OKCupid Segregates Based on Looks; Prevents the Average From Meeting the Attractive

Here it is, folks, the first ever It’s Not a Match expose. Previously, the closest we’d come to actual reporting was retelling a story about a girl who peed her pants. It was gripping and powerful, but it was somehow overlooked when Pulitzer time rolled around. And sure, this post will be overlooked too, but at least it’s not about pee…

It has come to my attention, from one of my skilled It’s Not a Match tipsters, that OKCupid is up to some shit that is decidedly not OK. Though the site claims to be entirely egalitarian and for the masses, the reality is it is actively preventing its less attractive members from finding and contacting people deemed out of their league. OKCupid, it seems, purposefully encourages only people of similar appearance level to speak to each other. Moreover, if the site feels you’re a touch too…um…ugly, it will keep particularly attractive people from appearing in your searches. How do I know? Well, they come right out and tell you.

Here’s an email they recently sent to a member…

How fucked up is that?! Sure, they’ve disguised it pretty nicely, but beneath OKCupid’s usual rhetorical flourishes (“Yeah, Stan, put in the thing about the haircut! That’ll kill!”) it is a very simple message:

Dear User,

You have now been deemed attractive enough to see other attractive people. Perviously, you were too ugly.


-The Devil

Obviously it’s the goal of every dating website to try to match up compatible people, but I thought that meant two people up who liked soccer, or Olivia Newton John. Turns out it’s really just about putting hotties with other hotties. So…since when is compatibility all about appearance? I mean seriously, give me one good reason why 5’s on the beauty scale should be prevented from having 8’s, 9’s, and 10’s recommended to them by their dating site? Because they might start emailing the 10’s and uglying up their inbox with untold amounts of spittle and unfortunate facial hair? That is ridiculous. Compatibility has so much more to do with it than looks. It’s about chemistry, vibe, emotional intimacy, not just finding someone who’s an equal level of cute. At the very least they should take penis size into account! What about penis size?!?!

Sure, it softens the blow that OKCupid leaves the determination of a user’s appearance up to the clicks and ratings of other members, but it’s still not great. It would be worse if there was a giant guy wearing a diaper who sat in a chair and stamped 2’s, 7’s, and 10’s on people’s pictures all day, but why is appearance weighted so heavily begin with? The Quickmatch function that the email mentions is pretty much a “Hot or Not” picture game that the website provides. They show you someone’s image, a bit of their profile, and you rate them from 1-5. It’s not based on charm or personality or, of course, any sort of true compatibility – it’s based on the quality of their smile, or more simply, how sweet their rack is.

It’s ironic that, of all sites, OKCupid segregates their members so superficially. After all, it’s one of the few totally free dating sites, designed to give everyone a chance to find their perfect partner. Of course, they forgot to mention that your partner better within a 10% range of your hotness, otherwise you’re shit out of luck. And what about the name? Does Cupid they’re fucking with his image? Cupid is all about bringing an unlikely and star-crossed pair together just by the strike of one of his magical arrows, isn’t he? What if OKCupid shoots the arrow at someone too ugly – does it just bounce off? Or does he have specially labeled arrows, “super hot only”, “average face, amazing body”, “great hair but fucked up teeth” and dole them out accordingly? Perhaps one day they’ll send me a branded form letter via email and let me know. Either way, Cupid’s gonna be pissed when he finds out.

I’m sure much of my indignation is foolishly spent. All dating websites surely adjust for physical appearance in some way, but it never occurred to me that they were keeping different types of people away from each other. I mean, Match regularly suggests beautiful women to me, and I’m a real bowzer. Perhaps the separation has been going on all along and I never realized it. But I for one think we should get see all the options, and let us sort out who is and isn’t right for us. No segregation necessary.

Unless they can weed out the girls who pee their pants. Then I’m totally on board.

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23 Responses to OKCupid Segregates Based on Looks; Prevents the Average From Meeting the Attractive

  1. Nicole says:

    I never liked that Plenty of Fish discriminated by income level either.

    • Rachel says:

      They don’t.
      Option 1: Leave it blank
      Option 2: Pick a number, any number
      Option 3: Carefully select the range that covers your income.
      Choose 1, as nearly everyone does because no one believes what anyone posts in those boxes anyway. Choose 2 and you may as well have chosen 1. Choose 3 and everyone thinks you’ve chosen 2 and so you may as well have chosen 1.

  2. Mark says:

    My first thought is this!

    But yeah, this sounds like some shady shit. The only thing keeping most guys from hurling themselves off a bridge is the fact that a girl that is much hotter than they are may see some other qualities in them besides strictly looks. Guys are often not as good looking as the girls they are with, because for some reason women can see beyond looks, and instead see other things. Like money.

  3. Honest Guy says:

    At the risk of starting an argument…

    I think OK Cupid is doing the right thing for their business. Sure, it’s not pretty. It seems shallow but every business wants to stay in business. How do dating sites stay in business? By having a lot of people go on their site and keep coming back. Why do people go and keep coming back? At least initially, I think deep down where we don’t want to acknowledge, it is because we see hot people there.

