Anyone who has online dated knows that what you see isn't always what you get. That cute 27-year-old guy in a baseball cap you matched with? Yeah. He's probably a bald 39-year-old.
One dating site is trying to fix this reality, one offensive suggestion at a time. In an attempt to prevent users from "tricking" potential partners, MillionaireMatch.com—a 14-year-old site exclusively for millionaires—has asked women to use its new "true selfie" feature, to reveal what they look like without makeup.
"People tend to misrepresent themselves when it comes to online dating," Darren Shuster, a spokesperson for MillionaireMatch.com, told Fusion. "When you first see a woman without makeup on, you might be a little surprised. Your first reaction might be 'oh, she looks better with makeup.' But that's only because we see makeup all the time. It's what we're used to." Uh huh.
Of course, the site's millionaire ladies don't have to post a photo sans makeup—though users who do are rewarded with a special "makeup free" badge on their profile. (Whoo!) "Women have the option not to put up a makeup-free selfie," Shuster said, "but why not make an effort to verify what that person claims to look like?"
Meanwhile, men have been given the option to keep on being men. They're still free to wear hats and sunglasses in their photos, glob on buckets of hair gel, get spray tans, dye greying locks, wear baggy shirts to cover up beer bellies, and sport slick suits to hide wooly-mammoth body hair.
Not only does the "true selfie" feature create a double standard—women are expected to show all their cards, while men aren't—but it also reinforces the pressure that's placed on women and their appearance. Women are supposed to look like a supermodel, but not wear make-up. Order a burger, but not get fat. Bear children, but not get stretch marks. Age gracefully, but keep the wrinkles out of sight. Unfair is an understatement.
Luckily, MillionaireMatch.com got the memo and says they're trying to right the wrong.
"I think we need a beauty verification for men, too, so you know what they really look like" Shuster said. "I just haven't figured out how to do it." He says it will probably involve a man's weight.
"Some guys say they're an 'athletic build,' but then you meet them, and they are 40 pounds overweight," he said. "Women aren't attracted to that."
Who knew millionaires could be so shallow? (We did. We knew.)
Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.