Online dating: Should we do away with the weight question

Posted by James, 05 Jan 10

Has the weight question on your online dating profile affected your dating?

Even though two thirds of Americans are obese or overweight, most plus size singles – women especially - say their weight gets in their way of dating - even those who aren’t ashamed of it and state it clearly on their online dating profiles.

Christie receives five potential matches every day from the dating site she is registered with based on preferences in her profile… then she reads “slender” or “athletic” as her potential mates’ preferred body type. Christie is a size 24.

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

On online dating sites most plus-size singles are overlooked. Most potential mates disappear when they discover that one is a plus size. According to a Wake Forest University study where researchers surveyed 4,000 men and women between 18 to +70 years on attractiveness of members of the opposite sex, on being shown photos of women, men had similar body type preferences – thin women. Women on the other hand preferred all sizes of men. Clearly, men prefer and find thin women the most attractive.

Laura Triplett, an assistant professor of communications at California State University, says many plus-sized women are rejected once they meet a potential mate in person, regardless of whether they are upfront about size in profiles and photos. One dude, on seeing the woman he had flown across the country to meet was plus-sized asked her to refund him the ticket claiming he duped him into flying her there.

Triplett advises people against including weight or size in profiles. "People are going to use your physical characteristics to judge you … Why not focus on other things about yourself?"

Some online dating sites don’t include weight in their questionnaire. However, James Houran, columnist and spokesman for Online Dating Magazine, feels people should be honest about everything. "By sharing who you really are, you are increasing your odds of finding someone who will genuinely have an attraction to you," he said.

Do you think online dating sites should stop asking the question about weight and size in their questionnaires? Will this really increase chances of most plus size singles of finding love or will we just be postponing the inevitable – the disappearing act (or plane ticket refund) after meeting in person?

26 responses to "Online dating: Should we do away with the weight question"

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  1.   afrodite_07 says:
    Posted: 29 Jul 10

    p.s. don't persue people who are not attracted to you...i do not approach guys who don't look my way,nor do i have any emotion for them.i can admire their good qualities and not pursue them it is a natural thing to do

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  2.   afrodite_07 says:
    Posted: 29 Jul 10

    first off,in this country,america,you know damn well a lot of people are overweight.i say if you like a chubby girl's personality,go for her!a person can loose weight damnit!and your skinny dream girl can turn to big birtha ! saddly,weight does affect women's dating experience,becouse we are told women should be thin,and for skinny girls,some are told that they should be curvy,and they're not.body size should be about health,not beauty....alot of these men online mark it as beauty i say keep the body question,becouse people got different preferences,and be honest with it.That way,when you meet someone,there is no surprise,and they are seeing the real you. and also,i don't agree that a person should expect an adonis or aphrodite if they look like medusa or the kracken. i encourage all to love yourself,as you are now, becouse no one can love you like you!I am not a model but i have other attributes that are just that are just that much more amazing.i am always harrassed by family who always make fat jokes,even if they are larger than me,and its becouse i'm a girl!also,i have been teased sense middle school,and my own family now tease me for having big chest when everyone else is smaller. in the end ,when it comes to actual love and not casual dating,its about you as an indivisual (for most it will be 60-personality and 40-appearance)don't listen to people who tell you you're not beautiful,they want to hurt you,even family.there is a reason everyon looks the way they do,we were created that way!so let the world know what you are,you have nothing to be ashamed of!if people cannot accept you and your greatness,to hell with them! (i'm a size 16-18 myself,i'm down for a big guy ,as long as he can still run like i can!).

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  3.   Shelly says:
    Posted: 07 Jul 10

    To judeeblueyes, Bravo!

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  4.   Shelly says:
    Posted: 07 Jul 10

    The weight question should remain. Now this doesn't mean people will be honest. Let's face that. There is someone for everyone! Many men like plus sized women. My mom was one and she and my dad were happy! What's the problem? I agree with commenter who mentioned loving what you are and what you have. Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

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  5.   Jenna says:
    Posted: 19 May 10

    @ FurryJeans I love your attitude!You're like a breath of fresh air on here! Most people are always looking for perfect especially men,but they themselves leave much to be desired!

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  6.   FurryJeans says:
    Posted: 15 May 10

    I say keep the weight question so I can find the sexy plus ladies I really like. No twiggy types for this non-Adonis dude.

