Why Men Don’t Write to Curvy Women on the Internet

Hi Evan,

I have been online dating for about two months and it’s been so-so thus far.  My problem is deciding how to list my body type.  I’m 5’3″ and an hourglass-ish size 10, so while I’m not obese, I’m definitely not “athletic and toned.”  I chose pictures that I think accurately show this.

Anyway, at first I listed myself as “A few pounds extra” thinking it was an honest description.  Well, two male co-workers were talking about online dating and mentioned that they’d never contact a girl that was in that class or “curvy”, because any time they’d met one in the past, she’d been much heavier than in her pictures.

I’m wondering if this is why guys will view me a lot, but won’t make contact. The guys who have made contact have been people that I probably would not have dated normally, i.e., no steady job or just a little odd.

Any suggestions?


On the next episode of Online Mythbusters, we will learn:

  • Why women don’t list their true weights or body types!
  • Why men avoid “curvy” women!
  • Why men look at you and don’t write to you!
  • Why odd men with no jobs contact you!

You have to be asking yourself – is it REALLY in my best interests to tell the truth if 95% of guys are going to dismiss me for doing so?

The good news, Nicci, is that all of the answers can be derived from the same exact technique – flipping things over to consider the other person’s point of view.

Let’s start with you, because a) you wrote me the note, and b) you’re an online dating anomaly – an honest size 10 who doesn’t claim to be athletic and toned.

However, after talking to your male co-workers and observing that you’re not being contacted, you have to be asking yourself – is it REALLY in my best interests to tell the truth if 95% of guys are going to dismiss me for doing so? This is the online dating dilemma that faces MILLIONS of people each day. If I’m a 5’4” man, I know that it’s going to be hard to get a date if I tell the truth. If I’m a 50-year-old man who makes less than $30,000/year, I’m going to be somewhat handicapped. And few people face more discrimination than women in their 50’s and 60’s, who only seem to get email from men who are MUCH older.

Most of these people are good people – and yet they give in to the temptation to lie. Why? Because telling the truth is a FAILING strategy. This is the explanation for why women don’t tell the truth about their bodies. Simply put, there’s very little reward for having integrity. At the very least, heavier women (like shorter men) feel that if they can convince someone to go out with them, they’d have a chance in person….

Except this isn’t true either, because most people feel duped by the disconnect between your description and real life stature. Heavier people almost always do better in “real life” than online.

Next myth to be busted: why men don’t go out with “curvy” women. Well, you touched on it yourself, Nicci, in your email. In their attempts to be honest (but not scare off men), women will click on descriptors like “a few pounds extra”, “curvy”,  or “voluptuous”. All are considered euphemisms for “fat” by men. This creates a vicious circle. Women know that men prefer thin, so they adjust their descriptions accordingly. Men have learned to mistrust these body types, and therefore only look at women who are “firm and toned”, “slim/slender”, or “athletic”. And when the slightly overweight woman shows up on a date with a man who was expecting “athletic”, both parties are in for a night of disappointment.

Focus on what you can control – YOU – and let go of what you can’t – MEN.

Why do men look at you and not write to you? First of all, I think that’s a problem that’s more in your head than in reality. Fact is, we all window shop online. How many men have you looked at? 1000? How many did you write to? 12? Should 988 men feel rejected because you didn’t initiate contact? Please. Ignore how many people look at you. It is misleading and can only serve as a tool that makes you feel rejected. If no one’s WRITING to you, however, there is something to think about. Which is why I’ve helped thousands of people rebrand and market themselves successfully online over the past nine years. Better photos, better essays, better usernames, better email technique. Do everything 25% better and it can make a remarkable difference in your life.

Still, no matter how much rebranding we do, life is still not going to be fair. Men are still largely going to prefer young, thin women. Women are still going to prefer tall, successful men. All we can do is tackle this confidently, and not get too thrown by the many bumps in the road. The man who wants you is going to WANT a curvy girl. No point in getting bent out of shape about the ones who prefer skinny chicks, y’know?

Finally, the last myth we’re gonna bust is that there’s something about your profile that’s attracting the wrong kind of men. I swear to God, I have heard this complaint every single day for nearly a decade. And it always baffles me. So let’s play the game I play with my clients on the phone:

Me: If you were to go to an airport and look around the terminal, what percentage of men would you date?

