Modern Mating

When Technology and the Sexes Collide

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Shallow ponds is a shallower, prettier version of Where other sites try to be playful and amusing, VanityDate is tailored towards those who like the idea of inclusion and exclusion based on such overt attributes as appearance, and such hidden attributes as wealth. To connect with members of, prospective daters must first be deemed sufficiently attractive by the existing members of the site, and if the dater isn’t good looking, they must be rich instead. The site is unapologetic about its approach, saying:
“Welcome to, the world's most judgmental, shallow dating website. At Vanity Date we have a vision of creating the largest database of the world's most good looking, rich and superficial people. Now, this doesn't mean you have to be a super model, but you have to be a so called 7.0 and above to be allowed full access to the database or be talented and have an income over 200,000 dollars per year. Leave a bad taste in your mouth? If so, then we have accomplished our goal.”

The site even encourages people who are offended to email them at The site also directs the outraged to view an official response from the CEO about their complaints. The official response is similarly in-your-face as it is a picture of a beautiful woman snarling, with the tattooed words “bite me” visible on her lower lip.

The pricing scheme at VanityDate is unusual. It is free for women, and $40/month for men. It’s clear that the female participants expect to be judged primarily on their appearance, while the men, who provide the financial support for the enterprise, have considerably more latitude.

The site even offers a premium dating service called “VIP Match”. It is a traditional matchmaking service which incorporates image consultation and relationship coaching. The fees are exceptional, however. A “silver membership”, which entitles the member to two introductions a month for a year, costs $10,000, while a “platinum membership” promises unlimited introductions at a cost of $20,000 for a year. Once again, it is only the men who pay. The only things required of the female participants are that they be beautiful and that they “want to meet wealthy men for potential romance.” Implicit, of course, is that the women are judged on their looks and the men on their wallets., which began in London, brings more humor to the task of separating the bland from the spectacular. Its goal is to “network upwardly mobile, attractive, ambitious people together, be it for business, friendship, relationships and ultimately love.” Existing members get to determine whether prospective new members make the cut by voting them in or out, and at a cost of ₤250 (about $440 USD) for a lifetime membership, only those serious about meeting gorgeous people will apply.

Surely, there are better ways of finding a good looking date?


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