In the modern day, there are dating apps for everyone: Disney lovers, farmers, people who are really into lumberjacks (so 2014, amiright?), and many, many more. Despite the abundance of niche dating out there, however, traditional beauty standards often still reign supreme — but WooPlus, the latest dating app for plus size women, aims to change that. Although there are numerous apps and websites dedicated to the community, many plus size women still find the dating scene frustrating at best. On many websites, plus size women are either ignored or fetishized, often with the implication that they should be grateful for any attention at all.
Created by Neil Raman and Michelle Li, WooPlus aims to provide plus size men and women with a safe space to date, free of the typical negative comments and unwanted come-ons they may encounter on other platforms. The free app cites websites like LargeFriends as inspiration, but in practice, it works much like Tinder, allowing users to swipe right to match with someone before chatting privately. (However, unlike Tinder, the match expires after 48 hours.) According to its creators, the primary goal of WooPlus is to appreciate larger women rather than objectifying them.
"It’s for women of all different bodies and sizes," Li told the Daily Dot. "But we wanted to show that you don’t need to have a low BMI [body mass index] to be attractive."
Some in the plus size community believe that WooPlus furthers the perceived divide between dating straight size and plus size women: SLiNK editor Rivkie Baum told the Huffington Post that she appreciates the idea of a safe space, but she "can’t help feeling that continuing to make bigger bodies into a fetish by segregating them." On the other hand, others write that there's no harm in providing a specific site for women of size. "It’s always important to have options," blogger CeCe Olisa told the Daily Dot.
Despite the divide in public opinion, WooPlus is happily growing; since it went live in November, the app has reportedly attracted thousands of users across the world. Let's mark this as a win for body positivity.
Images: WooPlus (2)