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  7.   immeuru says:
    Posted: 03 Feb 10

    The weight issue is so central to women's lives. It is remarkable the amount of emotional pain experienced by women over their bodies - and it is not just "overweight" women. Women of all sizes suffer over their bodies. This dissatisfaction is epidemic. So, what's a woman to do? That is at the core of this question about whether weight should be on profiles, I believe. My suggestion is learn to love and appreciate our bodies as they are NOW. Think about all it does for us on a daily basis. Think about this - we would not be here in this life without our bodies. Show some appreciation. We have been so conditioned to view our bodies negatively. Regardless of where this originated, I say take our power back by begining to appreciate our bodies rather than worrying about others who may not appreciate us. Self-confidence is generated from the inside out. While men may generally prefer thin women, why focus on or blame men. Be true to yourself. That is my motto for life, the roadmap. Being myself means that the truth goes on my profile. And another thing, take a look around. Love is not reserved only for the thin! Lastly, why spend time worrying about someone else's preference. I love what Abraham-Hicks says about this. Life is like a buffet. If you don't like broccoli don't put it one your plate. That doesn't mean you have to try to prevent others from enjoying broccoli. I believe we can focus on what we want to bring into our lives and call it in. Worrying or criticizing others for their preferences goes NOWHERE. Why not just focus on what we wish to create and let others who are a match migrate towards each other. Their doing so does not prevent our joy and happiness. I must say I think that also applies to the magazine cover issue. Rock on!

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  8.   bennyblanco says:
    Posted: 30 Jan 10

    Alot of good things said here. I say pictures, pictures, pictures. We people have no idea how much we slow the process by not posting a selection of RECENT face and body pictures (showing our "current" look), with all the different photo angles. By choosing to add a selection of pictures like this, we are merely providing possible compatibles out there with what they may observe if they saw us at the beach, at church, at work, etc. As for the question of whether this is important, please don't take my word for it. Read a little some time on the subject of comparrison of our primal needs in males and females..."His needs, Her needs" by Willard F. Harley is a GREAT book to start on the subject. A study in this area tends to only HELP in our dating life and explain perhaps a little more clearly what drives us. As far this site goes, I for one vote for more choices in the "physical description" category. "Curvy" would be nice for starters. For me just that one choice would save me some time...a few extra pounds never bothered me, but where? On your forehead? Feet? Stomach? In speaking with different Ladies over the years, collectively they have taught me that, for example, in a family of sibblings, it's common one of the daughters gets "mommas chest" and she may be more "chesty" in figure. Then the next daughter its the opposite, she gets "mommas behind" and may be smaller on top. Am I wrong? :- ) On a site like ours both of these ladies in this serario might choose to describe themself with "a few extra pounds" but only a picture really explains who we are. These qualities are what make us unique. Me personally, I have no problem being honest about the fact that my own body figure: I have a muscular upper body and fat around my midsection, 6ft 2, etc. In my pics you can make that out, but I feel mis-leading if I check "Athletic"...wouldnt "Athletic" mean you have six pack abs? Well I dont have six pack abs, so better to be honest and check "average"...but I'm not really that either? What is average? You feel me? Hmmmm... Anyway peace out, may I say much love and God Bless to ALL the ladies on this site-lookin great. :-)

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  9.   w16 says:
    Posted: 25 Jan 10

    Absolutely it should be kept. I wouldn't spend money on a dating site that didn't have it. Everyone has their type and I want to know this upfront. A great personality is wonderful, but that won't change whether I'm physically attracted to someone if they aren't the physical type I'm attracted to.

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  10.   Bamababe2k9 says:
    Posted: 24 Jan 10

    Yep because weight is a personal question just like your penis size is. If you want to know how much I weigh, I should know how big is your penis right? That's what profiles are for to tell people your type.

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  11.   hope2cu says:
    Posted: 22 Jan 10

    I definetly think the weight question should stay... I also have a few extra pounds...If your weight is in your profile and a man choses not to mess of flirt with u by seeing in your profile a few extra lbs u are none the wiser but meet a man and he rejects u due to your weight that is a little harder to swallow...although i dont agree with peoole who put in there profile if you big dont bother...there is no need to add that just dont respond or politly say no thanks..

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  12.   Bamababe2k9 says:
    Posted: 18 Jan 10

    Also as this woman pointed out on Michael Baisden a few weeks ago, why is it that it's ok to call women who date men for money gold diggers but we don't call men who only like beautiful skinny women beauty diggers?

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  13.   Bamababe2k9 says:
    Posted: 18 Jan 10

    I think if you going to ask the weight question,then why not throw in the "How big is your penis question too?" How would some men feel if women rejected them based on penis size. That's why people have profiles. If you don't like full figured women or men for that matter, say so on your profile. Nine times out of 10, most people are not going to answer a profile that doesn't fit them.

