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Headshots. Dating under false pretences.

The only thing worse than a profile with no picture, apart from possibly anal herpes or doing up a zip fly a tad too quickly and enthusiastically before being fully tucked away, is a dating site profile with just headshots. 

Beautiful, well lit, artfully posed headshots, showing off lustrous hair, luscious lips, and eyes like limpid pools of liquid diamonds. 

Rather like an iceberg, a headshot only profile tends to have a little more going on below the surface. Or in this case, a lot more below the neck. I’ve learned this the hard way, and broken my own rule on a number of occasions, none of which has led to anything but disappointment.

I love a rounded, curvy figure. There’s something very alluring about the softness of warm flesh, the wobble of a bingo wing. I’m no Adonis myself, and it’s completely natural that women (and men) in their mid years might have an extra few pounds here and there, a sprinkling of cellulite, a slight downgrade in the degree of perky pertness that underpinned matters a couple of decades ago.

But people! Misrepresentation on a dating site surely isn’t a wise move. Because, duh, when it comes to an actual date, unless conducted like a revival of Samuel Beckett's "Happy Days" (look it up, but don't go and see it, it's awful), there’s going to be more than just the head on show. In some cases, a LOT more...

Strike 1 was a forgiveable error, I feel. I was naive and new to this shit, and the sexy blonde with half a dozen head shots was keen to meet me for cocktails in Soho. I knew she’d be arriving by taxi, but I swear I saw the actual springs on the Addison Lee rise up about a foot when she lumbered out of it.  I really should have run away screaming, but polite, innocent,  shiny and newly-single me gritted my teeth, bought cocktails and made small talk until I was able to do the decent thing and call it a day.  With hindsight, I should have run away sooner, she was never going to be able to catch me.

Strikes 2 and 3 were a couple of years apart.  Strike 3 as recently as last week.  Both charming, intelligent ladies with excellent looking heads that matched their profile pictures.  Both also clearly enthusiastic about cake. Very, very, enthusiastic. If you've ever seen a pair of Walruses fighting inside a skin-tight four man tent you'd have an idea of the mesmerising but ultimately horrifying vision in front of me as I climbed the stairs to another Soho cocktail bar, pausing only to flatten myself against a wall occasionally in case of an inadvertent tumble from above, which would have taken me out like an avalanche from Everest destroying a young sapling.  Strike 3, bless her, had to queue to use the luggage gate at the tube as there was no prospect of her passing through the regular ones, even sideways, greased up with WD-40 and breathing in.

There's love out there for everyone, I'm sure.  But I'm hoping to find mine based on an assessment of the full set of details, rather than just a pretty face.  The devil is in the detail.  Or possibly in the pie and chips.  


  1. My darling (very single) friend is guilty of this and though I've tried, both delicately and point blank brutally - she refuses to update her profile pictures of her lovely self, depicting a more honest representation of her current weight and aging. Her thinking, let me win him over first, then it won't matter.

    I think it's the proverbial foot in the door. Let's be honest, many a guy says he loves a curvy woman - which reading between the lines just means big this and a grabable arse.

    But hopefully for you, lesson learned. :)

  2. Good to hear about things from the other side. I'd suggest the problem with her strategy is that winning someone over is a much harder task if the discrepancy between profile and real life is so large. Thanks for reading!

  3. Oh dear. Earlier this month I rejoiced at having found a blogger that was so entertaining it hit the ‘sweet spot’ and prompted me to do something I’d never done before and leave a positive comment. So, imagine my surprise when I eagerly clicked onto your website, wanting to get another entertaining instalment and read your piece “Headshots. Dating under false pretences” and once again I was compelled to reach across to you, but for very different reasons.

    To say I was disappointed is an understatement. As I continued to read the piece my heart sank. As a blogger, the challenge is always to figure out what works and to be funny without crossing the line, something I feel you did in this piece. I sent links to your blog piece to several of my female friends (of all shapes and sizes) to ask their thoughts as a sanity check to ensure I hadn’t misunderstood your intent but they all came back with the same opinion and agreed that the piece was extremely unkind and savage (and that’s just the politest description/response I could write here).

    Making fun of fat people is pretty much the last acceptable form of discrimination. You see it literally every day on social media, even from those progressives who wouldn’t risk making fun of anyone else with any other kind of personal issue.

    I do think it’s possible to make funny fat jokes but it comes down to two key factors: intent and context. Is the function of the joke to be mean? Is the joke based in some kind of misdirection, or perhaps a twist on language or expectation. Alas, your whole piece came across as extremely mean, brutal and heartless and as an easy way for you to score a little moral superiority, for laughs.

    Always avoid going for the easy and cheap laugh. It might be trite to say but it’s important to remember to be kind above all else, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Ladies who only post headshots clearly have insecurities about their body shape and you are intelligent enough to know this, yet still accepted the date and then proceeded to write a cruel account of the date, making fun of her.

    Work on your craft & writing skill (for you do have a skill to entertain) and be funny not because of your callous content but because of your comedic craft. Be funny, not at the expense of others, but because your humour shines without the need to be nasty and insensitive. Be funny, but for the right reasons and you’ll stand out amongst other egoistic bloggers.

    Unfortunately, this piece of writing has only reaffirmed my initial thoughts on bloggers and I’m afraid I’m out.

    1. I deleted the post above in error, because I thought it had been duplicated on another page. Thank you for taking the time to repost. All feedback is valid, and I'm grateful for your perspective. I'm sorry you were upset by mine.

  4. Brilliant. Had exactly the same thing when I was a single lady looking for a bloke. Some even lied about their HEIGHT. Spent one evening with songs from Snow White going round my head.

  5. Dear god, "AnonymousJune 12, 2018 at 9:25 AM" really needs to have a thicker skin (like her friends), and a bit of perspective. I found your prose jaunty and amusing without being cruel - it's factual. If somebody is thin, tall, black or three legged you'd say it without backlash. But... woe betide you point out that someone is fat. Even if that person has duped you into a date by concealing a really rather relevant fact about themselves. Utter tosh.
    Look, if you're 'a few extra pounds' (AKA morbidly obese) then duping folks with a pretty face is going to do your self esteem more harm than good, as date after date rejects you. Be honest, be real, and accept that you might just have to date a fatty yourself - that way you'll find someone who accepts you for who you are. And if you have body issues, then that's not the fault of the duped dater, you need to do something to fix it. Keep up the good work bumblechap


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