Just when you thought we had evolved as a society…
Apparently, the new trend this month is speed dating for skinny people. Yes, you read that correctly and no, sadly there is no punch line because this is not a joke. If you are heavier than the average woman, you need not apply because you wouldn’t even be allowed to attend. Except by heavier than average I mean below to well below the norm in this country, considering the average American woman wears a size 14 and the self titled “Skinny Minny” event boasted a pool of women between size 0 and 8. Don’t worry, though – not all attendees were blatantly discriminated against; if you are a man hoping to attend “Skinny Minny” speed dating, there is a come one, come all policy – size 8 pant size or under not required.
You may be wondering how I could have anything else to discuss for the remainder of this article, because surely I gave away all the terribly misogynistic details up front. I wish you were correct, but thanks to OnSpeedDating.com’s extreme levels of insanity, the size restriction is not the only offensive aspect of their event. The Huffington Post recently reported that the women who attend these dating events are asked to wear a name tag with their dress size on it. So, in the case that the men in attendance are even more narrow-minded and shallow than originally suspected, unsatisfied with the knowledge that any woman in the room is a size 8 or below, they can easily weed through those on the “larger” end of the spectrum to find their size-appropriate soulmate.
If you are anything like me, you may still be in shock, hoping beyond all hope that this is a hoax. Perhaps you are wondering how any decent human being could attend an event such as this, let alone admit to being the brainchild behind it. However, the dating site experiencing their fifteen minutes of fame completely defends their decision to host a matchmaking event based on weight by saying, “We all have relationship ‘deal breakers‘ and that does not make us shallow, we’re just single New Yorker’s that know what we want and are attracted to.” I hope single New Yorker’s everywhere are outraged that they have been lumped into this exclusive group; like the secret society to which you never hoped to be admitted.
Just in case you were worried that a beautiful, kind-hearted, intelligent, size 10 catch of a woman might, by some chance, slip through the cracks and be admitted to the event, subjecting herself to the madness at hand, have no fear. The good people working for On Speed Dating have vowed that they would never let that happen. “Guys, no need to worry about meeting a biggie-size chick ‘down-sizing’ to an 8 like when you’re dating online. We’ll be checking labels at the door,” they proclaimed. THANK GOD! For a minute I was really worried about the integrity of this event being upheld.
“Biggie size chick.” I honestly didn’t know that grown adults who function at the minimum level necessary for social interaction such as dating used such immature, closed-minded, hateful speech. The people over at Dove must be having an actual cow right in the middle of their positive-body-image-loving offices because this event is the very antithesis of their real beauty campaign. The idea that matchmaking and dating should be dictated by dress size breathes life into the worst ideals and notions that exist in our society, despite people dedicating their careers to disband them. While we are pouring our hearts into breaking stereotypes and shedding light on real beauty, making strides to instill positive body image within all generations, it is unfortunate to realize that events like “Skinny Minny” dating exist, providing even the smallest amount of fuel to the negative body image fire. How anyone could think it is okay to discriminate women based off of their “larger” dress sizes and market others based off of what they consider a more “desirable” waistline is beyond me.
The most disturbing part is that there must have been women who signed up to attend this event; to get dressed up and go meet these men who, first and foremost, are fixated on their body type, prioritizing it over their brain. Just like most of us, I am not always supremely happy with my body, but I am healthy and happen to fall within the required (and, once again, ridiculous) parameters of this date night. However, I would rather sit in the desert and eat sand than meet men while being made to wear a “Hello My Name Is Size 4” name tag; men who came to meet me because they knew I would fit a specific mold and men who would choose not to meet some amazing single women I know, on many accounts women more amazing than myself, all because they were not my size.
Some of the most loving, wonderful, successful, beautiful women that I am lucky enough to call my friends and family have a tag in the back of their pants that reads size 8 or above. I also consider myself blessed to have ladies in my life whose hearts are ten times the size of their waistline. Do you want to know why my nearest and dearest run the gamut of shape and size? Because our personalities are not directly related to our body type and our feelings of self-worth or ability to be desired by a partner shouldn’t be either. Sure, we all have preferences and pre-conceived ideas of what our significant other may look like but, as human beings, we also have this incredible ability to love people for what really matters when we enter into dating and life with an open mind; even when certain parts of our culture try to narrow our vision. The idea that you might not be able to fall in love with another person, find your perfect match because they fall outside of a physical ideal, is absurd.
It isn’t just that I thought we had evolved as a society, it is that I know we have. By no means are we perfect or wholly accepting, but we have certainly made significant headway in regards to a woman’s self-worth not being defined by her waistline. Therefore, I must resign to the hope that this is simply an unfortunate sign that a select few have been unable to keep up with the progress and that the negative reaction by many proves we are no longer turning a blind eye and perpetuating a weight obsessed culture.
Do you think we have made progress on defining real beauty in our culture? Tell me what you think about real beauty and the concept of “Skinny Minny” dating.
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