Women who pretend to be thin online

Whenever people share ‘bad online date’ stories, the overwhelming theme for guys seems to be “Pictures of her looked pretty good online, but when I met her she was 80 lbs heavier than she claimed to be”. The date goes awkwardly because shallow or not the guy is just plain not attracted to the person now that they see them in natural light/non-camwhore angles.

I’ve had this happen before, but I’ve also had women who were very upfront about their body type. Because thinking about it, if I were the person doing the deception, why in the hell would I want to even go out with a guy disappointed in how I looked? He certainly wouldn’t be having a good time, and there would probably be a lot of awkwardness/insincerity through the evening.

So I’m curious if this is as common as people claim, or its simply an ‘Internet Tough Guy’ type of story popularly fabricated. The woman I’m seeing now (who I met online) had a great headshot, and over the phone I asked what kind of body type she had, explaining its hard to get an idea of what people really look like from just photographs. She said ‘I’m not a thin girl, if that’s what you’re asking’ which was honest. When we met, she wasn’t thin, but she looked fantastic- great sense of style/dress along with a lot of confidence, and a nice toned body in spite of being on the heavy side (girls half her size still have more cellulite than her). Things have been going great, we’ve been going out about six months now. But then again she’s smart enough not to pull some blind date bait-and-switch.

I will never understand, for the love of Elijah Craig Bourbon, why in blazes anyone would lie about physical appearance when the plan is to meet in person. I decided in 2001 that meeting people online wasn’t for me for this precise reason. Three out of three times I’d met someone from the interwebs, the person looked drastically different from what was presented online. Two of the three times the person ended up being borderline obsessed with me. I went back to meeting people the good old fashioned way, and it’s worked out much better.

I had a female friend who did some online dating a few years ago. She was about 40-50 lbs over her self-professed ideal weight and only put up pics that made her look like she was much closer to that ideal weight. When I asked her if she was afraid of rejection after the guy met her for the first time, she said that she knew it was a risk, but she tried to lessen the risk by dragging out the time before the first meeting as much as possible so she could win the guy over with her personality (which was definitely on the outgoing and confident side). So she hoped that by the time they met, the guy’s disappointment (if he felt any) would be tempered by the bond they had forged online.

Her strategy seemed to work to an extent, in that she got a few second and third dates (or so she said, she was long-distance friend that I only met twice) but I lost touch with her over a year ago and have no idea if she’s still dating anyone she met online.

What I used to do was take a somewhat unflattering photo of myself and use that. While it would probably make a lot of people pass me up, hearing people say, “You look much more handsome in real life” makes me :smiley:

Because personally, that’s what counts. I take a very practical approach to online dating- its a way to meet people. Once I meet someone online that seems interesting, I want to meet them in real life ASAP- not have some email Days of our Lives type relationship, but actual meet in the real world and see if there’s any chemistry.

So how the person looks/acts/etc in reality are whats important. I’m not going to be so naive to be sold on camwhore angles and vague/poorly-worded profiles. Its going to be the flesh-and-blood person.

Bolding mine.

This is what I figured their strategy is. But personally, I think this is the WORSE approach because think about it- you’re sucking someone into an awkward date- they might not be attracted to you at all but don’t want to be rude and blow you off from the get-go or mid date. She’s taking advantage of this situation thinking the guy will come around.

If her personality is so infallible, she wouldn’t have to deceive people about her size, because the guys worth dating (for her) don’t care whether she’s 180 lbs or 220 lbs but might care if they feel like there’s a deception.

A big turnon for me in women are women who are comfortable in their own skin. women who feel sexy and pretty usually give off that vibe, regardless of their body type. Women who are self-conscious, and feel dumpy and plain, give off a ‘dumpy and plain’ vibe. This can get amplified when you are meeting the person for the first time and getting a first impression of them.

I did online dating for a while (in fact, that is how I met my fiancee) and I was always brutally honest about my weight because I didn’t want to waste my time or his time. I went on probably 2-3 dates a week over the better part of a year and there were several times* where I had men react negatively to the fact that I was heavy despite my having told them ahead of time my exact dress size and providing full body pictures. There are some men who will always project their “perfect woman” onto a woman they meet online and they will always be disappointed. I have a feeling that if you find a man who constantly ends up going out with women who lie about their weight in extreme amounts (more than 20 lbs difference) he might be one of those men. That isn’t to say that there aren’t women out there who lie because obviously there are plenty of them in the virtual sea but I’ve found there are plenty of men out there who refuse to believe the truths that you tell them.
*Probably 4 or 5 times over about 8 months of online dating.

