When Tinder launched a little over five years ago now, it didn’t take too long for it to become one of the most popular and talked about apps of its time. Known for promoting hookup culture, Tinder is controversial and sparks many debates among people of all ages. The app allows people to judge based solely on looks and a few words that someone can write in their bio. The truth is, Tinder is extremely shallow on many levels and is rarely used to make real connections. However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know a few couples that actually met on the app and formed meaningful relationships. That being said, Tinder is now being used to expose the hard truth that people are just down right racist when it comes to first impressions.
According to a study done with data taken from Tinder and other dating sites and apps, it’s clear that there is a bias for and against certain racial groups. When it comes to men, it turns out that women are more likely to “swipe right” or approve of white men. However this statistic changes according to the race of the women whom are using the app as well. For example, black women are more likely to swipe right on a black man. But, as far as Asian men go, they seem to get the least amount of love on Tinder from any racial group.
In a social experiment done by the YouTube channel ZMDE, two completely identical Tinder accounts were made and the only difference was that one featured a white man and the other, an Asian American man. The results unfortunately showed a clear bias against Asian men. The white man got a substantial higher amount of messages and matches even though the profiles were almost identical and both men happened to be very attractive models. Although, it’s also important to point out that the same cannot be said of Asian women. In fact, Asian women tend to be preferred among many races. According to the data, black, Latino, and white men all favored Asian women while Asian men preferred Latino women.
The truth is, all that this data shows is that the way we perceive people of different racial backgrounds is skewed and, in all honestly, it’s racist. Asian men have long been ignored in the entertainment industry and popular culture. They often get cast as comedic relief and are rarely taken seriously. When’s the last time you saw a movie with an Asian American lead? This kind of portrayal in our media sends a subliminal message to society that Asian men are less desirable because of these stereotypes that we hold them too.
All minority racial groups in Western society face different kinds of racial discrimination everyday. If you’re not white, you probably already know this. When the media can accurately display the truth of all racial groups, then that information will be able to filter into society and create equal treatment for all races. But, that’s simply not happening at this time. As a society, we need to not only reject the notion that we should judge people based on race, but we need to demand that the media portrays all racial groups in a respectful and accurate way.