Online dating service for big people
"I'd get messages from men that would say things like, 'Do you want to meet up to have sex?
' And when I'd say no, they'd say, 'Oh, well you're fat, anyway.'" Craig says the criticism would bother her back then, before she'd started her successful fashion blog in 2013, found the body positivity movement, and started embracing her shape. While dating apps are notoriously scary spaces for women in general, with some 57% of female app users reporting some kind of harassment, plus-size women seem to have a tougher time than their "straight-sized" counterparts.
Ok Cupid recently released a Membership Pledge, which takes aim at harassing behavior and messages.
Before members are allowed to interact with the Ok Cupid community, they have to agree not to send any harassing, unwanted, or sexually explicit messages.
Dating apps don't exist in a vacuum — they're essentially just digital platforms where society's existing views on bodies play out.
The major culprit here, according to Cristina Escobar, the Director of Communications at The Representation Project, is actually the media.
"Ok Cupid has questions that focus on body shape — like, 'Can overweight people still be sexy? "But you see questions like that, and you think to yourself, In a way, she's right.
People are attracted to who they are attracted to, which leads back to representation, which turns this whole situation into the proverbial snake eating its own tail.
But some of those questions can be decidedly fat-phobic. Ok Cupid has come under fire for some of these fat-phobic questions, and has responded by saying that they're always working to clean up or delete inflammatory inquiries.But at 34, she found herself newly divorced and facing a dating scene that she felt focused more on her looks than the one she'd remembered."I feel like the entire culture has changed so much," she says. Everyone is just judging based on appearance."That said, the idea that apps are to blame for people's obsession with their prospective partners' looks isn't completely fair.This may sound like pure optics, but apparently it's working: "Since we launched the pledge, we've seen decreases in harassment, both from reports and our machine-learning technology that detects harassing language," says Melissa Hobley, the chief marketing officer of Ok Cupid."We know that women in particular are really frustrated at how dating apps are set up to be incredibly focused on appearance.
Their CEO, who started the app after suing Tinder over sexual harassment she experienced as a cofounder there, has always been an outspoken advocate against sexual harassment and abuse.