This So-Called 'Healthy' Dating App Got Called Out For Being Body Negative AF

As the popularity of dating apps has risen, more dating platforms dedicated to niche groups have appeared. While these options can be nice for people who know what they want, at a certain point being too “niche” can start to feel like a cover for exclusivity and, in some cases, body shaming. This is the problem many are pointing out with the app Slindir, which launched in 2016.

Slindir markets itself as a dating app focused on "health." An introductory blog post in its website stated that its intended purpose was to “bring together those who can say ‘Active is my DNA, feeling good is my purpose’, because we understand why it’s such a pivotal part of our everyday lives.”

However, in an essay for Allure, Wellness Editor Rosemary Donahue contends that the version of “health” that Slindir promotes is exclusionary. As Donahue points out, with a name so dangerously close to the word "slender," it’s no surprise that the app has a limited view of health — seemingly focusing only on those who are white, able-bodied, and thin.

For Donahue the app’s lack of self-awareness hit close to home. After receiving a pitch from the app, asking her to consider featuring it in a magazine, Donahue writes that “If the person sending the email had done even a small amount of research on the recipient of the pitch, they'd have known that I, in fact, have an eating disorder, along with 30 million others, just in the U.S.. To create an app that is potentially triggering to so many folks is exclusionary and dangerous."

As a company, Slindir does acknowledge its own exclusivity. The same blog posts where the company outlines its mission also states “So no, Slindir is not for everyone, and that’s ok.”

For folks who are about bodies of all shapes, sizes and disabilities finding love and connecting (and never being shamed or made to feel less than), maybe it isn't.