As some of you know I’ve recently taken up the hobby of watching Catfish. I almost caught myself watching a Catfish episode of Dr. Phil before slapping myself hard and telling myself that even some drug addicts don’t do crack. Once you start on the Philster your daytimes are gone. GONE!
Back to Catfish. So my real concern is that the Catfish, the person manipulating or lying to the other person, has low self esteem brought on by years of bullying and they all feel ugly. I was a little perplexed as I just assumed that everyone thought they were ugly, even pretty people so this doesn’t set them apart? There are very few people in this world that consider themselves to be beautiful. Most just think that they’re not repulsive but could make more of an effort or have resigned to what we look like. Few have such an inflated view of self based on very little (men not included in this assessment of inflated self view). Or so I thought.
I get it, we are inundated with images of what perfect beauty is. It’s a blonde size zero with a bum the shape of a ripe peach, bountiful boobs and pouty lips. Memo received loud and clear. But I’m saddened that somehow this is no longer something people vaguely aspire to nor do we have a ‘fuck it’ rebellion attitude like we did in the 90s. The 90s was the time for accepting the person for what they were. Or was that the 70s? It’s one of those fleeting fashions that comes and goes.
Instead virtuals have decided not to bother to photoshop but instead to just grab someone else’s perfect profile from t’internet. It’s the strangest thing as eventually you must know that you cannot produce said person. It’s not a Shakespearean comedy of errors where they mistake someone for the brother of the person they should want. No, this is out and out deceit.
And yet the majority of them aren’t ugly. In fact most are just fat. The one condition they could have control over is the one thing that they can’t seem to control. Oh the irony. I know that weight struggles are about so much more than just deciding not to reach for the donuts (I used to be addicted to Oprah and lose hours in gratitude diaries and deep analysis of my childhood. ) but it still shocks me that so many of them are a good 100-150 lbs heavier than the photo they send. OK so weight aside, you can dye your hair to the right shade of bottle blonde, right? Or, I don’t know, choose an avatar, or someone that looks more like you do.
It’s the audacity of the internet that worries me. The fact that you can be called all sorts of names if you politely decline to engage in tedious conversation with a stranger. Example
Him: What’s up
Him: So what you saying?
Him: So what, you don’t want to talk to me
Her: You haven’t said anything yet?
Him: See that’s the problem with you uppity black bitches. You think that you’re too nice and can’t even talk to a brother. That’s what ………(20 more lines of a rant.) Fuck you, you’re ugly any how. Peace!
Him: You sleeping?
Her: I’m just about to go to bed. It’s midnight.
Him: What you wearing?
Her: A onesie, head scarf, face mask and a t shirt
Him: What’s a onesie?
Her: Never mind
Him: Oh why you acting like you don’t want to talk to me?
Her: I’m not, I’m just tired
Him: You wearing a bra.
Her: Good night.
Him: And you wonder why you’re single. You don’t know how to make a man feel special.
Her: Huh? Dude we met online less than a week ago!
Him: Good luck in your search. You’re old and you’re going to die alone.
Yes indeedy, I’ve met some real gems.
It frightens me to internet date now. I gave up real internet dating years ago but social media means that like it or not you internet date. I look for tags on photos now to make sure the person I’m talking to is the person they say they are. That they have over 200 friends or that I’ve met them. That our mutual friends are people that I like and trust. So many little clues that one has to look for just because someone felt ugly and lonely and decided that you were the person to make them feel better about themselves? This is turning into hard work. Maybe we should just do what we do in the real world and accept that the person we end up talking to is not the same person we met on the first date. That dude, that pulled out your chair, paid for everything and didn’t tell one tasteless joke is gone forever after sex.
I guess there are many ways to Catfish.
© Chelsea Black