Tired of meeting people who aren't what you pictured? OkCupid is now offering a paid VIP service that lets you filter out according to body type.
Users of the site can now pay an extra $5-10 per month for the privilege of viewing people who have the body types they desire, weeding the other candidates out automatically. OkCupid offers a range of ten body types, from "thin" to "full figured," "overweight," and even "used up."
OkCupid also encourages its users to rank the attractiveness of others on the site with a scoring system of one to five stars. If you're using the free site, you can't see the ranking, but if you're paying the extra fee, you'll have access to search people based on how many stars they received.
This move has sparked a debate in the media, with critics arguing that it will only encourage more dishonesty in online dating profiles. If people think they'll be left out of searches due to their weight, they'll be less likely to share what it really is. Also, it will make an already self-conscious online dating pool even more skeptical about who they are meeting.
OkCupid co-founder Sam Yagan disagrees, however, arguing that most people are superficial in terms of who they are initially attracted to, whether they are online dating or scoping out the bar scene. In other words, we all go for looks first. If someone has a certain preference for body type, then they will filter their choices out regardless of other factors like education, occupation, and what they might have in common.
Amanda Hess at Slate argued that the new filter won't improve the online dating experience because choosing your own body type is a subjective matter anyway. One date might consider herself to be "average" whereas others might call her "full figured" or "curvy." In her article Hess stated: "What does offend me is that OkCupid is monetizing a service that is unlikely to bring its users closer to better dates, relationships, or sex."
The big question is, are people going to go for this feature? According to OkCupid, they are. While they won't release numbers, Yagan admits that in the first 48 hours the feature became available, their VIP sign-ups were "through the roof."