For the 37 seconds or so that I had an online dating profile, I described myself as “curvy”, which is both technically true (I’m a size six or eight, but I’m damned curvy) and useful for weeding out guys who would be disappointed with someone who is fit but not aerobicized to within an inch of her life. :wink:

Underpromise and overdeliver is always the best strategy.

A good strategy, but you do realize that “curvy” is most often webspeak for “fat as all hell.” I’ve no doubt there are plenty of guys who would enjoy the appearance of a slender woman with curves very much, but automatically will assume someone who uses the term “curvy” to describe herself is totally fatchicksinpartyhats overweight, and will look over the profile.

Well, there were pictures there that demonstrated that I was definitely not fatchicksinpartyhats “curvy”, but I also didn’t care if anyone overlooked the profile. Like I said, I didn’t last long in the online dating world anyway, it’s just not for me.

Yes, I’ve gotten the bait-and-switch a few times. I’m smart enough not to fall for the fat girl angle shot, but the following techniques have tricked me before:

  • Old photos, from before she gained 50-70 pounds.
  • Face-only shots, but she has a thin face on a large body
  • A profile that shows decent belly-up photos, but the bottom half of her body is large.

Most these women described their build as “average”. I don’t have a cite, but I’ve heard other women online justify it with excuse like “fat is the new average”, “the average woman in the US is a size 18” or something similar. Basically, while men read “average” and think “weight proportionate to height”, some women think "of “average” as whatever they want it to mean.

“Athletic” also has different meanings in different parts of the country. Here in Austin, it’s the slim runner chick who’s always in shorts and sneakers, with a ponytail pulled through a baseball cap and a 26.2 sticker in the back window of her car. When I lived in Cleveland, it could have meant anything from a runner chick to someone that was large but physically active. Example: the SDMB members who say they might be 5’2" and 200 pounds, but they run five miles every day, regularly take 50+ mile bike rides, and are active participants in other sports.

I don’t know how common it is, but I have had the experience. In my case, she did tell me that the photo was a couple years old. She did not tell me she had put on ~50-70 pounds since then.

Women lying about their weight is nothing new, but what about women lying about their height? The other night I met someone who claimed to be 5’8". I generally like short women, 5’2" or less, but she seemd cool, so I agreed to meet her. She had to be at least 6’0". WTF? (And no way she was 130#.) So far ouside of my “type” that it was really weird. But she did turn out to be very cool.

I had an internet date that was maybe 20-30 pounds heavier than her profile picture (maybe more? Hard to guess). I thought it was from denial that she’s not as thin as she was a few years ago, or is looking at any semi-recent photo for what makes her look good and chose those. ‘I looked like this before and I will again’. Pfft, doubtful.

I didn’t think about the deception angle where she could have hoped to establish a connection. Either way, as soon as I saw her I knew that would be the end of that – even though her personality was cool. I take care of myself, you take care of yourself.

Agree with the males interpretation of curvy = overweight. I filtered it out then one day saw some recommendations that had that listed that were thin. Whoops.
Also, I bet this happens just as frequently with men disguising their weight/baldness/etc, although I kinda feel like they would be more apt to embellish their career or financial information.

Perhaps, but as has been pointed out, all the better for the guys who DON’T make that assumption, right? And no one she meets is going to be disappointed. At best, they’ll be pleasantly surprised.

‘Curvy’ has become one of the most deceptive self-descriptions on internet dating sites. I see pictures of people online who describe themselves as curvy but the photo depicts a shapeless blob of an individual- its a real stretch to consider that curvy. Big hips/butt? curvy, sure. Side rolls? that’s…something else, sorry.

Also as a side note, what the hell is someone eating that they are 5’2" still 200 lbs and running 5 miles every day? I figure with that kind of routine you wouldn’t be 200 lbs for very long.

It’s not so much the attraction thing. I’ve known a few women who, despite not being particularly attractive, are still a pleasure to be around and are the types that I could eventually develop feelings for. The problem isn’t so much that someone isn’t that comfortable herself, it’s that she is essentially lying to you. A relationship without honestly and trust is utterly worthless, so if you’re starting it out with deceit, it’s doomed to failure.

