For these trout Romeos, it could soon be love at first sight.
Dating apps have been serving up an assortment of passed out male suitors lately – with profile pictures that highlight the latest excitement, from chicken parm-wielding charmers and “Machu men” mountain climbers to the sleazy promise of West Elm Caleb of mid-century modern happiness.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new trend is catching the ladies’ attention: the big spread fish.
These bass-anovas are flooding singles with profile pictures of prized traits, from bluegills to bass — and plenty of grouper groupies swallow fin-omenon hook, line and sinker.
Now women are wondering if the ubiquitous photos of fish are the next big catch on dating apps — or a symptom of toxic masculinity.
“One day, I’m on an app [Bumble], out of 25 swipes, 10 of the looks held fish,” Elizabeth Hlotyak, 47, a freelance photographer from White Plains, told The Post. She began to suspect that this was a sleazy new dating trend.
And new survey figures appear to support Hlotyak’s theory: Angling app Fishbrain analyzed the Tinder profiles of 100 young men in Virginia (aged 18-25) – and discovered that a huge 42% chose to include a photo showing them hauling in a recently caught fish. fish (an earlier survey found that 8% of dating profiles in New York featured a fish and 22% for Florida).
“It definitely played a part in us choosing to swipe right,” Camille, a member of Virginia Tech’s Tri Delta sorority, told the Post, declining to give her last name or age for reasons. confidentiality. She is one of many sorority girls interviewed who said they saw “loads of guys showing off their fish every time” she logs on to Tinder and other dating platforms.
Melissa Hobley, CMO of leading dating app OkCupid, told The Post that she’s “definitely seen an increase in more popular professional anglers on OkCupid.”
The trend coincides with a nationwide increase in the number of anglers putting lines in the water – a practice dubbed “social fishing” following many people’s scramble to find COVID-safe activities during the pandemic.
And that unorthodox date bait is apparently a point of attraction: The new Fishbrain survey found that more than one in seven (about 15%) of Tri Delta’s 235 sisters have seen men posing with recently caught fish. on Tinder like Continued attractive than those who did not. Also, according to an earlier Facebook survey of 1,000 Florida sorority members, 46% of young American women in their late teens and early to mid-twenties actually prefer the former.
What’s the appeal of a guy wearing a trophy? Camille explained, “It makes men more athletic and more powerful.”
“Maybe it correlates to their ability to be breadwinners, but I more likely think holding a huge fish has other connotations,” the college girl added cheekily. “Holding a giant fish is definitely more appealing than posing with a boring, unimpressive little hold.”
The attraction “can also depend on the type of fish, because some are definitely more beautiful to look at than others”, adds Camille.
In order to determine which fish make men most attractive, Fishbrain took 2021 survey participants who preferred fish-spreaders and presented them with a range of anonymized dating profile pictures featuring different species. They then asked them to rate how attractive each fish made the potential match on a scale of one to 10.
The biggest catch, with a score of 6.1, was the hogfish – a colorful creature reminiscent of the love child of a snapper and a pig, weighing up to 24 pounds. Despite his odd face, women theoretically found this Atlantic Ocean dweller attractive due to his “unusual pink and red color,” Camille said. “Plus, he has a weird mouth,” she added.
Striped bass – a New York fishing staple – which weighs up to three times as much as a hogfish, but is relatively monochromatic, came in last at 2.3. It’s apparently not the size of the fish, but how you choose it.
Sam Kim, 23, a data scientist from Illinois who posts photos of fish on Hinge, Tinder and Bumble, told The Post that snaps of sea bass and other “unimpressive fish” are being ignored by users. potential matches. However, when the Northwestern University graduate uploaded a profile picture featuring a “pretty” African pompano, he got multiple likes within a week.
Presentation and photography are also important, and several female social media users have even taken to judging the men’s fish photos as a Westminster Kennel Club fish show.
“Is there something wrong with this fish? No,” TikTok user @rachellloooo wrote in a review of a fly fisherman posing with a trout. “But why does he have to hold like it’s a shlong?”
Determining Tinder matches by their catch of the day can seem superficial. But relationship gurus believe this behavior is rooted in the instinct to judge a potential partner’s ability to put food on the table – the logic being: the bigger the fish, the more skilled its supplier.
“At a time when so many men are disconnected from their masculinity, a photo of him with his big fish subconsciously signals that he can survive in the wild,” said NYC matchmaker Amy Van Doran of the Modern Love Club. To post. “[It’s] a holdover from the days when we chose our companions based on their survival, and which can help the child survive infancy.
Van Doran added, “If men really want to look sexy, they should take their pictures in a cave with a loincloth and a club.”
This perception of fishmongers as prehistoric stragglers has reached such a climax that it was parodied in a New Yorker article: “I Am a Tinder Guy Holding a Fish and I Will Provide for You”, which includes the perennial phrase: ” I will give you many orgasms and bar.
However, not all women are equally smitten, with many believing the trend to be emblematic of toxic bass culinity.
“They’re the mark of a certain kind of guy: bro-y, wants to look on the outside and a ‘manly man,'” a 33-year-old lawyer, who chose to remain anonymous, told The Post. “I think there’s probably a psychological explanation, like they’re trying to show they can provide or something, but I don’t think they think about it that hard.”
The North Carolina resident continued, “I also grew up in the south and the people who frequently went fishing were usually armed Republican types who are not the people I want to spend my life with. So maybe I have bad connotations from my upbringing. Overall, I think it relates to toxic masculinity in a way that I find off-putting and unattractive.
In fact, even some fisherwomen are baffled by it. “Nothing wrong with fishing, I love to go fishing. I do not understand [fish in profile pics]added Hlotyak, who pointed out that it’s a running joke among his friends. She recalls contacting one such angler on Bumble, only to cut the bait after he started sending her “random videos of him shooting marlin off the Gulf of Mexico.”
Luckily, not all anglers post bass snaps to stroke their ego.
“I use pictures of fish because I’m generally happier with them,” John Prioli, a North Carolina native and 15-year fishing veteran, told The Cut in a 2018 interview. is the culmination of waking up early (or going out late), busting your ass out, bringing the right gear, presenting the fish with the right bait or lure in the right place at the right time and finally be able to hold the animal for a while and take a picture.
Meanwhile, environmentalist AJ Scheff said he “just wanted to publicize my hobby in hopes of finding someone who enjoys it as much as I do”.
“At the very least, it’s a cool pic that breaks the ice on any dating app,” said OKCupid’s Melissa Hobley.