The ‘Pull A Pig’ Prank – Why You Need a Thick Skin to Play the Dating Game



We live in a cruel cruel world. It seems the Age of Tinder people are becoming more and more superficial by the day. Lets be honest…how much can you tell about a person a couple of profile pictures? What’s to say that smoking hot guy with the six pack isn’t a serial killer? Nothing. Yet, he’s more likely to be swiped right than the chubby dude with a pleasant smile, standing in front of a fancy BMW (that’s most likely not his!). See, superficial. I told you! None of us is above all this fakery. Who can honestly tell me that they haven’t spent considerable time perfecting their selfie face to get that angle just right to catch the attention of some computer geek trawling an internet dating site (or in the case of those no longer playing the dating game just a few more likes on Instagram).

All things considered, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise then when you hear sad stories about mean things that people do to one another under the guise of ‘dating’. The latest tale to hide the headlines and go viral  is that of the ‘pull a pig’ prank. For those of you don’t know this is the (MAJOR NATIONAL NEWS) story of 24 year old girl, Sophie Stevenson, who met a Dutch dude, Jesse Mateman, while on holiday in Barcelona. According to the chick, they had an intense holiday romance (he on the other hand describes it as a one night stand) and carried on communicating when they returned to their respective countries. After a bit of back and forth, they arranged for Sophie to travel to Amsterdam for a romantic reunion. But it wasn’t to be. When she arrived there was no sign of Jesse. Turns out she had been stood up and after a few hours received a text (displayed above) saying she’d ‘been pigged’. Basically, it was all an elaborate joke whereby guys challenge each other to get a date with a woman they see as overweight or unattractive simply to ridicule her and get some kudos from their mates.

Naturally, feeling humiliated by the whole stunt Sophie decided to take action and took to the media (well, one of those rubbish UK morning TV shows that only unemployed people without a life get to watch) to share her ordeal with the world  and hold Jesse accountable. Not taking these accusations lightly, the Dutchman sought legal assistance and plans to hold Sophie liable for any damages he suffers a result of her accusations. Furthermore, a crowd funding page has also been set up to help the girl recover the funds she’d spent travelling to Amsterdam. Oh my!

Dear god! Is it just me or have things just got totally out of hand? I mean, sure, I feel sorry for the girl. Being called a fat pig is never nice but seriously aren’t there bigger problems in the world. I was called morbidly obese but you don’t see me doing TV interviews about it! The truth is the world can be a mean and horrible place. People are ‘braver’ than ever before when it comes to telling you what they really think. People feel free to lose their filter when they are hiding behind a smartphone or computer screen. Believe me, I’ve had guys comment on my gummy smile, my wild curly hair and even accuse me of misleading them by putting up pretty pictures on dating profile which wasn’t a true representation of myself. Of course, it’s normal to feel offended by such comments but I don’t believe we need to dwell on it and blow things out of all proportion (the dude is no better here – getting lawyers involved, really?)

But this story is not unique and quite frankly didn’t need to go viral.  The world is a horrid place and while there is no doubt bullying and name calling is wrong but do we really need to go such lengths for ‘justice’ or in some cases is it better just to brush it off and carry on with our lives.  There is a time and place to stick up for yourself and times to look pitifully at the guy who called you names and remind yourself that he’ll probably never amount to much. Chalk it up to experience and move on. Alternatively, turn the scenario on its head and make the best out of a bad situation. She was left stranded in Amsterdam not a South African township surely you could take the opportunity to explore a great European city (or sample THOSE brownies!).

Either way, I don’t think there is any need to publicize what was essentially a private interaction between people. While calling people pigs is certainly not nice, it isn’t a criminal act either. If you ask me, this is just an example of the Jeremy Kyle effect (if you haven’t heard of the show it’s like a UK version of Jerry Springer – a reminder of everything bad about Britain and a big part of why I left my homeland). Why the hell do people need to shout about their divorce, cheating spouse or the fact that don’t know who their baby daddy is on TV? And what’s more why is the public so fascinated by this trash? It’s hardly news worthy (the BBC really need to up it’s game!).

Anyway, let me stop my middle class rant just there. Look, I’m not saying people shouldn’t stand up for themselves. But the truth is that anyone that interacts with other humans is bound to have their feelings hurt at one point or another. Whether it’s in the school play ground or while you are roaming the Tinderverse not everyone you cross paths with will be a sweetheart. You need to develop a thick skin and pick your battles (imagine taking action against every guy that ever offended you). Calling someone morbidly obese isn’t cool but maybe instead of feeling like a victim you should just ask the lad if they have what it takes (matric certificate would be a start) to become a professional dietitian and tell you such a thing legitimately. Not everything needs to go to court (or trash TV). Sometimes it really just a case of sticks and stones.  It is also important to be self-reflective and see what you could have done differently – perhaps next time get the guy to do the travelling or have him pay for half the ticket? I have limited sympathy for people who do silly things like send nudes and sexts and then start crying when those things are plastered all over the internet.  Yes, relationships are about trust but you shouldn’t need to drop your standards and be totally naive about human nature either. We’ve all been humiliated by mean guys/girls it’s part of the sad reality of life. And on the flipside, most of us have probably done some not-so-nice things in our day too (e.g. trying to prolong an encounter with a mummy’s boy just so you could potentially have a date for a wedding!) but we all live and learn. With time hopefully we all get more mature and stop with such childish activities.

