How much does size really matter?

It's something many single people wonder, myself included.

My weight has fluctuated dramatically throughout my life - I was a fat child, a thin teenager, a chubby sixth former, a skinny student and so on, up and down through my adult life.

I've never bought into the lie, popular with some elements of the media, that everything will be better when you're thin.

Advertisement
Yvette Caster as a size 10. Photo / Yvette Caster
Yvette Caster as a size 10. Photo / Yvette Caster
Yvette Caster as a size 18. Photo / Yvette Caster
Yvette Caster as a size 18. Photo / Yvette Caster

But, as a single woman trying everything I can to increase my chances of finding The One, I was interested to see how much of an issue size is for single men.

So, to find out if men like fat women, I created two identical online dating profiles of me size 18 and size ten to find out.

I should point out that I'm an 18 at this point and happy to use the word fat because I find 'plus size' patronising and I mentally think of it as 'phat' instead.

Anyway, the experiment.

I set up these profiles on free online dating site OKCupid.

As you can see, both are identical except for the photos and the fact one has 'overweight' as body type and the other has 'thin'.

I also changed the wording slightly just in case OKCupid cottoned on and took them down.

One dating profile had Yvette's body type as 'thin' and had a profile picture of her in a bikini, back when she was a size 10. Photo / Yvette Caster
One dating profile had Yvette's body type as 'thin' and had a profile picture of her in a bikini, back when she was a size 10. Photo / Yvette Caster
One dating profile had Yvette's body type as 'thin' and another as 'overweight'. Photo / Yvette Caster
One dating profile had Yvette's body type as 'thin' and another as 'overweight'. Photo / Yvette Caster

The profile names had to be slightly different because the site won't allow two the same.

Advertisement

The rest of the profile details were the same for both.

In the 'photos' sections, I put up a range of head shots and body shots of classic 'thin' me and classic 'fat' me.

Funnily enough, when that 'thin' me bikini shot was taken, I still thought I was fat.

That's why I'm wearing that white skirt - to cover up my 'massive belly' and 'big thighs'.

At size ten, when I looked in the mirror all I thought was, 'could do better'.

The results

Over the course of five days, fat me received 18 messages, 74 likes and 81 visits.
Thin me received more than double the attention - 36 messages, 211 likes and 210 visits.

There was nothing dramatically different in the content of the messages - some men just sent a 'hi', some wrote essays, some tried one-liners and others just opted for old-fashioned compliments.

And there was little difference in the physical attractiveness of the men messaging - they were a range of ages, shapes and sizes.

But it can't be denied that, if the guys of OKCupid are anything to go by, single men prefer thinner women twice as much.

Or, at least thinner me.

Alternatively, though, you could interpret these results slightly differently.

A size 18 woman, posting some of her least flattering, double chin-featuring pics, received 18 messages in five days.

That's 18 more than the body-shaming community might have you expect.

The most important element to me is that no matter my size, I'm now twice as confident in my body than I was as a size ten.

When I was thinner I was more self-conscious, less confident around men and much more uptight.

A date with me now would be way more fun than it would have been then.

If I went back to a size ten I'd mourn the loss of my boobs more than celebrate my flatter stomach.

The best philosophy is to please yourself. Hopefully then you will attract someone who likes the version of yourself you've chosen as much as you do.

- Daily Mail