On Jack Timperley’s 18th birthday, he created his first profile on a dating site . He excitedly looked forward to potential matches in the hopes of finally taking a date to the prom.
But one by one, each dating site began to flag and delete his photos and ban him from their websites. Why? Because he is short and thin for his age, and does not fit into cultural gender norms. Jack was born with a genetic disorder called Fanconi Anemia that required him to undergo four dozen surgical procedures and a bone marrow transplant. At four foot eight inches and 55 pounds, Jack is shorter and weighs less than your average 18-year-old young man.
He is upfront about this, explaining the situation in the first sentence of his dating profile. Here’s an excerpt from Match.com – one of three sites that didn’t ban him (OkCupid and eHarmony are the other two):
Erroneously believing Jack’s photos were of an underage child, dating sites like Plenty of Fish, Zoosk, Bumble, Badoo, and even PetiteMates (which is designed for shorter people) said Jack had violated their terms of service. Tindr (which authenticates the age of its Facebook users) even went so far as to ban his account.
While it’s certainly important to prevent minors from inappropriate situations, one size doesn’t fit all! There should be room in our automated technology forums for individuals who don’t meet expectations. Jack is a confident and positive young man who does not use his size as a crutch or excuse. He felt, in this case, that fighting for societal size acknowledgement was a worthwhile cause.
It’s not too late! Jack’s prom is May 19th. You can help!
- Sign this petition to get Jack’s dating profiles reinstated.
2. Share this. Maybe it will find its way to a petite young woman in the Chicago area who would like to attend the prom with Jack.