Her: I don’t know. 5%? 2%, maybe?

Me: Then why would you expect the percentage to be any higher online? If, by definition, 95% of men are wrong for you, it should be expected that many will be unemployed, uneducated, older and inappropriate. Get over it. They’re allowed to take a crack at you, and you’re allowed to ignore them. Focus your energies on attracting and maintaining the 5% that you want. THAT’s what we’ll do together.

And so it is, Nicci. Focus on what you can control – YOU – and let go of what you can’t – MEN.

Understanding this about online dating is essential to your success. And if you’ve struggled with the same frustrations as Nicci – not enough good men, all the wrong men writing to you – my Finding the One Online system is a one-stop-shop to get you the kind of attention you deserve.

Click here to learn more and kickstart your love life today.


Warmest wishes,

Your friend,


Join our conversation (377 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 121

    Hmmm, well I guess even when I get the weight off (doing Weight Watchers) I can forget it. I may never have the “perfect abdomen” (without plastic surgery) because I’ve had kids. So I will be considered flawed and tainted. So be it then. I’m getting in shape for ME anyway.

  2. 122
    Karl R

    There’s a strong tendency for people to describe themselves using terms that are … charitable. If two terms could apply, they use the one that sounds best … even if the other would be more accurate.

    For women in my area around my age, these are the words they used to describe their build:
    31.5% about average
    23.7% slender
    21.9% athletic & toned
    11.0% curvy
    5.6% a few extra pounds
    3.5% full-figured
    0.9% big & beautiful
    0.2% heavyset

    The men were even kinder when describing themselves:
    49.2% athletic & toned
    36.9% about average
    7.8% slender
    2.7% a few extra pounds
    2.4% stocky
    0.6% heavyset

    An ex-girlfriend asked me why I listed myself as “slender” instead of “athletic & toned” on Match.com. I told her, “I could be arguably described as ‘athletic & toned’, but everyone would agree that I’m ‘slender’. I’d rather be considered honest.” But my attitude doesn’t seem to be all that common.

    I will look at the profiles of “curvy” women on Match.com, but I won’t consider writing to them without a full-length picture so I can decide whether I agree with their assessment.

  3. 123

    I am not currently on a online dating site but when i was I listed myself as average, although in truth I’m more likely slender as I am 5′ 2″ and 101 lbs. I’d rather undersell myself than oversell because I’d rather pleasantly surprise someone than not live up to the hype.

    And how I describe myself really doesn’t matter – everyone else is going to make their own determination anyway.

  4. 124

    Yes I do like Curvy women but to me and I think a lot of other men it means different things to us. I think to me and a lot of other men we take the word “curvy” to mean that they have big breasts and not necessarly hefty. We men like women with big boobs. But it seems when women put up their pictures and describe themselves as curvy they usually tend to show the pictures as big boobed and don’t show that actually they are a tad heavy. But I think men also take the defination “curvy” and we men want that curviness to be on the chest and the rest of the body in decent shape not overweight. Overweight is to be described as overweight or a tad bit heavy. I think men are starting to see that when women put the word “curvy” in their profiles that they are actually meaning not only in the cheast area but also in the chin and butt area.

  5. 125

    At the time I was online dating last I weighed 195 lbs (I’ve lost 20 lbs since then due to some medication I am taking, and I’m not exactly happy about it). I’m 5’2″. I wear a size 12-14. I have a defined waist but it’s thick, and I do have some rolls and saggy areas after giving birth. I dress nicely and have never lacked for men hitting on me.
    In my profile I put myself down as “ample” or something like that, and wrote in my profile that I’m fat, I like being fat, I don’t care if you are fat, I’m active and have excellent blood pressure so I’m not concerned about it.
    I’m now dating a very attractive, lean and muscular, successful, and good natured man who loves my body. 🙂 Your mileage may vary.
    And for what it’s worth, I’m not a hyocrite. I have dated guys of all body types, from extremely thin to morbidly obese. I found all of them attractive.

