“A good rule of thumb is simply not to comment on another user’s body or health at all,” the company said

By Julie Mazziotta
January 29, 2021 01:12 PM
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Bumble app
| Credit: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty

Dating app Bumble announced this week that they are banning body shaming, informing users that any "unsolicited and derogatory comments" about a person's appearance can result in warnings and removal from the platform.

Bumble, which flipped the dating app model by only allowing women to "make the first move" and initiate the conversation when they matched with someone, said that "body shaming is not acceptable on or off" the app.

"For those who may not know, body shaming means forcing your opinion of a 'good body' onto others. It can come in the form of sending a message to someone that's critical of their body or health, or by stating in your Bumble bio that a certain kind of body is unacceptable or undesirable," they said in a press release. "Body shaming includes fat shaming, health shaming, criticizing skin or hair, thin shaming, unsolicited opinions, and mocking someone's physical features."

The company, which has also outlawed photos with guns and shirtless mirror selfies, added that the ban includes any messages "that can be deemed fatphobic, ableist, racist, colorist, homophobic or transphobic."

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Under the new policy, users can report body shaming language found on a person's profile or in messages. Those who violate the policy will receive a warning, and further incidents can lead to a ban from the platform.

"Body shaming can do harm to the mental and even physical health of its recipients, so if you're not sure if a message will come across as body shaming, a good rule of thumb is simply not to comment on another user's body or health at all," they said. "Find something else about their profile to talk about. Or, if you're not interested in someone, you can swipe left."

Bumble has acted proactively in the past when its users get body shamed. In 2017, a woman spoke out after she went on a date with a 24-year-old Air Force pilot and was ghosted. She said she didn't "think anything of it" at first, knowing that it happens frequently in the online dating world, but she saw soon after that her date had revamped his profile to say "Pleeeeease don't be fat in real life."

"I know it could have been about someone else, but the coincidence is a little sketchy to me," the woman told Elite Daily at the time. "So now, I want to publicly roast him for being a misogynistic pig. And by the way, I'm not actually fat. I can just squat, like, 200 lbs., so I have pretty thick thighs."

After speaking out, the woman worked with Bumble to track down her date, whom the company then banned from the app.