    And why do people leave a site? They have run out of hot people to look at or message. So as a site, you want to get as many hot people on your site AND keep them active.

    That is what this practice is about, I think. And although yes, we all want someone we “connect” with, the first few steps of online dating are almost completely based on looks. Anyone who says otherwise probably hasn’t spent much time online dating.

  4. Jen says:

    I was pretty jazzed when I got that email, then I went out on a date with a guy that had received that email before he had even posted a picture. It’s B.S. They send it to everybody.

    • B says:

      I don’t think they do, though. My understanding is my tipster received it after being on the site for a little while.

      • Nathan says:

        I received it after being on the site for a few weeks. Long enough for a number of people to rate me. The thing is I’m not really particularly great looking. I could probably stand to lose 20 pounds and I’m nearly bald. So even if they don’t give it to everybody, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t carry a lot of weight either.

      • bruce says:

        They may be triggering it on a basis of frequency. For example, you frequent the site daily, then every other day and then suddenly stop going there…whoops better send out a “promotional email”.

  5. JustMe says:

    The only people I ever met from OKCupid were supppppeeerrr short (ahem, recent argument) which is why I deleted my account after a month.

    I wonder if THEY got the attractive email. The guys under 5’7. And then it DID go to their heads. And they decided to up the ante by pretending to not be short. And then I met them. And got mad at OKCupid.

  6. Sandy says:

    I don’t really think this is so terrible. Pretty sure there are studies about how people of similar levels of attractiveness are naturally drawn to each other or something. It just makes sense. I once dated this unreal hot guy and even as a decent looking, successful and normally confident person, spent the whole time obsession about how he was out of my league and wondering if it was all some sort of elaborate prank on me or something. Never dating a really hot guy again, it was awful.

    • bruce says:

      I suppose your right…it would be a great benefit for the hordes of average (AKA normal folks) not to have to wade through a cess-pool of self-obsessed semi-psychopaths.

  7. vivi says:

    Hey INAM, How can I email you without outlook? I cant see your address, just the link which opens my impotent outlook everytime I try to click it. I have a good one for you

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  9. Rachel says:

    If only it worked. That would be the best feature to add to any dating site. It’s my understanding that people of similair levels of attractiveness are usually a good match. Basically, if I think you are pig sh!t ugly then I’m probably not going to date you. So, why oh why do pig sh!t ugly men message women who look like they would have someone happy to clean aforementioned pig sh!t off her shoe without her having to ask? As a rule of thumb I would say that if you wouldn’t feel worthy to approach her in a bar then don’t bother entertaining the idea on the net. I know it’s the internet and anything can supposedly happen, but trust me, it won’t and not to you dweeb loser. Thank you.

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  11. JJ says:

    lol how hypocritical! it’s perfectly fine to exclude thousands from your search based on their race, but suddenly you’re outraged when your profile might not show up in the searches of women perceived to be far more attractive than you? You talk about superficiality, yet you’re superficiality when it comes to race is possibly even more disturbing than this, and you can’t even see it.

  12. JAyT says:

    All I want to say is that I’ve been on OKCupid for over a year now–after having been deleted some two dozen fucking times!

    I’m a guy, and the place Discriminates against guys Big-time. They don’t like you for some reason, your profile Vanishes without so much as a warning wrist slap!

    If you’re a Sci-Fi geek, real-world secularist, movie nut, horror afficionado, Trekkie, Atheist, Agnostic, survivalist, non-conformist, or generally any kind of plain, straightforward real-worlder, then your lifetime on OKC is measured in days if not hours.

    If you include in your profile that you don’t get along with religious nuts, don’t like cell phone users, don’t care for today’s trends, don’t dance…you’ve got red flags all over. Send some friendly e-mail flirts to girls who just Happen to Disagree with you and your message is tagged or your profile is reported. Then before you know it you’ll never be able to log-in again.

    I call it Discrimination.

    I’ve actually been harassed by some of the so-called Moderators on there. And what a bunch of total fucking losers they are! If you’re a guy and start to see like Dozens of visitors logged to your profile who are All Guys, watch out, a deletion party is heading your way and You’re the man of the hour.

    Listen, I live in the U.S. and graduated high school over 30 years ago, to give you some idea of my age and maturity. Some pimp-faced bisexual kid “Moderator” e-mails me that he doesn’t like my profile and I should change it because it’s got an old school horror movie theme! This asshole was 21 years old and living in fucking New Zealand of all places–and he’s telling me to fix my profile or else! This kind of shit happens all the time. The “Moderators” (the scumbags who decide whether you have access Or Not) are 20-something jerks from outside the U.S. for the most part or in some rural regions of the U.S. They don’t like you and you’re fucking history on there!

  13. faithbot says:

    Everyone needs to stop complaining about this. No one goes out with people they dont find attractive, its human nature. All you need to do to be considered attractive on okcupid is actually have a decent picture that shows your face and take reasonably good care of your health and hygiene. Plus if you are more active on the site you are more likely to be rated. I dont want to be matched up with people who put 0 effort into their profile

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