Love and Sex
Going wild: Men posing with tigers on online dating sites
If you think posting a photo of yourself with a tiger makes you look like a world traveller who loves a little danger and will get you interest on a dating website, guess again.
Profile photos with tigers have become so common on dating sites, including the hook-up app Tinder, that they barely get noticed anymore.
Tinder Guys with Tigers is a Tumblr account dedicated to men who have posted profile shots of them with tigers on the dating/hook-up app. Some are real animals, some are with adorable cubs, some are with stuffed toys or masks while others show a tiger behind glass at the zoo. But all of them are becoming passe.
Nate Levin, a 28-year-old product management consultant from Mountain View, Calif., told the Wall Street Journal many women indicated they liked his photo taken in Thailand of him sitting with his arm around a Bengal tiger.
"Travel tends to be something that women find attractive," Levin told the newspaper. But then he saw women complaining about tiger photos. "I had no idea that it was a trend," he said.
Getting yourself noticed online is becoming increasingly difficult, said Sidneyeve Matrix, an associate professor of media at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. But sometimes taking a photo with a tiger tells those looking at your profile as much as writing, "I'm really fun," she said.
"It's about being authentic," she said. "If you can be authentic and show your personal values, it's going to go much further than you trying to construct a fake ideal self."
She added apps like Tinder are a bit more "game-ified" and are not as serious as paid dating websites. Instead, there's an element of entertainment expected. The tiger photo trend has spawned the blogs including TigersofTinder.com by Toronto blogger Devin Henderson.
"I started it kind of out of boredom," the avid Toronto Blue Jays fan said in an interview. She and a friend were looking at profiles on Tinder and starting noticing a lot of pictures of potential dates with tigers. "We were just like, 'Why?'" she said, laughing. Other blogs have highlighted men posing with other animals, including Men of Tinder Holding Fish, but Henderson, 27, said at least those men are taking a photo of them doing a hobby.
She added unlike what Levin thought, she doesn't gravitate towards the photos. "I don't immediately equate that with travel," Henderson noted.
Do her friends find the tiger photos attractive?
"Not anyone I talk to."
Her blog has become popular with her friends, who now hunt Tinder for tiger photos to send to her, including one married friend who downloaded the app just for that purpose. She's about to go to Australia where she's hoping to get more photos of men with tigers. Unlike similar blogs, her blog includes photos of women.
And "as long as there are tigers on tinder," Henderson expects the blog will continue.