“Pictures like this put off respectful guys.”
Aussie woman Zoe Kowald received this message from a man that had come across her profile on the dating app Hinge.
He was commenting on a photo she’d added to her dating profile and he didn’t hold back when offering unwanted advice.
“Hey Zoe. Just wanted to let you know that pictures like this put off respectful guys who know how to hold a conversation,” he wrote.
He also added that posting photos like that would only “attract” the kind of man who only wants to “sleep” with her.
“Have a nice day,” he added, including a smiley face as if his unsolicited shaming was just friendly advice.
Kowald, 31, is currently on dating apps in hopes of meeting someone to have a serious relationship with, and she was surprised by the message.
The Adelaide woman didn’t think the photo he was commenting on was salacious, actually she “genuinely” didn’t think even think twice before uploading the photo.
She’s fully clothed, wearing bike shorts, a T-shirt and a cardigan and crouching down to take a selfie.
She told news.com.au she chose that pose because it felt the most “natural” and certainly wasn’t thinking it’d warrant any response.
“His comment just gave me the whole ‘well she was wearing that, so she asked for it’ vibe,” she said.
Kowald added that she was “fully clothed” and that the response, from her perspective, didn’t make any sense.
“I didn’t think it was a photo that would be sexualised and definitely didn’t think I’d have a man giving me unsolicited advice on who I will and won’t attract on a dating app,” she explained.
Kowald was so thrown by the man’s message that she took to a women’s Facebook group to ask their opinions on the photo and the reaction she had received.
She asked group members to put a thumbs-up reaction to the photo if they agreed with him or a love heart reaction to the message if they disagreed with the man.
You might expect by 2023 that there would be a unanimous response calling the man out. You’d be proven wrong.
The photo received 983 love-heart reactions and 337 thumbs-up reactions.
The comment section turned into such a hot mess that administrators of the group had to start deleting some of the more shaming messages.
“I’m shocked by how many people agreed with him,” someone commented, added that there was “nothing” wrong with the photo Kowald uploaded.
However, another person claimed that what the man wrote wasn’t “wrong”.
Kowald said the divided response “shocked” her and she was surprised that women were siding with the man.
“There was a comment from a registered relationship counsellor or something and she basically said he was right and I wouldn’t attract anyone of substance,” she said.
Plus, there were more nasty comments that declared the photo was “yikes” and accused her of showing her underwear. None of it made her feel any better.
Despite the backlash, Kowald isn’t going to remove the photo, but she admits that his comments have definitely impacted her.
“I won’t remove the photo because I feel confident in it, but I would be lying if I didn’t say his comment definitely made me question if I should take down the photo or if what he was saying was correct,” she said.