‘Unsingle’ On TrulyMadly: The Indian Dating App That’s Making ‘Meat’ Out Of Men

Posted on September 8, 2015 in Culture-Vulture

By Shambhavi Saxena for Cake

Boy Browsing.

The new trend Indian dating app TrulyMadly is promoting in their video – where every frame is dominated by discrete ‘besties checking out boys’. The Global dating scene owes a lot to Tinder and Grindr, but TrulyMadly’s unique selling point seems to be its woman-friendliness.

This isn’t much of a surprise to a culture that has condoned ‘bird-watching‘ (read: girl browsing) and the entitlement of the male gaze for decades, nay, centuries. In fact, the company is branding it a brave and empowering inversion of existing norms and practices – women are watchers, no longer the watched.

‘The Female Gaze’

There’s nothing unusual about the behaviour on display in the video – adolescent moments of furtive glances and giggles. CEO and Co Founder Sachin Bhatia explains it as a move “to make boy browsing a part of pop culture lexicon and a topic of everyday conversations.” The accompanying jingle is equal parts demanding (“show me some pretty boys“) and dismissive (“that one? No not this one“). But I wonder how comfortable we’d be if this song was about women. Restructuring the ways in which female desire is coded and played out is not a bad thing per se, but is objectifying men in the process really OK?

Love Is A Commodity

Oh, what objectification? This is about love and dating,” you might say! But that’s how the market works, that’s how profit works – and while dating apps aren’t necessarily selling you live humans to elope with, they have after all cleverly tapped into a widely performed human activity, where users and their ‘matches’ are a conduit to the company’s financial success.

Stuffing Heterosexuality Down Our Throats

Granted, we can’t actually distance ourselves from market forces, but we ought to be cognizant of how so many brands and products around us are profiting from the norm of heterosexuality. Yes, I know Grindr exists for gay, bisexual and bi-curious men – but it became popular for carving out a queer space within the primarily straight dating circuit. Why, then is TrulyMadly being aggressively marketed to the young heterosexual woman demographic? One Youtube commenter has an answer:

To read the full article, head to Cake.