April 1, 2019
I have a Google Alert set to send me any articles where the phrase “online dating” appears. I usually get notifications about new apps that are trying to take market share (good luck), crazy people who send money to strangers over the internet (don’t be one of them), and new algorithms that the dating sites are using to pair up their members (something that I presume looks like a dartboard with a heart as the elusive bullseye). Some of the articles I
But, just a few days ago, an article came across my screen that made me do a double-take. The title of the article was “Tinder to Get ‘Height Verification’ Feature Soon.” Whaaaa? After all these years of trying to convince female clients that a six-foot man is not the epitome of sexy (in fact, fewer than 15% of men in the US are six feet or taller), and that someone who lists that he’s six feet online could very well actually be (gasp) a real six feet, Tinder is playing into the myth that most men lie about their height online. (Okay… you got me. It’s not a total myth. OkCupid published a study back in 2010 showing that men’s heights on the site are skewed two inches higher than the national average. Unless the men on OkCupid are, on the whole, a tall sampling of the nation, there’s a lie in the midst. Oddly enough, the same two inches were embellished for women, too. I personally love being a shortie, but that’s just me.)
At any rate, the article links to Tinder’s blog itself, which reads, “Say goodbye to height fishing.”
“Let’s be real, when it comes to online dating—honesty is the best policy. Yes, your height matters as long as every other shallow aspect of physical attraction does. Please try not to take it to heart.
“It’s come to our attention that most of you 5’10ers out there are actually 5’6. The charade must stop. This type of dishonestly [sic] doesn’t just hurt your matches—it hurts us, too. Did it ever occur to you that we’re 5’6 and actually love our medium height? Did it ever occur to you that honesty is what separates humans from sinister monsters? Of course not. You were only thinking of yourself. Well, height-lying ends here. To require everyone under 6’ to own up to their real height, we’re bringing truthfulness back into the world of online dating.
“Introducing Tinder’s Height Verification Badge (HVB), because yes—sometimes it matters. It’s the tool we’ve had in our back-pockets for years, but we were hoping your honesty would allow us to keep it there. Our verification tool is super easy to use, and extremely hard to misuse.
“Here’s how it works: Simply input your true, accurate height with a screenshot of you standing next to any commercial building. We’ll do some state-of-the-art verifying and you’ll receive your badge directly on your profile. Oh, and by the way? Only 14.5% of the U.S. male population is actually 6’ and beyond. So, we’re expecting to see a huge decline in the 80% of males on Tinder who are claiming that they are well over 6 feet. That’s fine by us—as long as we’re all living our truths. Tinder’s HVB is coming soon to a phone near you.”
Is this tool—something that women will likely laud and men fear—for real? Are we really going to make things worse out there for shorter men, who already bear this unfounded discrimination? (In fact, now that I think about it, you’re not actually required to list your height at all on Tinder.) If people have to start verifying their height, are they going to have to hop onto a virtual scale too? And maybe post their resume? And how about that college GPA? What is the world coming to?!
Well, it turns out that I, along with many others, may have fallen prey to Tinder’s poor excuse of an early April Fools’ Day joke. (Um… isn’t the point of April Fools’ Day to play a prank on, you know, April 1st?) Otherwise, it’s just confusing, even to those of us in the industry. Time will tell today whether it was all a ruse or not.
Whether real or made up, Tinder was correct about one thing—honesty is the best policy. Use it wisely, and don’t take pictures next to the Eiffel Tower to measure your height. It’s already cliché enough.