The dating app wants to end the "marginalization of people with atypical bodies"
Attention plus-size ladies frustrated with other dating apps, WooPlus is here: an app specifically for “Plus-size singles and their admirers.”
WooPlus features women and men of all shapes – but primarily plus-size – in the hopes that a specialized app will make it easier for people to find their perfect match, especially for people who are ignored on dating sites because of their size.
“Marginalization of people with atypical bodies is still a sensitive social stigma for many people involved in online dating,” co-founder Neil Raman tells PEOPLE. “My sister experienced this herself. It was very painful and unfair. I decided to solve this problem and create an app just for big girls.”
Along with his sister’s experience, Raman got the idea for WooPlus from a social experiment posted on YouTube in 2014, where one girl shocked a series of Tinder dates when she showed up wearing a fat suit, looking around 70 lbs. heavier than her photos. The video quickly racked up 23 million views, and the guys’ rude reactions showed how hard it can be to date when plus-size.
So Raman, along with co-founder Michelle Li, built a Tinder-like interface where users can also swipe yes or no to the plus-size singles. If there’s a match, they get 48 hours to message each other.
Raman and Li wanted to create a dating app that focuses on physical looks (like most of the ones on the market), but make it more welcoming for plus-size people.
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“Tinder relies on a match being made between two individuals depending more on physical appearance. As a result, there haven’t been many positive remarks made by plus sized users,” Becky Han, a member of the marketing team explains. “We hope big girls can seek love and friendship in a comfortable and non-discriminating environment while enjoying the fun to swipe and get matched.”
Of course, they haven’t been immune from criticism, with people accusing WooPlus of singling out plus-size daters.
“Someone even wrote an article to ask ‘Do we really need a plus-size dating app?’ She thought the existence of WooPlus would only ‘make us retreat from the mainstream once again,’ ” Han says. “But just as we had promised, we just want to provide a comfortable dating platform connecting big girls and their true admirers.”
WooPlus wants to show that they’re trying to help the plus-size community, not tear them down.
“‘We love you and wish you happiness,’ ” Han says. “This is the only standard that guides us to serve our members better.”