to admit this.  A partner shops when the relationship isn’t valued. There’s a tiny part that worries there may not be a better partner or relationship out there. If there isn’t, taking a break allows them to return without any recriminations or apologies needed.

It is similar to a movie of a few years ago where the wives gave their husbands a free pass to do whatever they wanted for a week. In the movie, the men realize they weren’t the studs they thought they were and valued their wives.  They returned grateful and determined to make their relationships better. All movies… you do realize they’re fiction, right?

   Let’s put this in car terms. You have an old car that you drive around now and then, but don’t put much value on it. You’d probably have no problem lending it to a friend. Might even let the same friend use it indefinitely, especially if you have your eye on a shiny new car. (Keep in mind; you aren’t paying insurance or payments on the car.) Taking a break is exactly what you’re doing with the car. If you never see it again, you won’t be too distressed. The fact you lent it out means it no longer has value in your eyes.

Second scenario is you have the car of your dreams. Years have gone into obtaining this magnificent vehicle. It is your pride and joy. Polishing it and showing it off consumes your leisure time. Several friends have asked to drive it, but you laugh off the suggestions. This is your baby and you’re not going to take a chance with her.

If someone is taking a break from you, face it, you’re car number one.  People often have inflated images of their worth in the dating world. Your partner who needs breathing room could be out for a few months with no results.  He calls you up and wants to hang out, keep in touch, drop by, etc. Translation: you’re good enough for right now until the urge to check out the new dating stock comes over him again.

You see this in relationships when people live together. They’ve lived together for months, even years, when one person confesses they fallen for someone else, a person they immediately marry.

(Hey, wait a minute; didn’t they say marriage was for suckers?) What happened is they found that one person they were searching for. Would they have been searching if they valued whom they were with?

If your partner declares that he or she needs a break, breathing room, distance or another euphemism for leaving, let them go. Don’t pray for his or her return, read articles on how to get him or her back, or even beg for his or her return.

Face the facts; you weren't valuable.  A person who values you wouldn’t take a chance on letting you go. Some people tell themselves it is better to have someone than no one. It isn’t. How can you find someone who values you, when you’re hanging out with someone who doesn’t?