An Open Letter to the Guy Who Stole My Identity on Plenty of Fish

Hello.

First of all, you’re kind of an asshole. By using my picture in your Catfish-esque schemes, you’ve made me feel violated, disillusioned, and only a little flattered. It’s like I’m a strange combination of an attractive person, Sandra Bullock in the forgotten nineties gem The Net, and whoever the girl was that the gay dude utilized to make Manti Te’o fall in love with him. It’s just all so weird and confusing.

But fine. I’m not that mad at you. I understand that this photo of me pretending to be good at golf is a form of bait practically guaranteed to reel in a whole host of quality guys.

Golf

Ha, ha — NOT!

If you wanted a photo of me that was going to attract hot gay dudes to your online dating profile, you should have just contacted me directly for suggestions. And then I would have told you that no such photo exists, because — believe me — I’ve tried all of them myself.

On some level, I guess I commend you. You could have stuck with the standard amateur shirtless model technique, but instead you chose to think outside the box and steal the photo of an intellectual who’s into writing, golfing, and white undershirts. Props to you for your creative efforts!

But you’ve still failed. Because no matter how you look at this situation, you’re living a lie. Speaking of lies, can we just talk about the atrocious content of the profile that you’ve paired with my picture?

Here’s a particularly painful excerpt:

“…in shape toned white males… Would prefer a masculine guy who is in good shape, thin or athletic, str8 actin…. who likes older(but not old!)guyz…. (i look like i’m in my mid 20′s …..no kids here to wear me out : ) I am NOT into queens (nothing personal …just cant relate) and def not terrorists!”

A few things:

  1. We get it – you’re looking for a guy with a nice body. But may I ask why you feel the need to discriminate so strongly against fat people? This is a super sensitive issue for me, a former fat kid. I’m still yet to recover from the traumatic experience of being called fat by a guy I dated last summer – so the fact that you’ve now associated my image with the shallow preoccupation with hot bodies that persists in the gay community is just not okay. (But I mean, thanks for the implication that I look thin enough in the picture to be a fat-hating jerk, I guess.)
  2. The whole “white males only” thing is hilariously ironic because the person who tipped me off to the fact your fake profile existed in the first place was my black ex-boyfriend.
  3. If the other side of my hat were visible, you’d see that it reads NYU. Yes, I have a master’s degree, and I’m pretty sure they don’t give those out to people with your grammar situation. Or to people who write things like “str8.”
  4. Speaking of straightness, why are you so prejudice against feminine-acting gay guys? I mean, your internalized homophobia is really a whole other discussion, but you’re kind of a douche bag.
  5. Oh, people tell you that you look like you’re in your twenties? That’s because I’M IN MY TWENTIES, YOU FILTHY PIECE OF HUMAN GARBAGE!

All in all, you’ve managed to create an identity around my picture that embodies the exact type of person I would strongly hate in real life. So if my letter to you seems condescending or straight up mean, that’s because it is. I’m offended and confused and hurt and even a little angry.

Listen, I understand that we’re all looking for something in this life, and the Internet makes it easy to play these weird, Catfish-y games and see “what if?” while being totally creepy and stealing others’ identities — but you should know that you stole the picture of someone who clearly has a whole host of complexities and anxiety issues himself, and it’s clear that you have many of your own, so why go there? We’re all human.

Why not just be you? Own those issues of yours that make you want to jump out of your own skin and into mine. And then work on them. Look at yourself and do something, because my skin won’t solve any of your problems or magically make you a more desirable person. It’s not any better or worse than yours.

But it is mine, and I think I at least deserve to hold on to that.

Sincerely,

The Real Nic

P.S. One more thing about your profile content: While it’s nice that you specify that you’re not into terrorists, I’m pretty sure that goes without saying for everybody ever. Like, the fact that you actually make it a point to say “definitely no terrorists” kind of makes me suspicious that you are one yourself. Oh my God, shit — you are, aren’t you? Am I going to be viciously attacked for writing this public letter to you? You know what? I take it all back. Please feel free to keep using my picture, just don’t attack me.

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