Kittenfishing is the online dating trend you’re probs guilty of

10 July 2017
By Fashion Quarterly


Kittenfishing – it’s not blatant dishonesty but…

In the highly competitive online dating world, a new phenomenon is sweeping the scene. It’s called ‘Kittenfishing”, and it’s safe to say its probably something we’ve all done. Eek! Think of it as a less severe/disturbing version of ‘Catfishing.’ For the uninitiated, a catfish pretend to be a completely different person, often even gender, online, in their bid to find love.


Dating app Hinge have defined ‘Kittenfishing,‘ as ‘Catfishing lite’. It can range from choosing a photo for your Tinder profile which is 4 years old from your skinny phase, adding a couple of centimetres to your listed height, shaving a few years off your age, or editing the university on your profile… Sound familiar? It’s not full-blown lying, rather presenting a deceptively positive version of yourself in order to win a few more matches or dates.

Since dating apps like Tinder only require your first name, it’s hard for your matches to check if your details are fully accurate, and so bending the truth seems a temptingly easy option. Before you jump to condone lying to your potential future husband, stop to consider that we are all culprits of ‘Kittenfishing’ on a daily basis. Our online personas – on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, are the highly edited, idealised version of our lives. When you put a flattering filter on your Instagram or Facetune your profile picture, you are technically bending the truth. So, are we a generation of liars? Social media offers us the opportunity to constantly ‘edit’ ourselves, to hide some aspects of our life and emphasise others. In this online environment, lying is becoming more acceptable and normalised than it was for past generations.

Since 38% of men and 24% of women admitted to having been victims of ‘kittenfishing,’ it is clearly becoming a widespread issue. Despite these figures, only 2% of men and 1% of women actually confessed to having been a ‘kittenfish.’ This would imply that editing yourself online has become so normalised that we do not even notice we are doing it. Perhaps the ‘kittenfishing’ phenomenon has taken such a hold as the online dating scene becomes more and more overcrowded. In order to fight off the hordes of beautiful competition to find a special someone, we have to bend the truth slightly. Depressing, right?

This article was first published on The Debrief.
Photo: Getty Images

Subscribe & Become an FQ VIP

As a Fashion Quarterly subscriber you enjoy exclusive content, giveaways, invitations to VIP events, and more.

Subscribe & Become an FQ VIP

As a Fashion Quarterly subscriber you enjoy exclusive content, giveaways, invitations to VIP events, and more.

Sign up to the FQ newsletter and WIN*

Get the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle news delivered straight to your inbox each week.

*Ts&Cs apply.

Find out more at