While guys seem to misrepresent height the most on dating profiles, the ladies seem to most often misrepresent body type (or at least that’s what the boys tell me). Now on the one hand maybe they’re doing it on purpose (like the dudes about height) but I have hope that a great deal of the misrepresentation is because they just simply don’t know how to categorize themselves.
Side bar: Save all the bullshit about we shouldn’t be categorized and I’m more than just my body and blah blah blah. Yes. I know. These things are obvious. But writers are more than just their name. And clothes are more than just their size. But at some point the library and the sale clerk have to fucking pick a location or the world would be chaos. So sit down. Pay attention. And find your category. At least for the moment.
So here’s the thing of the thing. Or more exactly. Here’s the reason I think a great deal of misrepresentation is accidental and confusion and not
machination a plot to fool dudes. I myself put Big & Tall/BBW. But here’s the weird thing. I’ve had more than one guy message me with something akin to You’re not a BBW, you’re just “a little extra”. I, of course, disagree. But that being said, I have more than one full body photo up so it was interesting to see this new perspective. Not to mention the can of worms that is the very notion that this dude was…uh…flirting…I guess. But that’s another topic. And if it had happened only once I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But then it happened again. And again. Bizarro. But worth noting.
And then another thing happened that made me question our ability to accureately determine either what terms mean or what were are within those terms. I was at a party awhile back. Talking about dating. Which I always do. At parties. And my friend told me that her body type selection listed her as average. My jaw dropped to the floor.
*Warning: Purely Anecdotal Claims To Follow*
As far as I knew, the average size of women in North America is something like a size 14/16. That being said (sorry my beloved Americans) but I would guess that if you narrow that down to just Canada it’s probably closer to size 12. And then to be honest, if you narrow that down for probably one of the fittest cities in Canada (people here climb mountains before work…for fun…I mean what the fuck right. Grouse Grind. Pssshhh. Fucking
disgusting admirable.), Vancouver…that probably drops to a 10. At best guess I would’ve said my friend was a size 2? maybe 4? To be honest I’m not the best person to guess being that I haven’t worn a non-plus size since I was 16 and wearing XL at the gap but I’m just saying. Either way there’s not a chance in hell that she’d qualify for average.
Side bar: To be clear average is awesome. So is thin. So is chubby. So is whatever. Boys like all shapes and sizes. And even if they didn’t. Women come in all shapes and sizes. And we became amazing the day we were born. Finding the right category isn’t about judgement. It’s about categorization. It’s really that simple.
So like I was saying. She was not average. Not to mention she’s tallish like me…5’7ish. She would definitely fit in the thin category. And now to why girls don’t know how to categorize themselves because the designation definitions are so unclear. She didn’t put thin because to her thin meant thin and super athletic or something akin to unhealthy supermodels. Her logic was that *while pinching some skin on her belly* she had this *attempting to show me something she construed as fat around her middle*.
I was flabbergasted. Uh…that’s just skin I said. And then I went on to explain that while perhaps her doctor might have his own definitions based on BMI and heart health and stress tests…that’s not what body type means for a dating website. As shallow as it sounds, body type is about one’s body…the outer exterior of it. If you want to give your cholesterol stats and talk about your fitness regime…well…that’s what the about me section is for. Body type was simple. Should be simple. Why couldn’t it just be simple!
And that’s where I come in. To make it simple. And to use context. Because that’s what the world of dating needs. A little bit of simple context.
(OkC) – OKCupid
(POF) – Plenty of Fish
Athletic (OkC)(POF), You know who has an athletic body type…Athletes…athletic body type is about muscle…and whether or not you have it. Sure, I play fastpitch softball in the summer, workout at the gym and play badminton (the good workout kind, not that wimpy shit for the no-skilled) but regardless, I do not have an athetlic body. Or maybe I do, but it’s hidden under the rest of my body. Either way I have a brain. That tells me that in the context of dating and sex. I do NOT have the body of an athlete. So while not having toned muscles and 6 pack abs doesn’t change anything about your value as a person, it does kick you out of this category.
Body Builder You’re probably thinking…Isn’t this the same as athlete? And the answer is no. It’s kind of like assuming a small popcorn is the same as the jumbo size. And yes I think it’s clear that my food analogy discounts me from this category. Yes a body builder is athletic but a body builder is clearly a special kind of athlete. And to be honest, I can’t imagine anyone getting this category wrong. Because the thing of the thing is. If you’re a body builder, you fucking no it. You’re likely chowing down protein shakes and spending every day at the gym. But just a word of caution. This is a body designation not a declaration of intent. So if you’re only on your 4th shake in week 1, you are NOT a body builder. The same way some dude taking science classes at University can call himself PreMed but isn’t in fact a doctor. If you’re not ready to enter a competition, you are NOT a body builder.
