Over at Thought Catalog (which, ugh, I know, but bear with me), Rachel R. White writes about going to “Skinny Mini Speed Dating.” That is not some cutesy or sarcastic name White made up for the event, but literally what it is called. Just so you know what we’re in for.
This particular NYC-based speed dating night caters to men who want “women under size 8 only.” In theory, that sounds okay; people have body-size preferences, and so be it. If you are a man who prefers slender women or a slender woman who really wants to be appreciated for that, this is perhaps a good way to find one another. Okay.
But damn if the event organizers don’t make the whole business as objectifying as possible:
“Oh my god,” the woman running the event says to me — who, maybe it should be noted, is not a size small or whatever – “I almost forgot! I have to put your size on your nametags. What size do you wear?”
I tell her, nervously, that I am a four or sometimes a six and sometimes a two, although that’s in, like, really stretchy things.
She stops each of the women at the bar and does this, putting a number on their chests with red sharpie.
Objectifying, and silly! As White’s answer reflects, sizes are in no way consistent across clothing brands. Also, if the men at said event can presumably see these Sharpie’d size tags, can’t they also just see what size a woman is by, like, looking at her? I’m confused by the premise of this activity.
Anyway, White’s experience starts off awkward in that general small-talk-sucks and speed-dating-is-weird kind of way and gets good when she starts asking men what value they are bringing to the table.