  6. 126

    Its a real disgrace when a truly curvy woman is overlooked by men because of the cynicism that exists in the dating world about women who consider themselves curvy. Decades ago curvy really did mean exactly that. It didn’t mean a few extra pounds or tipping the scales. Women like Raquel Welch of the 70s and Marilyn Monroe of the 60s were blessed with true curves.

    Now thanks to feminism and women wanting more empowerment and of course political correctness renaming the term fat as curvy. We get a whole slew of bouncing jollies claiming they are curvy, when in fact the sad reality is that they need to eat a few less cheeseburgers already. They do not their fellow ladies any favours by making such ridiculous claims. If you want solidarity you will not find it among men, but maybe you might if you look for the chubby chasers among us.

  7. 127

    You are a disgrace. Women wanting social and political equality with men did not result in fat people calling themselves curvy.

    Too bad there’s no convenient way to screen out misogynistic creeps who believe women owe it to men to remain 20 pounds underweight their entire adult lives — ie. to 35 since we all know attractive women cease to exist at that point right?

  8. 128

    You are interested in men of a lighter hue or of a darker hue?
    Many men on my ethnicity (darker hue) don’t mind women who are “stocky”, “husky”, “big boned”! Just be sure to take pictures revealing exactly what you look like! One of the comments posted here, speaks about confidence in who and what you are and “How You Look”. Remember that the photos you post… show those curves!
    Do not hide them in clothing that hides your figure. The men you’re after will respond and the men into skinny women won’t.

  9. 129

    “Men are still largely going to prefer young, thin women. ”

    What’s considered thin though?.   Thin to me is someone like Paris Hilton or Kate Moss, but I’m not sure how men feel.  I’ve been told by a number of men with an hourglass figure with the large breasts, hips, butt and small waist/flat stomach. I have listed myself as curvy online only to see that women much heavier than me are using that word.  I just stick with average, because I’m not comfortable using “thin” considering that someone might feel misleaded.

    I used to be really skinny girl in college, but a lot of guys told me to gain weight.  I’ve gotten more positive attention from men when I reached a happy medium between thin and fat.

  10. 130

    ^Typo, I meant I’ve been told by other men that I have a nice hourglass physique.

  11. 131

    #126, this has got nothing to do with political correctness, and everything to do with people wanting to have a nice-sounding profile. Same way I’ve seen men put it on their profile that they’re “a social drinker”, and found out later that, in some cases, it means “I’m sh!tfaced every night and hungover every morning”. But hey, they drink with friends, so that’s a totally social event! So, no, women aren’t the only ones to stretch things a little in order to put themselves in a more favorable light. That’s human nature.
    I’m in the same position as #129 – when I’m posting my profile online, I’m not comfortable listing myself as “thin”, because I’m not really rail-thin, but all other terms seem to have already been hijacked to mean “overweight” and “obese”. I listed “fit” when it was one of the options and “thin” where it wasn’t, even though in reality, I’m probably kind of curvy in the sense #129 describes it. Very weird. But, oh well, this is life.

  12. 132

    I wish people would get over themselves. Your paradigm for pulchritude is largely shaped by your own tastes and your culture. So I’ve noticed that white people love to say that Black and Latino men like heavy women, then in reality, the ideal for Black men at least would be, to quote Cedric the Entertainer, a little woman with a big ass…small waist, flat stomach, and chest size is largely irrelevant. Odds are the “ethnic” man messaging a heavyset non-ethnic woman is doing it b/c of her skin color and in spite of her body type, not because of it.
    So I’m kind of tired of people hijacking what is considered to the be beauty standard of many people of my race/ethnicity to mean something ugly. I’m quite sure that what a lot of white or Asian men prefer is not what a lot of Black or Latino men prefer. I’m sure they don’t really care what you think of their tastes.
    I don’t care if I don’t meet your standards. I meet some people’s standards. You probably don’t meet mine either, and I won’t bother to list the physical imperfections that I dislike in men but will point out that while people complain about fat women hijacking curvy (although I’ve heard white people call women like J.Lo, Kim K., and Beyonce obese), maybe you should complain more about the fat men who also hijack athletic and tones or about average.
    It goes both ways.
    But it also is a matter of personal taste, and just because you are too short, bald, old-looking, or badly shaped to me doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone who thinks you are perfect.
    I just don’t get the irrational level of anger that people have when they think someone’s picture doesn’t measure up to their personal definitions. If they don’t, then move the hell on but stop complaining about it.
    I mean, should men who are really 5’10 complain that men who are 5’7 or 5’8 “hijack” that number and make it so that no one believes the height of a man shorter than 6 feet tall?
    The way people gripe you’d swear that no woman over a size 6 and no man under 6 feet tall EVER found love, and yet I see couples who are happy with each other who aren’t perfect, or I see people that you’d dismiss as being not worth your time with perfectly attractive partners. But maybe the biggest difference is that those people aren’t bitter jerks who think that they should be with Cindy Crawford despite looking like James Gandolfini or vice versa (“hot” man, not “hot” woman).
    It’s the same old thing. I’m so gorgeous and awesome and no one will pick me on line b/c all men/women suck and are liars about what they look like.