It’s one thing if you have an old picture and look essentially the same, it’s something else if you show an old picture and you’ve since gained 30 lbs or aged noticeably. Old pictures, even if they don’t look like you, are fine, just be honest and say it’s old and have recent ones up. Similarly, it’s one thing to have an artsy or fun picture from a strange angle and, hell, a good face shot is necessary. If all you have are face shots and strange “myspace” angles that show your face and some cleavage and hide the extra weight, I usually won’t even bother no matter how good the pictures look.

The point of pictures is that you want to try to have at least some idea of whether you can have some physical attraction, as that is the obvious component that you lose with online dating while you gain some insight into her personality that you probably don’t have when approaching her in another situation. It’s intended to facilitate actual face to face meetings quickly to avoid assigning too much of that idealism to who she is. I’m FAR more likely to consider someone who is less than my physical ideal and is straight forward about it, but fits well my other criteria than someone who seems to fit it all, I get suckered in, and then find out later.
As for how common it is, I don’t think I’ve ever personally had the experience as I’m very straight forward that fitness is something that is pretty important to me and, well, it’s highly unlikely that someone will have the same priority and be fatter than her pictures portend. However, most of the other guys I’ve talked to who have tried online dating have had this experience on at least one occassion.

From what women tell me, a lot of men fudge their height. I think it’s because so few WSM profiles have a minimum desired height under 5’ 9"/5’ 10", even when a woman is just 5’ tall. For example, a man who is 5’ 7" may get 10 mutual matches if he’s honest about his height, 50 matches if he fudges his height to 5’ 9". or 100 if he goes to 5’ 10". I’m 5’ 10", and as an experiment I once altered my profile and listed my height as 6’. My mutual matches increased by about 30%. (I changed it back immediately.)

Just like some overweight women fudge their weight to expand their dating pool, probably in the hopes that a man who is normally attracted to women that are thin or weight-proportional-to-height will fall for them, I think shorter men do the same thing. Tall women, though … I’ve never seen a woman fudge their height. If she’s 6’ or tall, she’s usually going after men who are 6’2" and up; not fudging down her height to expand her dating pool.

My ex, who I met on match.com, is 5’ 7". I listed 5’ 10" in my profile. She thought I fudged my height and was actually shorter (“You don’t seem that much taller than me”), until she measured me barefoot and confirmed I was

I’m like pbbth - I am very up front about my weight, even my appearance. I once put in a craigslist ad that I am “big, but not particularly beautiful like a true BBW.” I’ve gotten a few hits from dudes who are cool with it.

Also when I respond to ads I tell guys I am big and if they have a problem with that I truly don’t care. I just want to know up front so I can move on to someone else. Most guys just admit they are not into big women and that’s the end of it. Totally fine with me.

I really do not see the point in lying about it. I am not looking for dates online so that I can only communicate with them online - I want to meet ASAP, because I am looking for IRL relationships. If things go like I want they will find out quickly about my size.

It sucks that people do this, tho. I guess maybe guys don’t do it as much, or guys I’ve met have been honest. Or, I don’t really care/notice. I suppose I don’t actually know how to parse weight/height in guys. I know my dad is 6’ 175# (because he has been since he was 18) so if you tell me that’s your size I can picture it. Anything else, I’m blind. lol

I used to work for an online dating company - one of the big ones, you’ve all heard of it - and I can with all sincerity assure the OP that yes, yes, yes, this happens all the time. It’s one of the most-common complaints from the straight men.

For the sake of levelling out the gender war, I’ll offer the counterpart:

Ladies, when all of a guy’s many photos* show him wearing a hat … his hair is thinning (or gone) and he’s anxious about it and doesn’t want you to know. (Until he’s charmed you with his personality, of course.) Same strategy as fat chicks only showing neck-up photos.

  • The rule is mostly moot if the guy only posts one or two pics of himself.

I learned working there that some men just have no photos of themselves. Thirty-somethings who only have one pic: their high school prom photo. Forty-somethings with all the photos weirdly cropped (b/c he’s divorced/ing and all his photos show his ex pressed up to his cheek). That kind of thing!

is that the official name for it?

I can’t say my sample size of three counts for much, but two of the three men I’ve met through online dating lied about their height. One claimed to be 5’9" or so, but is noticeably shorter than I am. I’m 5’7" or 5’8" depending on who you ask.