Amid a sea of perfectly angled and filtered selfies, some singles are exposing the ugly truth behind online dating, or at least the double chins behind their Tinder profiles.
With “#OnTinderAtTinder,” dating app users are sharing what they look like on the app — sultry, hip, cool — contrasted with what they look like while using the app — that unfiltered, baggy-eyed drool.
On Tinder, Toronto’s Kash Baloch poses in a deep V-neck with aviator glasses dangling from his mouth. Off-Tinder, his pose is less Zoolander “blue steel.”
“I thought it was refreshing. It’s honest. It pokes fun at the way we don’t show our true selves online, versus in reality,” said Baloch, a 28-year-old pre-school teacher.
Baloch recently installed the app on his phone after an online dating hiatus, and understands its limits. “It really plays up on superficiality and vanity, because you’re just looking at people deciding whether you like them based on their face,” he said. He’s generally “fairly honest” on social media, and #OnTinderAtTinder is part of that. “I’m not really a serious guy, so I just thought I would go wild with it.”
The new viral hashtag isn’t the first in a trend exposing the reality behind online personas. Last fall, “Finstagram” accounts by millennials shared everyday versions of their filtered lives to close friends on private accounts. After U.S. humour site Someecards started the #OnTinderAtTinder hashtag last week, it took off on Twitter with the help of some New York comedians.
Sharron Paul, a 29-year-old comedian in Brooklyn, poses in her Tinder photo with red lipstick, big red curls and a bright smile to match. In the opposing image, Paul sits on her couch, glasses on, hair wrapped up, and cat perched on her shoulder.
“The stereotype of lonely or crazy cat ladies, I think, is really funny. And it was also like the one photo I had on my phone of me completely stripped down,” said Paul. “That’s literally me chilling at home on a Sunday night with my hair scarf on and my cat sitting there like a parrot.”
She loves that the hashtag is “taking a jab at all those people — mostly guys — who are always talking about ‘makeup is a such a lie’ and all that nonsense. Here it is without all the flash and the glamour.”
Paul is an active user of Tinder, but she’s not including the other side of the hashtag on her profile anytime soon.
“I don’t think I would put the cat photo on there, but I wouldn’t be mad if someone found it later on,” she said. “If it’s someone I’m meeting up with, they may eventually see the hair scarf, cat-owning person."
As she is on the app, Lauren is on the night of the Tinder date. The next morning, she says, is not the same story.