  13. 133

    This is true, Nicole. The online world can warp your sense of reality. I’ve seen dating coaches that also give some of the worst and misognistic advice (not Evan, but others). I came across a blog where a female dating coach was trying to minimize a woman’s concerns about a man  forcefully kissing her. What?  If someone disrespects your boundary and makes you uncomfortable, you’re supposed to ignore it?  

    You’re absolutely right that there are tons of people in the world that will still fall in love with you and adore you regardless of whether you  look like a Victoria’s secret model.   Confidence is far more attractive than perfect looks. 

  14. 134

    Goldie-I was reading up on ladies like Kim Kardashian and Beyonce. They describe themselves as curvy and not thin.  But, the best bet is to show a full body picture of yourself and let others decide.

  15. 135

    I agree with almost everything you have to say Evan, except one thing: “women know that men prefer thin”.  I really do not agree with that at all.  Yes, society is obsessed with thin women, athletic bodies, etc etc. but that does not neccesarily mean men PREFER that.  Yes, there are plenty of men out there who would want a slender woman, but there are just as many men who prefer a ‘normal’ sized woman, curvy woman, etc.   If you personally feel this way about women (which you have every right to do of course) does not mean that that counts for all the men out there, just like my opinion about men would not be an indication of what all other women are thinking.  The media really has brainwashed a lot of people into thinking that thin is the only way to be beautiful and good enough.  Telling Nicci that us women know that men prefer thin is a lie, and I think we both know that.

  16. 136

    I love Curvy/hourglass ladies but there are a lot of women now days that think Fat is Curvy and or think Fat as a bad term. Fat is fat plain and simple and Fat is NOT CURVY!! Also like this lady said she described herself ” A few extra pounds” that honestly scares a lot of men when they see the words “A few extra pounds” even with a good picture. If women are truely just slightly curvy and not at all FAT they should also put up a full completely updated accurate pic of themselves so we men can completely see. Nothing worse then being deceived and some men are guilty of that as well. But Curvy is super hot and like the lady pictured here she is hot and she is the perfect example of curvy, not fat, but the hourglass figure. Women that are pencil thin are just not that attractive cause they usually have really small boobs. It’s totally contrary to women’s beliefs that men want these stick completely size 0 to like size 7 women and to a lot of men those stick women are classified as anorexic or the super picky eater women that she only will eat like a rabbit and is super extremely hard to know what exactly those type of women like to eat cause those type of ladies complain a lot lol. Curvy is so sexy but in the right size like size 12 to 14 would be perfect 🙂 (nice but (not to big or small) (nice big boobs are always nice :)) and the waist that goes in just like an hourglass :)!!   

  17. 137

    Oh also I have to add that I think the younger men ages probably in their early 20’s to mid to late 20’s the college men like the stick slim ladies but then when men graduate from college and start thinking about relationships/marriage I think a lot of men change and go more for the Curvy ladies.

  18. 138
    Single Mom

    Regardless, much of this is superficial.  Even thin/athletic people don’t always stay that way forever.  It makes me sad to think that a woman (or a man for that matter) can’t get sick and gain weight or have a mastectomy or serve his or her country and lose a limb without second guessing their relationship.  It is time out for all of this superficial crap and people need to refocus on what’s really important. 

