Tinder: love it, hate it, or delete and redownload it every two weeks, we can all agree on one thing right? When we go on Tinder, we want to be welcomed with a bit of eye candy and some decent chat. So, why when I open the app (that’s meant to entice me into dating, or potentially hooking up with these people, may I add) am I greeted with picture after picture of big slimy fish?
I have many, many, many questions for the men of our world: Why must you leave the toilet seat up? Why do you insist on spreading your legs as far open as possible on public transport? Why do you feel the need to mansplain my literal degree to me? But honestly, not a single one of these is more pressing than WHY on earth men feel the need to include pictures of them holding a fish in their Tinder profile picture? Could you really not have just gone for that picture of you in a bar, in your mate’s garden – god, even a Snapchat filter at this point?
Fuelled by confusion, semi-disgust and a desire to answer the pressing questions of 2021, I swiped right for every boy with a fish pic I could possibly find and asked them WHY. Here’s what they had to say for themselves:
I think the fish look really nice
Joe was the first man with a fish pic that I swiped upon. After interrogating him about his fish picture, he complimented me for my “interesting questions” (stop it you!) and told me he included it “because I like to fish, and I think it’s a decent photo”.
When probed as to what makes the photo: the fish or him, he gave me what can only be described as fish discourse. Apparently, the fish is the main character here, with Joe saying it “gives the photo an agenda” and “adds to the aesthetics.” Who knew fish boys could be so self-aware and humble?
Joe added he thinks men take photos with fish “to track certain fish as they grow” and capture “nice scale patterns”. I can’t lie, when I look at fish I’m more concerned with how disgustingly slimy they look, rather than the detail of their scales but I’m glad someone appreciates it.
By comparison, the fish makes me look better looking
It didn’t take me long to find another fish boy, and coincidentally his name was also Joe. Of his six photos, not one, not two, but THREE of his pictures were of fish. Now that’s a committed fisherman if I ever saw one.
He explained he was “always fishing” and so didn’t “have a lot of photos without fish”. Joe my love, I will literally offer to be your personal photographer at this point if it means you will stop with the fish photos.
He then added a heartwrenching response: “I don’t think I’m great looking so I don’t take a lot of photos of myself”. I guess taking photos with fish must boost your self-esteem by the pure nature of comparison, in which case I need to cop myself a goldfish before the 21st June.
Joe finally justified the excessive amounts of fish pictures on Tinder by arguing that boys take them if they’re a “good achievement”, which in this case means if it’s a “good size” (what happened to “size doesn’t matter” hmm?). He attempted to woo me with the fact he recently “caught a carp of 36 pounds”, which I think in fish discourse is meant to be impressive – ngl Joe, I think if you’re looking to flex your fishing skills, Tinder may not be the place to go.
It’s supposedly a great conservation starter
Next on fish Tinder is Adrian. His inclusion of a fish pic was less offensive because it was only him with a fishing rod, as opposed to a fish itself. Whether this was because he’s aware fish aren’t actually very appealing, or he merely can’t catch any fish I’m unsure, but he told me he included the photo because he “liked to go fishing back in the States”.
His emphasis on American fish was puzzling and left many questions: Are the fish in the States simply a different gravy to those found in the exotic waters of Essex? Is he just an excellent conversationalist with a knack for including extra details conducive to sparking conversation (wow! you used to live in the States? that’s so cool x)? A woman needs answers.
I attempted to seek clarification on this pressing issue and learnt “it’s almost impossible to find a good spot without having so many regulations in this country” which I’m sure is a shame for him. However, I’m high-key grateful for the EU’s fishing regulations, we honestly don’t need MORE fish boys in our lives.
I was planning to ask him whether he hoped Brexit would loosen these regulations but sadly he stopped replying to my questions at this point so I guess we’ll never know.
Some of us actually have career ambitions to be fishermen
The one that blew my mind the most was Ewan, who had included a picture of him with a fish because, wait for it, he’s aiming to be an actual fisherman.
The idea that fishermen can be 19-year-olds from Bedford, and not just like 50-year-old men from Cornwall feels deeply unsettling to me but Ewan clearly feels very passionate about his fish.
He’s been fishing since he was nine and he said “it’s a hobby I’m very invested in” – so much so that he did a “fishery management course in college”. At this point, I was feeling upset that my school’s career advisor missed this option off her list.
Admittedly, he currently works “in a warehouse” and so, at the moment, fishing is just his hobby, but he told me he aspires to “make it a full-time job” and “one day own a set of fishing lakes”. Did his fish-related ambitions make Ewan more attractive to me? I’m still unsure.
I like fish so I post fish pics
Tbf this response left me pondering the superficiality of my judgement of men with fish pics. Why shouldn’t Zack have a photo of his hobby on his profile after all? Maybe if I did something except watch Netflix all day I would too.
He also told me he thinks his picture makes it “probably less likely” that someone would swipe right for him, but that he’s “not really that worried about it”. Which is actually very fair. Get you a man who doesn’t feel he needs to hide his passions to seem cool on Tinder, amirite ladies?
However, I’m not entirely sure how well the fish photos are working out for him, as he told me I was “the first person” he’d spoken to on Tinder for months. Perhaps evidence that I’m not alone in my ick for fish pics? It might be time to update the profile, Zack.
He asked me if I thought his fish pic was weird and then sadly unmatched me before I could probe deeper into his fishing habits. Ah well, some you win, some you lose, I guess.
Our fish pics are the equivalent to your ‘drinks with the girlies’
Ashley was probably the sweetest fish boy I came across in my search (he also superliked me, which did absolute bits for my ego I can’t lie).
He told me he included the photos of him fishing because he has “lost quite a bit of weight in the last couple years” and they’re the only recent photos he has. Would I prefer a man who is a catfish or a man with a profile of fish pics? The jury’s still out.
After joking that he included his fish pic to show that he is “the ultimate alpha male”, he told me his reasons for including the photo were because it was the first fish he ever caught and he thought it was a “nice photo”. This was deeply wholesome, and almost enough to make up for the offence of including a fish pic.
However, he did call me out for questioning his profile pic choices when mine consists almost solely of me at bars/pres/smoking areas. Maybe it’s time for me to stop quizzing other men’s Tinder profiles and actually get a hobby.
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