Contributed by: ElyseRomano Monday, November 11 2013 @ 06:41 am
Why is everyone suddenly upset about OkCupid's A-List membership? Anyone with the ability to read - which I assume is the vast majority of the OkCupid userbase - should have known long ago about the little quirk that's been getting everyone's goat this week.
Let me back up a little bit. OkCupid's best functionality, like pretty much every other dating site, is saved for its paying members. Members of OkCupid's A-List receive perks like the ability to browse profiles invisibly, proof that their messages have been opened, and special match search options. It's that last one that's got everybody up in arms all of a sudden.
James Cook of KernelMag.com recently wrote[*1] that, by paying the $4.95 monthly fee for A-List membership, you can "make all those fat, ugly people on the internet go away" and called OkCupid's premium search options "eyebrow-raising in an era of tolerance and political correctness."
Whew. Those are some seriously inflammatory, designed-to-cause-outrage-and-garner-clicks statements! But are they true?
Well, yeah, technically they are. A-List members can filter their search results based on body type, so yes - a user could filter out anyone who describes themselves as "overweight," "a little extra," "curvy," "full figured," or "used up." They can also filter their search results based on members' crowdsourced ratings so they are only shown profiles that receive 5/5 stars.
But I think it's shortsighted to focus only on that. Every other body type is also represented, so an A-List member could filter out anyone who describes themselves as "thin" or "skinny" just as easily (not everyone is into that, remember?). Or maybe you're not a fan of the bodybuilder, hyper-muscled physique. No problem - just filter out anyone who calls themselves "jacked."
The thing is, every single one of us is doing this in real life anyway, aren't we? Of course it's shallow - no one is denying that - but it's reality. We make snap judgments about potential dates based on what we are and aren't attracted to all the time. Would life be better if we didn't? Absolutely! But it's not happening any time soon, and I think it's unfair to fault people for having preferences as long as they aren't being narrow-minded jerks about it.
And if they are being narrow-minded jerks about it...well...there's another way to look at this A-List search "scandal." If you hate the idea of people being able to filter you out by your body type, think of it this way: they're simultaneously filtering themselves out of your life. They get what they want and you get fewer shallow jerks in your life...it's a win for everyone.