  19. 139

    I do not contact curvy women, reason being even though I just started on this online dating thing I’ve come to realize that curvy means thicker than what I like and I have perceived this due to the fact that the dates I’ve been on have been somewhat lies on the woman’s part. I do agree about thinking what curvy is to me with some of the comments on here, but seriously if your outline is not an hourglass and its more of a Kool-Aid pitcher, than that does not make you “curvy”…just sayin.

    1. 139.1

      Kool-Aid pitcher.  LOL.

  20. 140

    Nicci, I prefer “curvy” women and seek them out. The Rubenesque period for fashon was, in my humble opinion, the best in human history for women’s appearance. I feel much more comfortable with a woman with “a few extra pounds” by my side than a skinny woman who, is thinner in ratio to height than I.  Btw, i’m 6ft, 185lbs. 50+ and physicaly fit. The Anorexic look seems to be more prevalent now than ever in history. Sad commentary on society, I say. Anyway, don’t listen to your co-workers, they may have veiled biases, I.e. they may want you and don’t want anyone else to have you. Never know….there are many of us out here who love your body style. Be happy with what “your momma” gave you and who you are. We will be here for you. Be confident in yourself and know you can do whatever you want in life.

  21. 141

    #1 Michael E-
    Yes.. the fat men are only contacting the skinny women.
    I know.  I am about 40 pounds overweight.  I am pretty cute, have a great job,
    and I am funny and physically active.
    The only contact I get is about 20 years older.  When I contact a man who is 50 pounds overweight they flirt a little and give up.
    Even guys that are bald and fat are not contacting me.  I have heard the same from other women who are only 20 pounds overweight.  An attractive friend of mine, male, who has a great job only contacts blondes with perfect bodies.  They show up and want him to rescue them from financial disasters.  Each woman has been a total trainwreck in a perfect body.  And the hundreds of slightly overweight nice women with responsible jobs who are not trainwrecks go completely ignored by him.
    I will not online date again unless I feel strong enough for 97% rejection.   

  22. 142

    Seriously.. when these online guys contact me I think, why don’t you call my mom?  She’s what you are better matched with.  I do great in person.  I have many guys seeking my company on athletic fields and at parties because they know I will engage them in a great conversation and make them laugh.  The trouble is, they are all married, I am in an all married with kids environment.  I only know one single dad.  Once in awhile I will meet a nice man, and notice that I never see him with a ring or a companion, but I am afraid to ask if he is single.  I really do not want to upset the moms and have them worried about me talking to their guys.  I just joke with them because I am friendly, but I joke with the women too.  I guess when I was married and fat having hundreds of guys seeking my non-sexual attention was fine by the other women.  But now that I lost a little weight and am divorced …I wish one or two of the women would come up to me and say, “hey I have a really great brother.. would you like to meet him?”  I would never flirt with a married man, but I feel like the women suddenly view me as a threat. I cannot imagine how hard it will be when I continue to lose more weight.  I might need to say I am dating someone just to keep my female friends.  I was not prepared for being treated like a threat.  I am not a homewrecker and I really don’t want to date someone who is old enough to be my Dad.

  23. 143

    I can’t believe some of the crap I’ve read on here,
    For myself I find curvy women very attractive, if I see curvy on the profile I will give people a message. It wasn’t that long ago that curvy was classified as the most attractive. Normally I find curvier women more ample in the breast area (if I wanted a flat chested bucket of muscle id turn gay) curvy women don’t look gaunt or malnourished.

    Curvy women, be proud of who you are!! 

  24. 144
    Darren Chalies

    You can call it what you will.  Yet please, for the sake of fairness, post a full length picture on your profile. 
    In the ‘real world’ people don’t have to ask, they just know instantly whether or not there’s potential attraction.  If I have to ask to see a representative picture, chances are there’s a reason why she’s hiding them.  No thanks.
    In the case of ‘curvy’, that leaves a lot to interpretation.   Pictures say alot; post them people! 
    It’s just so tricky online, where the right pictures can sell like hot cakes, or the wrong picture/angle whatever, can send the men running.
    I’d say, if you have better alternatives for meeting people, do so.  Only use online dating as a last resort, minimal time investment.

