That is an op-ed by Attract’s digital wellness editor Rosemary Donahue in regards to the issues with an app known as Slindir, which payments itself as a relationship app for “wholesome folks.”
Because the wellness editor right here at Attract, I get a good quantity of PR pitches that are not precisely on-brand for us. Responding to all of them could be a full-time job in and of itself, which is why I usually solely reply to the manufacturers I plan on protecting. However then I bought an e mail asking me to cowl an app known as Slindir, the specifics of which brought on me to make a face I immediately anxious may be everlasting — after which, I bought mad.
Most relationship apps intention to make our romantic lives simpler by serving to us discover potential matches for espresso, hook-ups, or long-term partnership principally anytime now we have our telephones in hand. It is sensible that many of those apps intention to assist us higher discover companions by permitting the customization of sure preferences (although that, in itself, may be problematic). Nevertheless, this explicit pitch was for a relationship app known as “Slindir,” which calls itself a “one-of-a-kind relationship app, created particularly for like-minded people, main a wholesome and energetic way of life, with a mission to match on what really issues.” Yeah. Severely.
As I mentioned, I do not usually reply to PR messages in a unfavourable method, however I had a very terrible feeling in my intestine upon studying about Slindir. From the title to the tone of a lot of the messaging to its performance, it hits many unsuitable notes. Although the product claims to be about well being as a complete, the play on phrases makes it seem to be solely “slender” individuals are allowed to make use of the app, which perpetuates the already-rampant problem of fatphobia off the bat and is triggering and offensive to plus-size folks, people with physique picture points, and folks with consuming issues.
If the particular person sending the e-mail had accomplished even a small quantity of analysis on the recipient of the pitch, they’d have recognized that I, in truth, have an consuming dysfunction, together with 30 million others, simply within the U.S.. To create an app that’s doubtlessly triggering to so many people is exclusionary and harmful.
A lot of the product messaging can also be heteronormative, in addition to fairly ableist — and disabled and chronically in poor health people face sufficient points relating to relationship with out an app that seeks to exclude them from the beginning. A quote on Slindir’s house web page says, “The flexibility to share an identical way of life contributes to shared optimistic experiences, which types the inspiration of an enduring relationship.” This core messaging is flawed and implies that individuals with totally different skills cannot additionally share optimistic experiences and construct wholesome foundations for lasting relationships collectively.
And whereas it’s true that many date to discover a lifelong companion, many apps are shifting away from heteronormative messaging, so the truth that Slindir feels the necessity to provide an engagement ring incentive (for only one ring, not two!) hits a reasonably bitter observe. That is one more failure relating to goal analysis, as a result of I am fairly rattling queer, and I undoubtedly don’t purchase into the “first-comes-love” narrative.
And whereas, sure, it’s nice to this point folks you’ve gotten frequent pursuits with, a part of the relationship course of is discovering out precisely what these pursuits are, and it appears iffy to supply a service that goals to weed people out based mostly solely on whether or not or not they like different hobbies over the health club.
Whereas well being does matter, the messaging that it’s “what really issues” juxtaposed with photos of skinny, white, able-bodied folks exercising perpetuates a harmful message that we see far too usually in mainstream media, particularly relating to concepts about who’s allowed to pursue (and be pursued) relating to romance. To place it plainly, it says that the one people who’re worthy of affection are those that look a sure manner and are able-bodied, and that is fucked up and unfaithful.