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  14.   MinaG says:
    Posted: 17 Jan 10

    The weight question have to stay on the profiles. I like fit black men but you have to work on at, like I do :)) I personally don`t like fat men. Men think if they can hide his belly under the his loose shirt, it`s ok to call his self atletic! Men also often lie about his age and hight. What`s the point? He might think you are stupid but at least you are not blind! I agreed with other ladies, honesty is the best policy.

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  15. Posted: 16 Jan 10

    I do believe they should keep the question.....and may I say to anyone who is overweight, and I am in that category.....I had a relationship a few years ago and after sleeping with the gentleman a few times, I grabbed for my clothes, so he would not see all of me in the light of day....and may I say Javier was incredible, retired marine, in awesome shape, however he stopped me and said the kindest most sincerest thing a man has ever said to me.... he said to never be ashamed of your body because it is who you are.... and he didn't have an issue with it because he was attracted to who I was both physically and personality wise....And may I say after 5 children, no I do not look the same as I did at 18. But from that day forward, When I am with someone new I am not ashamed....this is who I am....Confidence in who you are is one of the sexiest things you can offer a man...Thank you always for the gift he gave me that day!

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  16.   brio1969 says:
    Posted: 16 Jan 10

    Hmmm??? The weight question should be on the profile. However, I believe a picture is worth a thousand words!! I am plus size and I still get interest emails and flirts. I selected the description as close to my actually size as possible. Most of the time men tell me I am not what they expected, in a good way. I am proud of who I am and if a man is not attracted to me than he is not for me. I prefer slendar to average build men and I am plus size. It is my preference and that is it. A lot of my girlfriends love bigger and muscular men, I don't. If you are unhappy about being alone and you are unhappy about your weight then change your situation. Most men and women are shallow! Love yourself...

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  17. Posted: 09 Jan 10

    Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy......so, yeah, keep the question. At the same time try not and judge a book solely on it's cover. Not ALL skinny people are "healthy" or "in shape"....nor are ALL plump people "pleasing"...(lol). Nothing wrong with having preferences but when you start assuming things about a persons character bases on their looks is when things take a wrong turn. If you ever find yourself thinking "That blonde must be dumb" or "That fat person must be lazy", it's time to put the superficiality to bed and maybe even take a look in the mirror. Peace and Blessings

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  18.   Mrdriven says:
    Posted: 08 Jan 10

    I feel as though this topic should and can be discussed, it just depends on how the question is asked and when. Most people don't like to discuss this because they are not happy with it. I find it more attractive to be able to talk about it. I think we can all look and feel better about ourselves so we will never be in the perfect place but talking about it opens up more doors. Women don't like to discuss it because they feel as though the man might not want to date them and I must agree some are that way. Hiding behind clothes until one feels comfortable enough to talk about it, I feel is wrong. I look at it just as I do the beginning stages of any relationship. People mislead each other by showing the fake side of themselves until they get the other to fall in love. It's at that point, that you begin to see the true colors of the person. Wrapping this up, I say be open and honest from the beginning about everything because it's the only true way of knowing that you are involved with the right one. Just my opinion:)

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  19.   bdsista says:
    Posted: 08 Jan 10

    Yes, keep the question, but maybe change the working, voluptuous can mean anything in a woman from 16-36 depending on her outlook and the experience of various men. I am a bellydancer and dance and fitness instructor so I am physically fit, but not necessarily athletic, but I am NOT thin, so how do I classify myself? You get the point and men need to be honest as well. Don't say you are athletic and you got a gut, or at least say you are athletic, but you have a tummy. I don't mind guys with tummies, but at least I can prepare myself if you are in relatively good shape but you got a tummy. I think a lot of women feel the same way. Also, don't contact a full figured woman, if you don't have that on your profile, kinda insulting, ditto for race preferences. If you don't want someone of a certain race, don't contact them and then wonder why they don't respond or ask you why you contacted them after reading your profile. Make sure you are flexible. Good topic for all of us with those New Years Resolutions.

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  20.   luvforlife says:
    Posted: 08 Jan 10

    Yes, absolutely keep the weight question!! Wether or not we like to admit it we all have our preferences in who and what we find attractive and it cannot be manufactured. I believe we all deserve to have as much information before deciding if we would like to meet one another. As it is there can be so much deciept in this online dating world and I have heard qutie a few stories of people meeting someone that turns out to be not what he/she portrayed themselves to be. How could one not be angry. It has happened to me and wow was I angry. My time was commited to this person for a whole weekend and not only was I not attracted to him, but I was livid for being decieved! I am completely honest about what I look like, who I am, and what I am looking for as I'm sure most of us are. I have been attracted to men that are simply not attracted to me because I am thin or blonde etc... and I just chock it up to preference. I wouldn't even try to convince someone otherwise. Lets all be who we are, upfront and honest. There are plenty of fish in the sea. We will find the person that fits us best and loves us for who and what we are truthfully!! God Bless everyone this 2010...

