Secret Internet Fatty

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SIF or Secret Internet Fatty is a term used to describe a person who attempts to mitigate the appearance of her being overweight in online pictures. This is generally accomplished through the manipulation of camera angles, lighting, shadows, and spatial factors. While there is a growing movement towards fat acceptance in the United States and throughout the Western world, obese people nonetheless usually feel the need to disguise their weight in images on social media. The term is near exclusively associated with women.


It is clear, due to the overwhelming existence of Secret Internet Fatties on dating sites like Tinder, that SIFs primarily use image deception as a means of coming into contact with potential mates. By ameliorating their size in photos that can then be used as sexual advertisements in sites like OKCupid and Tinder, SIFs seek to trick others into going on dates with them under false pretenses. It is clear that SIFs do not distort their pictures primarily to increase their chances of making friends or for improving self-perception, although the latter may be a strong secondary motive.

Indications of a SIF[edit]

There are multiple ways to delineate a SIF from a genuinely thin, attractive women.[1] For instance, a SIF will showcase exclusively face photos, omitting body images on her social media profiles. Sometimes, a SIF will provide a body picture that clearly betrays her true weight, but, in relative terms, makes her appear thin. This occurs when a girl has been obese for so long that pictures which seem to show her as ten pounds lighter legitimately pass off to her as "thin."

Furthermore, a SIF may heavily employ filters, populate the foreground of her pictures with dogs or other objects, post pictures that show her from far away (usually partially obscured by a group of people), or simply in very baggy clothes.

The Private Man writes, "If a woman identifies her figure as 'average' and doesn’t have a full body shot, it’s very likely that she’s a SIF. Women are also very good at posing and fashions to tone down the curves. By the way, 'curvy' is fat."[2]

Relationship with Fat Acceptance[edit]

The existence of the Secret Internet Fatty phenomenon suggests a contradiction in the self-identifying fat community. While many fat women argue that people should accept all body variations, including mutilation from sedentary first-world lifestyles[3], the fact that many of them opt to be fat in secret shows that they are not themselves comfortable or happy with their bodies. This highlights a contradiction in the claim that many fat women are happy with their bodies and thus have no incentive to lose weight.

A further issue with the SIF trend and the Fat Acceptance movement is that the motivation for a typical woman to become a SIF is fueled by the need for attention and sexual contact. This suggests that women themselves find it unacceptable and irrational to expect desirable men to willingly go on a date with a fat woman.