Michelle Thomas Responds To Judgmental Tinder Date In An Awesome, Body Positive Way
There are bad Tinder dates... there are painful Tinder dates... and then there are Tinder dates where the guy decides to follow up by telling you that you'd be perfect if only you were skinnier. But fortunately, Michelle Thomas responded to her horrible Tinder date in the best way possible and didn't put up with that nonsense. And because she knows the man in question has a teenage daughter, she decided to respond publicly.
In a blog post, Thomas explains that she and the man in question, Simon, met on Tinder and had a nice first date involving drinks, dinner, a scenic walk, and a goodbye kiss. "It wasn't earth-shattering," she writes, "but all in all it was a fairly standard Pleasant Evening." But the next day she received a message from Simon that turned all of that upside down. He starts right off by saying:
Thanks for a wonderful evening last night. I really enjoyed your company and actually adore you. You're cheeky and funny and just the sort of girl I would love to go out with if only my body and mind would let me. But I fear it won't.
I'm not going to bull***t you... I f***ing adore you Michelle and I think you're the prettiest looking girl I've ever met. But my mind gets turned on my someone slimmer.
Yeah. And it doesn't end there. The message makes sure to harp on this point about Thomas's apparently insurmountably awful body for a while. He makes sure to tell her he's not being shallow, but adds, "Whilst I am hugely turned on by your mind, your face, your personality (and God... I really, really am), I can't say the same about your figure." He even goes on to say, "I would marry you like a shot if you were a slip of a girl." Because the only thing creepier than telling someone you just met that you'd marry them is telling them that who they are as a person is not as important a qualification for marriage material as whether they conform to a narrow definition of beauty.
For what it's worth, Thomas actually seems to be pretty slender based on photos on her Instagram — which doesn't really matter, given that the message would still be hurtful and unnecessary either way (say it with me, now: All bodies are awesome. All of them), but it does possibly say something about this man's standards for female bodies.
Thomas writes that when she first got the message, her initial reaction was to feel terrible. "The only possible objective for writing it is to wound me," she writes:
And I'm ashamed to say, for a few moments, it worked. You stirred a dormant fear that every woman who was ever a teenage girl has — that it doesn't matter how funny you are, how clever, how kind, how passionate, how loyal, how determined or adventurous or vibrant — if you're a stone overweight, no one will ever find you desirable.
But she says that she also isn't ashamed of her body. "I like the way I look. I don't look like Charlize Theron, and that's fine — I look like me, and I like myself." But what most concerned her is that Simon has a 13-year-old daughter. And she doesn't want her to internalize those same unnecessary, judgmental attitudes about women's bodies.
I want you to encourage your daughter to love, enjoy, and care for her body. It belongs to her and only her. Praise her intellect, and her creativity. Push her to push herself and to be fearless. Give her the tools to develop a bomb-proof sense of self-esteem so that if (I'll be kind. I'll say “if.”) the time comes that a small, unhappy man attempts to corrode it, she can respond as I do now.
The note is signed "Kiss. My. Exquisitely. Unmarriagable. Arse." with a post script noting that Simon is not, as he presumably claimed, 5'11".
I think we can all agree that following up a first date with a judgmental assessment of why there won't be a second is generally a pretty mean-spirited and unnecessary thing to do. And men who make women feel bad about our bodies, in a culture that already programs us to feel bad about our bodies, pretty much suck. But I think we can also agree that Thomas's response is awesome.
You can read her whole response here.
Images: msmthomas/Instagram (3)