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  21.   Loviis22 says:
    Posted: 07 Jan 10

    I agree that the weight question should stay on a profile. I am stating in my profile that I have a few extra pounds. I want men like me for who I am so why lie in the profile? I'm size 14, and carrying my weight pretty well, but still I have a feeling that couple guys who I have gone out have decided not to have a second date because I have more to love than they can handle :) This guy who asked the lady to refund a plane ticket should have perhaps asked for more pictures and a webcam chat before flying out to the other side of the country. To ask the lady for a refund, is just straight out wrong. Do your homework before making such big expenses:)

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  22.   gmt45 says:
    Posted: 07 Jan 10

    Yes, keep the weight question. It's important to people, especially to those who ONLY want slender dates and mates, so we need the info to be upfront and truthful in our profiles. I think that it also gives you a clue about an individual's prioritizes standards of beauty, physicial health, character, emotional health, spirituality, etc. Choosing and being chosen closer to one's personal standards can you save time and money in investing in a date. It can also prevent you from hurt someone else's feelings or from getting your own feelimgs hurt. Lay all the cards on the table!

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  23.   meisha81 says:
    Posted: 07 Jan 10

    OUCH!! Touchy subject, but here's a go at it. I am going to piggy back (whst a choice of words, lol) on what Ebonique say in her post. The weight question needs to stay. We have people all over who are interested in what makes them happy, either a really thin body type or someone with a little more to grab on. As most of you can see with my picture, I am not a size 5, not with all of this "chubby cheekness" going on, so anyone with eyes & a brain can figure out that I am full figured or plus size-and it's also displayed on my profile, no reason to lie about it. Then there is some people out there that are actually presenting themselves in a false light. Saying that they are athletic or muscular but when you meet them, it's a different story. This has happened to me. I met a guy one time offline for a date. In his profile he said that he had a muscular bulid. When I met him in person, again, different story. I wasn't upset or anything by it, but then again, you never know what you are meeting, especially when it involves the internet. Weight in itself is a very touchy subject for a lot of people. I don't care if you are 110 lbs or pushing 350, weight is a sensitive topic for people to discuss. I am plus size, but have lost about 18 pounds so far & the thing is, wasn't really doing anything to try. Could I stand to lose a few pounds? For health reasons? Yes. For better a appearance for myself? Yes, but never to impress or please another person or to fit into what Hollywood says should be the standard. Because what they fail to realize is every BODY is different!!! Not all women are meant to be built like Thandie Newton, or Nicole Kidman for that matter. I'm not going to be a nit-wit & say that appearances & attractiveness (if that's a word) does not matter. Some type of attractiveness (again with the word) & chemistry has to be there in order for a relationship to possibly develop. Then we get to the nitty-gritty of personality, intelligence, honesty, etc to see if that person might be a fit for us. If it is, great. If not, we move on to the next person until we find the one that's a better fit. Have a Happy & Healthy 2010 Everyone! Many this year bring you many Blessings! :0) Meisha81

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  24.   johneb30 says:
    Posted: 07 Jan 10

    no they should not remove the weight question. i agree with the man in the last bit of the article. the more people know about you, the better chance you have of meeting someone that will be attracted to you because they will already be aware of the qualities you posses before making a decision to pursue any type of relationship with you. we cannot escape the fact that physical appearance is part of attraction. some people place TOO much importance on it, but a certain amount is natural and healthy. after all, what relationship has ever been successful where the two people weren't attracted to one another? if the two people are not attracted to one anther, eventually both will begin to look elsewhere-whether it be to find someone who is attractive to them or to find someone who they are attractive to. a man shouldn't feel guilty about the physical qualities he finds attractive in a mate. furthermore, it's not smart to avoid knowing (either by the woman withholding or the man failing to inquire) then risk becoming emotionally attached to someone you do not find yourself physically attracted to. everyone always says 'well eventually the looks will fade and you will have to be rely on something other than physical attraction to sustain the realtionship'. well that is true. but it's just as true that sometimes you will feel emotionally or otherwise disconnected from your mate and it may be the physical attraction that holds the relationship together at that point and that is just as valid as the reverse. i prefer thin, slender women (with a few curves of course) and i don't apologize for it. it's not a choice i've made to discriminate against large women. in fact, it's not a choice at all really. i don't know what causes attraction. all i know is that when i see a nice thin woman i feel attracted and otherwise i don't. there are plenty of men i know and hear about every day that are attracted to large women. my suggestion is that large women seek out these men. the relationship will probably be a beautiful thing-full of passion and romance. however, if women continually find that they are rejected b/c of their weight, it is very possible that for some reason they are attracted to or at least interacting with males who prefer thin women. if they'd like to form a relationship with these men that seem to prefer thin women, the only suggestion i can think of is to put in the work and self-discipline that it takes to lose some weight and get into a more slender shape. it's a matter of personal responsibility. i think sometimes it's easier to criticize men as 'shallow' when they are only following their own preferences than it is to take the responsibility upon one's self to make the changes necessary to attract the type of mate one prefers. we tend to attract what we are. as the old saying goes, birds of a feather do tend to flock together. most thin, fit, well put-together men are going to prefer a thin, fit, well put-together woman and vice-versa. there are some exceptions. however, in general i think it is unrealistic to expect to attract someone who has qualities that you yourself do not possess.

