By Tim Werth
While many people lie in their Tinder profile, Natasha Aponte took it to another level. After she was able to trick dozens of men to meet her for a “date” in Times Square, she proceeded to pit the suitors against one another for a shot at love, or at least a first real date. But no one really knew why she had done it in the first place.
It was revealed that Aponte, the model behind the Tinder fiasco, had teamed up with Rob Bliss, a creative director who led the project. Before this stunt, Bliss had created a number of video campaigns that went viral.
The pair was able to utilize Tinder and its GPS satellites to match with men in the area via the 31 satellites working around the globe. After scheduling a time to meet, dozens of men were pitted against each other in a competition-style event for her affection. Many of the men went home after the reveal, but a few stayed behind to participate in foot races and other events.
The first competition? A stack of preferences listed by Natasha.
All men shorter than 5’10” were dismissed. All men named Jimmy were disqualified because she hated the name. All people who were dumped in their previous relationship were asked to leave. This narrowed the playing field to a pool of men that continued to fight for her affection.
So, why did the pair do it in the first place?
Initially, the duo revealed that it wasn’t a marketing stunt to sell anything. After a few days of anticipation, they revealed a rather disappointing answer that many already suspected.
It was simply a social experiment. They wanted to take the idea behind Tinder and project it into the real world to see what happened.
“It’s kind of become socially acceptable to like disqualify people and say, like, you have to be X height, you have to work X job. This project proved that doesn’t matter at the end of the day,” Bliss said.
With something as minuscule as height or the presence of a tattoo counting someone out, we may need to rethink our dating habits. Nearly 45 million Americans alone have one tattoo or more while many more worldwide are under Aponte’s height requirement. These arbitrary numbers do little to determine if a person is actually a good match for you.
Aponte, on the other hand, did get a date out of the event and realized something unexpected.
“Be open because the person you actually might be with is something that you would never, ever choose,” she said.
This seems to be a critique behind Tinder’s filtering process. Many people even use small, white lies in their Tinder profiles to appeal to potential matches. When 25% of young adults use a dating app, it’s no surprise that a few of them would lie now and then.
Two main types of lies on dating apps like Tinder were discovered by Business Insider.
The first lie is designed to make the user seem more attractive. This might include a white lie regarding how often the user goes to the gym or swaying their religious preferences to give the illusion of similar interests.
The second lie pertained to availability. Texts along the lines of “Sorry, my phone died!” and “I got caught up at work.” This could be to cover a period of silence from one user while others do it to avoid a date. They serve as more of a social cover-up to spare the other person’s feelings.
However, Aponte and Bliss’s stunt was a little more involved since the men were under the impression they were meeting for a solo date.
Now that the mystery has been solved, many members from the group were hurt, but some were amused. The stunt has been met with mixed reactions on the internet as well, while some praise their work and others reprimand it.
The duo, however, has no regrets regarding the event.
Tim Werth is an analyst at Hubshout.
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