This App Wants To Help You Date Your Ex's Lookalike
Dating app Badoo will help you find someone who looks like your celebrity crush or your ex. Which is probably a bad idea.
Move over, Tinder and Bumble: A dating app called Badoo has been blowing up across the pond, and with its most recent innovation, its potential to seduce imaginations seems virtually boundless. And potentially, also very unhealthy.
The new “lookalike” feature on the app that’s used by more than 350 million people, utilizes facial recognition software to enable users to find doppelgängers for anyone they please.
Unsurprisingly, it’s mostly being touted as a way to find celebrity lookalikes. Kim K, Emma Stone, Beyonce and Selena Gomez top the list worldwide, and for reasons we’d rather not think about, Donald Trump is the 10th most searched-for. *shudders*
The possibilities are endless. You can find someone to date that looks just like you, if you’re into that sort of thing. Or, you can upload a photo of the one that got away and see how that minefield of an experience goes for you.
But while it might seem like trying to date Thor's twin is harmless fun on the surface (I mean really), it also seems like extremely fertile breeding grounds for unrealistic and harmful expectations.
Los Angeles-based marriage and family therapist Alyssa Rand, gave the app some major side eye. “For the purposes of seeking a potential long-term, romantic partner, I am concerned with what this type of app promotes, which is basically more of what we are already being sold by the media.
"We are inundated with the message that what you look like adds value to who you are, and that material objects combined with being hot is the recipe to status and even happiness.”
And then there’s the whole aspect of objectifying a person as a stand-in for your sexual fantasies starring a celebrity. “It perpetuates unrealistic expectations,” Rand says. “You’re projecting your own ideas onto that person of who they are and who you want them to be. This leaves little room for the match to actually be their own person and appreciated for who they are.”
Not a great way to set the table for something long-term, in other words. And seeking a lookalike based on your ex may be even more rife with potential for harm: “If you’re still pissed at your ex for breaking your heart and moving on, then his or her doppelgänger may become the recipient for the brunt of your subconscious anger or trust issues.
"This does not set the tone for a healthy long-term relationship. Furthermore, matching with a lookalike of your ex only keeps you holding onto what was, and inhibits your ability to move on to something better.” Ooof.
But Rand does acknowledge there can be some silver lining: “Projections can also be positive, too. If you are on a date sitting in front of the lookalike of your ex or favorite celebrity, you may have a (false) sense that you know or have met this person before. This can work in your favor if it allows you to be more open, relaxed and comfortable than you would normally be when first connecting with a stranger."
Overall, though, Rand stresses that it’s about being honest about what you’re looking for. “I completely understand how this is a new, fun and simple way to find matches—it’s something that’s different from what people are used to with online dating.
"But I hear clients discussing daily how hard it is to meet someone who is of substance and who’s ready to commit to a relationship. It really comes down to being conscious of your intention with using the app. Is it for fun, entertainment and play? Great. To find a spouse? Probably not.”
Words: Deena Drewis
Photos: Daria Kobayashi Ritch/Badoo