  25. 145

    As a woman who is 5’4 with a defined waist, a D cup and a J-lo butt I consider myself curvy but as a size 6-8 I call myself average on dating sites. I think I received more attention when I considered myself “curvy” though.

  26. 146

    I do online dating too. What I would do is post a pic of face and post a pic of face and body don’t say a few extra pounds dont give measurements let them see u and decide if they like what they see. And ur right u shouldn’t lie. Marylyn Monroe was a size ten and if ur hourglass figured then u have a great body.

  27. 147
    Markie Mark

    People have to chill. Someone said, paraphrasing, in a previous post …you’re attracted to what you’re attracted to.

    I have always liked thin women, nothing personal and no disrespect. I’m a small guy and thin myself  5′ 7″ 145lbs. 

    Some women like tall guys, it pisses me off but hey read the line above. Gotta deal with it.

    I will say one thing the “thin” just gets me interested. If the woman doesn’t have a good personality, sense of humor and intelligence it really doesn’t matter what she looks like OR how much money she makes, I’m out.

    Actually money doesn’t mean jack, anyone if they’re really dedicated and focused can make money.

    Looking back each time I fell in love (3x)  with a woman I actually fell in love with her personality NOT her looks. I know that sounds a little like well, crap but it’s true.

    And when I’ve been dumped the thing I really missed about the person was the personality and sense of humor.

  28. 148

    I am going to be a harsh: Why don’t all the people who are worried about being viewed as fat, curvy, or whatever word you use, exercise? I don’t think everyone should be a skinny-mini or totally buff, but being overweight is a health hazard, and frankly, I want someone who takes care of themselves. Also, we all know that people gain weight in relationships. If you’re “curvy” now, he knows you’re going to be fat pretty soon if exercise and a healthy lifestyle is not a priority. Same for men. I have an ass and am shapely, but I know the difference between fat and muscle. Men love my curves, but I take care of myself, exercise daily and have maintained my weight because it feels good, makes me stronger and keeps me healthy. The added bonus is guys like my body, but that’s not the only reason I do it. People live in total denial of how they look and their level of healthiness, but if you don’t exercise on purpose almost every day, then you are not being all that you can be. Physical limitations aside, everyone should make health a priority and I think that’s the cave-man instinct that most men are responding to when they see “curvy.” Being chubby tells the world that you don’t care to take care of yourself. I see women spend tons and tons of money on nails, hair and make-up, but scoff at the cost of a gym membership. You get what you pay for and online dating is the great leveling field. 
    ~ JulieAnne 

  29. 149

    I just want to point out that “curvy” is mean to describe a SHAPE not a SIZE. A woman can be a size 2 and “curvy,” a size 12 and “curvy,” or a size 22 and “curvy.” I think a lot of people don’t consider this when skimming those profile details. People also don’t take into consideration height as relevant to size -a woman who weighs 120 pounds and is 5’2 is going to look VERY different from a woman who weighs 120 pounds and is 5’10 -this is where posting current, full body photos of yourself comes into play.
    When I had a dating profile, I chose to describe myself as “curvy” along with stating that I was 5’6-5’7 and a size 12 (and of course posting multiple current photos including full body shots). I figured, that’s enough information for a guy to figure out what I look like and decide if that sounds/looks good to him or not. Any guys who may have rejected me because they that I was “fat,” were no loss to me whatsoever, because I’m happy with my “curvy” body and not worried about those who aren’t. =)
    For my personal preferences, size has never been very important to me in a man, so much as height… I think it’s a biological thing for a lot of women. I have dated guys who weighed as little as 150 to as much as 300 pounds and was perfectly happy with each guy’s body while dating him, but I do prefer men who are upwards of 5’10. I wear heels a lot, and prefer to feel petite -which, by the way, is a desciptor for a woman’s STATURE not her SIZE -standing next to my guy, versus the Incredible, Giant Woman… lol.

  30. 150

    @Jennifer at 5’4 and a size 8 I am a curvy woman, I have large breasts, a small waist and a big butt. I describe my body type as average and then clarify that I am a curvy woman. I know that many very overweight women describe themselves as curvy so I chose average then spell it out for the men who visit. If you aren’t into curves you won’t be into me but I don’t want men to weed me out for the wrong reasons.

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