Ugh maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh. I guess there are some realizations which just come with age and experience. So over to you dear Rinsers, do you think this chick was right to go on TV and shame the Dutch prankster? Or do you think this school yard mudslinging gone to far? Is she nothing more than a woman scorned? And are there times when we have to take accountability for being too naive and falling for the wrong people? Do you think you need to have a thick skin to date these days and has anything similar happened to you? Share in the comments below.




  1. Oh well, the guy is a douchebag. I was only pranked once this way when someone asked me to be their girlfriend as a joke when I was 14. The thing was the guy was sure I’d say “no” because I wasn’t really into him so it was sort of innocent. He was right that I didn’t like him that much but I was young and desperate to show my family that there’s nothing wrong with me and that I CAN get a boyfriend and said “yes”. It did make me sad and feel humiliated but I got over it. The girl’s story also reminds me of when I wasn’t pranked but a guy also didn’t meet up with me after I sacrificed a lot to meet up with him somewhere. I did make my best of the time I spent there, though and learnt not to do great things for people who don’t prove that they’re worth it first. It should always be tit for tat! I was 20, so younger than the girl but maybe she didn’t have much experience with men? I mean the difference between a romance and a one night stand if a guy chats to you afterwards may be difficult to spot. If a guy is a player he knows how to sweet-talk you and make you feel like you’re the one and only, ESPECIALLY if you have a low self-esteem and people rarely pay attention to you. Some guys do it to get more sex, others to make fun. It’s up to the girl, though, to grow some balls and learn when things are real and when they aren’t. To answer your question, she could have made her story into an empowering one. As you say, there was a lot of good she could have done with her circumstances. Instead of that she has chosen to be a victim and honestly, a source of even more widespread mockery.


    • I get the impression she was a bit of an attention seeker as well. Every time I’ve been humiliated by something I’ve wanted it to blow over as quickly as possible not share it with the world in such a public manner. You should see the comments on BBC though…the story has just opened her up to more ridicule. Oh well,as you say she is young, by the time she is 30 the pig comments should be long forgotten – the news articles, though? They’ll probably still haunt her a little bit.


      • Well, by going public like this she’ll probably have her name associated with the event forever. Perhaps as a celebrity you’d have more articles about you related to other topics and it would be forgotten eventually but this? Every time an interested guy will want to stalk her a little bit they’ll learn about this incident. Sounds like really poor judgment on her side, honestly. She probably got paid, though? I hope it was worth it.


      • I don’t think it’s purely a male thing though. Women are mean too. I’ve done many childish things in the past. I dated a lead a guy on for a month just to have a potential date to a wedding. I also treated dating like a sport and tried to do 30 dates in the year before I turned 30 just for the sake of it…wasting people’s time for nothing but just stories for my blog. And I’m not the only one. Women can be mean and manipulative too. I think online dating just makes bad behaviour easier in general but we shouldn’t just blame the guys.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess I was referring to the generalised male culture around women and their sexualisation, and your example was specifically of a male’s behaviour; of course women can be mean; I’m not blaming anyone other than all of us who online date, behave badly, and accept the same from others, whether they are male, female, or inbetweeners. We are all part of the problem if we’re not being part of the solution

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I got a bit disillusioned with online dating. It is weird because in a way it forces you to meet people outside your usual social circle but for me it almost became like a social experiment of sorts. Because of the impersonal nature of it all you aren’t really held accountable. I ghosted people and got ghosted all the time. Stuff like that. Whereas if you meet someone at university, work or through friends you can’t really do stuff like that.

        You stop treating people as humans but more like random Tinder profiles. So many times I’ve sat around my phone with friends laughing at tinder pics of people and their poorly written blurbs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, exactly. Me too. We used to read out people’s profiles in different voices (pleading/Donald duck/lispy etc) & laugh like crazy. But behind every profile beats a human heart, often looking for connection, if not Love. We are all a little guilty, like I say 😐

        Liked by 1 person

  2. One thing that is missing is the fact that she was led o. By a guy who promised to meet her again after they had an encounter. His approach was dead wrong yet he and his friends laugh it off as nothing but a joke. He won’t be so fortunate at some point and things will turn ugly for him. The rest of your rant…well was well intended and I got your point but a lot could have been said with a few chosen words.


    • Hey!

      Long time no chat 🙂

      No doubt he was the one in the wrong here but this is just one example of bad behavior that has always existed (and I personally think made worse by online dating technology).

      Yesterday, I had a friend telling me she didn’t understand why the men around her were so horrible because she had only acted decently all the time. She is a very sweet girl but sometimes both parties have a part to play in a disastrous situation. If you keep attracting/going for horrible guys you need to ask yourself whats wrong with you and why you keep ending up in such situations without always playing the victim and feeling sorry for yourself. We were all young and naive once. Although often I fail, I have tried to learn from my mistakes and also be a bit more self-reflective about these things.

      Nice to hear from you again.

      Liked by 1 person

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