If you’ve done the Tinder thing long enough, you might just have a bomb or two in your arsenal of dating stories. It sucks when you’ve put yourself out there and gotten all psyched about a person, only to meet up with someone who isn’t nearly as open or kind about this whole scary online dating situation.
We’ve been there. And so has Michelle Thomas, a UK-based blogger who recently shared a painful Tinder experience. But the cool thing about Thomas? She turned a bad dating story into an amazingly teachable moment—and we love her for it.
According to Michelle’s blog, on June 29th, she met up with a man who she calls “Simon.” She had been chatting with Simon, who is in his 40s, for a week online after matching up with him on Tinder. They had, by her account, “a pleasant evening,” they even kissed, but she writes, “it wasn’t earth shattering.” Though it wasn’t as magical as she’d hoped, she didn’t expect to get the following message from Simon the next day.
“I’m not going to bull***t you,” he wrote her in a message. “I f***ing adore you Michelle and I think you’re the prettiest looking girl I’ve ever met. But my mind gets turned on by someone slimmer.”
“So whilst I am hugely turned on by your mind, your face, your personality (and God…I really, really am), I can’t say the same about your figure,” he continued. “I would marry you like a shot if you were a slip of a girl because what you have in that mind of yours is utterly unique, and I really really love it.”
Perhaps Simon was trying to be kind, but his words were insulting and demeaning. Understandably, Michelle felt really hurt and even burst into tears when she got the message, according to The Mirror.
But then, a few days later, she decided to do something really brave. She took to her blog and wrote an open letter to her Tinder date.
She started out the message by telling Simon that it’s fine to not be attracted to someone. “What isn’t fine is the fact that, after a few hours in my company, you took the time to write this utterly uncalled-for message,” she continued. “Your tone is saccharine and condescending, but the forensic detail in which you express your disgust at my body is truly grotesque. The only possible objective for writing it is to wound me.”
“And I’m ashamed to say, for a few moments, it worked,” she added. “You stirred a dormant fear that every woman who was ever a teenage girl has – that it doesn’t matter how funny you are, how clever, how kind, how passionate, how loyal, how determined or adventurous or vibrant – if you’re a stone overweight, no one will ever find you desirable.”
Michelle then pointed to her awesome #eachbodysready shots on Instagram to prove that she’s both confident in her body and not to be judged by society’s narrow beauty standards.
Michelle also noted that he has a talented daughter, and she warned him not to let his body-shaming rub off on her. “I want you to encourage your daughter to love, enjoy, and care for her body,” she continued. “It belongs to her and only her. Praise her intellect, and her creativity. Push her to push herself and to be fearless.”
While she does knock her Tinder date’s height, which falls into the same realm of body-shaming, we have to give it up to Michelle for finding her confidence and shutting down those cruel and creepy comments about her body.
As to why she decided to make the letter public, she told the Independent, she did it for the sake of her date’s daughter. “If he can send that message to a woman whom he barely knows so thoughtlessly he obviously hasn’t made the connection that somebody could treat his daughter that way,” she told the publication.
After her letter went viral, she’s been inundated with messages of support. She’s been using her Instagram, which now boasts over 16,000 followers, to serve as a hub for open conversation about body-shaming, and even provided her email for those who want to share their thoughts with her personally.
“It’s not really about shaming this one man anymore,” she added. “It’s about using this negativity and turning it into a positive message.”
Amen to that.
(Images via Instagram)