Average (OkC)(POF) Now this seems to be the trickiest. And unfortunately, unlike all the other body type designations will depend a bit on which site you’re using. See if it was up to me there would be 2 averages. Average and Average & Fit. See the thing of the thing is, you can be a size 12 eating poutine with shots of vodka, heading outside for a quick smoke and then spending every afternoon napping (no judgment 😉 or you can be a size 12 doing yoga, playing soccer, eating lean proteins and lots of fruits and veggies, and a sober non-smoker. Now of course there’s the possibility that Average & Fit should actually be in the Athlete designation but there is a big difference between being a normal person who works out and eats healthy and someone who maintains an athletes body of ripped muscle.
That being said…in a world in which there aren’t two designations of average. What’s a person to pick??? And that’s where context comes in. You’re going to have to look at the other options because they matter. But before I get into how to decide let’s look at the other options.
Curvy (OkC) Now I know some people will disagree with me. But in a world that has designations like Plus Sized, BBW, Full Figured, etc. Curvy really shouldn’t be used as a fall back term. While certainly, using a purely structuralist approach, Curvy could be used to describe anybody who wasn’t straight lined square shaped…let’s get real. The point is to make these categories smaller and more precise, not be an irritating antagonist. So seriously though. Curvy is like Marilyn Monroe. Or Beyonce. Kim Kardashian. Or these chicks. Curvy means a decent difference in boob to waist to ass ratio (waist being smaller of the 3).
Plus Sized, Full Figured (OkC), Big & Tall/ BBW (POF) Now to be honest. I find plus sized pretty simple. Because it’s an actual thing. Plus size. It means anything size 16+. Now to be fair some people might assume anything size 14+ and some might not think of it till 18+ but the truth is…now you’re just splitting hairs. And sure some girls that are curvy may be plus sized and some that are plus sized may be curvy. And that’s where it gets tricky. The best way is always context. You have to think about who this body designation matters to. This isn’t a job interview. Or a health show questionairre. This isn’t a shopping guide and nobody is trying to buy you a sweater. You’re answering this for boys. Men. Dudes. And while you can take issue with that all you want, this is a dating website (and under the exception you’re a gay female) the only person who cares about this is going to be a dude so you might as well answer it how he would think of it. So Plus Sized is what it is. If you wear a size 14 or more, you are Plus Sized. Simple.
Slim, Thin (POF)(OkC), Skinny (OkC) This designation is actually incredibly similar to the way one figures out Plus Sized. It’s about body shape/size. There is no considering as to health or diet. That isn’t what is being asked here. Slim means thin means slim means thin. It’s very simple. It’s not about body fat. It’s about actual size. So if you have small/slim bones. And the rest of your body reflects this. You’re slim. thin. etc. Simple.
Stocky I don’t really know any girls who would ever answer this because well…it sounds kind of mannish. So maybe it’s a category more specifically for the dudes. Stocky is essentially boxy or thick. Someone who is solid but doesn’t necessarily fall into either the A Little Extra or body builder categories.
Categories that should be eliminated. The truth is some shit just sounds bad. And while it’s one thing to be honest, it’s a whole other story to try and sell a car by giving it only a 50% crash survival rate, if you know what I’m saying. Nobody is going to answer Overweight (OkC) also because again it’s too open. Overwhichweight. And while OkCupid and POF have slightly better options offered as A little extra (OkC), A Few Extra Pounds (POF), I think that my idea of 2 different types of averages could both eliminate these “undesirables” and make it more clear just exactly what type of bodies people have. Additionally, if you already have Athletic, having Fit (OkC) is just fucking stupid and confusing. Nuff said. Additionally, is Jacked (OkC) supposed to mean something like Stacked ?!?! Which could either be a reference to big tits, a comment on body building, or implying an UP at the end thus making sure no one would pick it anyway…who wants to be looking jacked up? Which is kind of like Used Up (OkC) also super stupid. And finally, if these sites, and the people who use them listen to me and my wisdom (because as Joey says on Friends…I am wisdomous), the final categories of Rather Not Say (OkC), Prefer Not To Say (POF) will never need to be used.