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  25.   Ebonique says:
    Posted: 07 Jan 10

    The weight question should remain where it is. I am a Phat girl and it has never stopped me from getting dates. It depends on what a person is looking for. Beside most of the men I have chat with on this service state that they want a woman with a little weight on her. Ebonique

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  26.   JUNKY says:
    Posted: 05 Jan 10

    I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT I WAS JUST HAVING THIS CONVERSATION LAST NIGHT WITH A WOMEN WHO IS TALL AND OVERWEIGHT. SHE WAS TELLING ME HOW HARD IT WAS FOR HER TO DATE. I TOLD HER THAT I HAD JOINED SAID DATING SITE AND NOTICED THAT PRETTY MUCH EVERY WHITE MALE THAT I VIEWED LISTED HIS WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS AS AVERAGE AND ATHLETIC WITH THE ADDITION OF SLENDER. EVERY BLACK MALE LISTED THEIR PREFERENCES AS AVERAGE AND ATHLETIC WITH THE ADDITION OF LOOSE A FEW POUNDS. RARELY DID I FIND ANY VARIATION. THIS LEADS ME TO ASSUME THAT CULTURE PLAYS A HUGE PART IN A MALE'S VIEW OF WHAT IS CONSIDERED ATTRACTIVE. I ALSO HAVE BEEN CALLED ON LISTING MYSELF AS FULL FIGURED ON THIS SITE MORE THAN ONCE. I THINK THAT IF YOU'RE PROPORTIONATELY LARGE AND BUSTY PEOPLE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH YOU CALLING YOURSELF FULL FIGURED ALLTHOUGH EVERY AD I HAVE EVER SEEN FOR PLUS SIZED DATING SHOWS A AVERAGE SIZED GIRL WITH BREASTS THE SIZE OF A HUMAN HEAD. I THINK IT IS ALL A BUNCH OF NONSENSE. YOUR BODY IS WHAT IT IS AND YOU ARE LUCKY TO HAVE A HEALTHY THOUGH IMPERFECT BODY THAT MAKES YOU CAPEABLE OF PERFORMING WHATEVER PHYSICAL TASKS YOU ASK OF IT. I THINK THAT WE ALL HAVE PREFERENCES IN BODY TYPES BUT I HAVE DATED MODELS, BODY BUILDERS, SEVEN FEET TALL, SHORT, ATTRACTIVE, UNATTRACTIVE, WHATEVER AND I HONESTLY HAVE TO SAY THAT TEIR PHYSICAL SHELL HAD VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH THEIR SEX APPEAL. A PLATONIC MALE FRIEND OF MINE ONCE TOLD ME THAT I GAVE HIM A VERY VALUEABLE PIECE IF ADVICE THAT NO ONE EVER TOLD HIM. I TOLD HIM TO STOP PERSUING WOMEN WHO WERE NOT RECIPROCATING HIS EFFORTS TO GET TO KNOW THEM. IT'S A WASTE OF ENERY AND PRECIOUS TIME. HE IS NOW ONLY PERSUING PEOPLE THAT SHOW INTEREST IN HIM. IT'S ALL ABOUT KNOWING THAT YOU ARE A VALUABLE PERSON AND THAT SOMEONE WILL EVENTUALLY APPRECIATE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE. AS FOR THE DATER IN THE ARTICLE THAT WANTS TO BE REFUNDED HIS MONEY FOR PLANE FARE, I WOULD TELL HIM THAT HE NEEDS TO FORGET ABOUT THE PLANE FLIGHT AND WALK HIS --- BACK HOME!

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