Dating has always favoured certain body types over others, despite the efforts being made we are still in an age of body-obsessed culture. It is a sad reality that if you don’t fit the traditional “ideal” standards of what is considered beautiful, you can have a truly hard time.
I witnessed this first-hand with my sister. Over a number of years, I saw the difficulties she faced for her figure when dating.
The truth is, a lot of people would find my sister ‘their type’ it’s just that on a mainstream dating app you are all muddled in together. People can keep swiping until they find ‘their version’ of perfection.
But it does take an emotional toll if so many people are rejecting you because they don’t understand the beauty in curves.
Our research found over eight in ten feel mainstream dating apps discriminate against curvy people, with some of the worst 'compliments' people receive being "You look good for a size 16," “you’re pretty for a big girl” and “heavy girls are better in bed.”
It's reasons like this that I decided to set up WooPlus, a friendly dating app where curvy people feel attractive, confident and loved for who they are.
And since we launched in 2015 the response has been incredible, we now have over 3.5 million users.
But for me, it’s the people who don’t use the app anymore that really make it worthwhile. Those emails and messages we receive that say ‘thank you.’ That two people have made a loving connection and it’s going well.
People on our app know what they are looking for, we just simply streamlined the search and built a community where users are embraced, free to be their unfiltered selves, and enjoy love. It doesn’t take long for people to find each other.
For us though, the work is never done, running an app like this requires constant listening to users, evolving our features and true dedication to what we are doing.
We have just had a massive 5.0 update which we are really impressed with. Our new design allows users to show their personalities more vividly, the app has a new layout that allows users to see the overall information of one person, rather than judging them by one cover image. It also uses AI recognition technology with a manual double check to ensure authentic community for all users.
It is my hope that curvy people can join us to discover the loving feeling of a new world. That they realise Tinder and Bumble are not the arbiters of what is beauty and who can and cannot find love or make the first moves. But most importantly we want everyone to feel attractive and confident to enjoy dating and find the love they deserve.