Because dating isn’t already horrible enough, an app named Attractive World recently launched in New Zealand aiming to make it worse. Current members decide whether prospective members are hot enough to be allowed in. Lucy Zee went undercover to see if it was as shitty as it looked.
Last month, Attractive World was launched in New Zealand. It’s a dating service that only allows specially selected attractive people to join. Your fate is up to the members to decide whether you’re hot enough or not.
If you do happen to be one of the lucky ones chosen to join the “exclusive” site, you yourself then get the power to decide if any new applicants are attractive enough to join too.
Similar concepts such as Beautifulpeople.com and The League have caused outrage and disgust amongst the public, some angrily taking to comment sections to ask what kind of world we were living in where people judged other people on their appearances. Uh, how about this world?
And because I am a masochistic, self-flagellating husk of a human being, I signed myself up to the site. Fortunately, as a millennial, I have mastered the Catfish selfie and am able to take a pretty decent pic that looks nothing like my real life self. So with this skill in hand, I was ready to join the ranks of the beautiful people.
Step one on the site, you need to sign up with a username.
Next you answer the usual, boring questions like “what are your favourite films” “what are you looking for on here” “What’s your ideal date?”.
Rom coms. An attractive person. Food, drinks, sex.
Then comes the most important part of all – the photo. I decided on a photo I had taken in bed a few nights before, I combed my hair, wore makeup, angled out my chins and I was three days out before my period so my cleavage was healthily plump. I’ll also add here that no, I don’t think I am the most attractive person in the world but I also do not hate myself. Some days I really like myself. Attractiveness is subjective, like what you like, and never allow another person’s shitty opinion dictate your own self-esteem.
I finally submitted what I thought was perfect profile, one you couldn’t swipe ‘no’ on (unless you were racist). I received an email that told me I needed to wait three days for my profile to be judged by the current members of the Attractive World community.
Less than two days later I got an email congratulating me on making it in!
I was interested to see what kind of people were judging new members. I knew they wouldn’t be as attractive as the stock image models that are used to promote the app but I wasn’t expecting to see your dad’s weird friend he’s known for 10 years from the West Coast. Or your mum’s work frenemy who wears funky capri pants and cork wedges. Or that really sad guy everyone friendzoned at uni who decided to get ‘revenge body’ crazy gym buff because he thinks that’s all women are interested in. Yes all these people are on there and all of them are what I personally would not consider to be ‘conventionally attractive’. Without horribly outing anyone on this site, imagine these ugly Spongebob characters are literally how everyone looks on this ‘Attractive World’ site.
I was genuinely quite shocked that most of the people on here had really unflattering pictures and were all quite old. I couldn’t pick a single one I would have been interested in talking to. I could feel myself becoming more and more judgemental as I scrolled through the filthy masses of sad, lonely people – very aware that I was one of them as well.
I thought I would try my hand at voting new applicants into the club, but turns out I couldn’t bring myself to play the game right. I didn’t want to date any of them, but I was sure they would be attractive to someone else, so who was I to deny someone a chance at happiness?
I gave up after three people.
As an experiment I deleted my account and created another profile, one without make up, good angles or boobs and even used the ‘take a photo now’ option like a psychopath. I wanted to see if me at my most disgusting would make it in. So I submitted a profile, and got an email back.
The email said my photo breached their terms and conditions:
* Low quality photos (photo taken from too far away, too pixelated, blurry, retouched, too small, too dark, etc…)
* Group photos
* Photos containing either a cigarette, pack of cigarettes or a cigar
* Photo taken from your childhood
* Sexually explicit or indecent, offensive or otherwise inappropriate photos
* Copyrighted images
* Cartoons, drawings or pictures of animals…
I am 100% confident that I didn’t break any of these conditions. There was no condition that the photo couldn’t be ugly. I had my suspicions on what the problem might have been but I tried again anyway, and twice got the same email back.
My theory is that if the community rejects your image, Attractive World will then ask you to post another one by citing the T&C’s instead of telling you the real truth – that your real self is too ugly for love.
Signing up and browsing is free, but if you want to talk to anyone, or even read messages, you need to pay a hefty subscription price of $49.99 a month. Even if you’re serious about looking for love, look elsewhere. You can do so much more with that money. If you want to pay $49.99 to see trash, buy a Grabaseat to Palmerston North (I just a spent a week there OK). Go fedora shopping. Take a friend to a Tom Cruise movie.
The app isn’t really an app, it’s just a buggy website with terrible design and function that’s hard to navigate and slow to respond, and sometimes it’ll flip entirely to French. The account deletion process will also bug out and you’ll get a million emails every day reminding you that you’re still ugly and single.
The idea of creating a community where people are blatantly forced to make and feel judgement is so demeaning. Sure, this is technically the premise for most of the popular dating apps right now like Tinder and Grindr, but the difference is the exclusivity Attractive World is touting – it preys on people’s insecurity and money and offers a shitty service.
You wouldn’t line up for three days outside a club that had a few ugly people, shoddy architecture and a $49.99 entry fee would you? No you would be smart and go to the popular bar that has no line or door charge and also has solid walls with easy fire exits.
Attractive World does not live up to its name in any sense.
But don’t give up. If you really want to experience an attractive world, just open your eyes. You’re living in one right now, my friend.
The Society section is sponsored by AUT. As a contemporary university we’re focused on providing exceptional learning experiences, developing impactful research and forging strong industry partnerships. Start your university journey with us today.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed, free daily curated digest of all the most important stories from around New Zealand delivered directly to your inbox each morning.