This Dating App "Verifies Beauty" (I Didn't Pass)

by Madison Fraser

In case Tinder dating wasn't objectifying enough, now there's a dating app that verifies your beauty via no makeup selfies. The dating app SugarD claims the verification process is aimed to encourage transparency, but it pretty much is as creepy as it sounds. According to the App Store description, SugarD is designed "for the elites, riches, and powerful to meet the beautiful, sexy, and young women for dating and fun."

In a nutshell, the app is for sugar daddy and sugar baby relationships — and OK, sure, a lot of people are into this sort of thing, but "verifying" beauty? Gross. The biggest problem with this app, however, is the standard it sets for women. After watching one user complain about its lacking qualities, I decided to give it a try. According to SugarD's CEO, Justin Robert, the application has garnered over 27,000 American users in just the past month. The most active states, interestingly enough, are Alaska and California. I may not be a Cali girl, but that wasn't going to stop me from checking it out.

First thing's first: In order to be an eligible "sugar baby" you have to fill out an extensive profile about your physical appearance. It starts by asking your age, with the default birth year on 1985 — which would make you a 30-year-old baby. In the app's defense, the options do go all the way back to the year 1916, but I suspect this is more for the daddies. I set it to 1990.

After that, you divulge all details about your personal life, including weight, height, eye/hair color, occupation, and marital status. Yes, marital status. This app is here for everyone.

I made up a lot of my profile because, Internet.

For weight class, the creators really got creative. There's everything from "A Few Extra Pounds" to "Athletic" to "Petite." I picked "Average" because anything else truly, sincerely made me feel like I was being judged. When you search for potential matches (and vice versa on their end), you can set standards for what type of of daddy (or baby) you're looking for. You can even go up to 99 years in age if you're looking for a potential match who's really up there. I can tell you from experience that there are a lot of older men using this app.

For occupations, you only have a few options to choose from. Model and office clerk were included, but not other popular jobs like doctor, designer, writer, or business owner. It's sort of insulting that they would assume these are the only jobs women can have. There's nothing wrong with any of these occupations, but why not have some variety? I'm sure somewhere out there there's a female CEO looking for a sugar daddy. Hey, you never know.

Next, as expected, you upload a picture of yourself. The difference between SugarD and a normal dating app, though, is that you have to upload pictures into two separate albums: "normal" photos and no makeup photos. This, my friends, is where it gets fun (and/or terrible). In order to let people know you're showing the real you, you can submit your no makeup photos for verification. According to Allure, this really just means that a bunch of people who created the app sit around and decide whether or not your pics are legitimate and suitable. After all, you wouldn't want a sugar baby who doesn't look as hot without makeup. *Rolls eyes.*

As a freelance writer, I normally lounge around in pjs covered in dog hair all day so this part was really easy for me. I snapped a pic of my bare face and uploaded it for verification for kicks and giggles because I felt I really had to commit to the part.

Needless to say, I was hanging by a thread waiting to see if I'll be verified. (Kidding). A few hours later, I got a notification that I, ladies and gents, had failed to be "beauty certified." At first, I was a little insulted. Does this mean that they just didn't believe I had no makeup on in that picture, or was I just too ugly for this app? I started to browse through the other women who were beauty certified, and was mortified to see that in many of their "no makeup" pictures, they were indeed wearing makeup. I'm talking brows groomed, eyelashes curled — the whole nine yards. They were beautiful women, and I have a feeling that's why they were "beauty certified."

"We have a evaluation committee which contains 10 staff to decide the 'beauty certified' users," Robert tells Bustle via email. "A 'Beauty Certified' emblem will not be authorized to a lady unless eight or more of the staff agree."

Wait, so the staff disagreed on my appearance? What's up with that?

The directions suggested re-submitting my pictures if I wanted to be evaluated again for certification. This time, I kept the same no makeup picture, but I decided to change the ones in my normal album. I removed the one that was already there (a picture of me wearing makeup, but looking natural nonetheless) and added pictures of me wearing more makeup than I normally would, such as the model-esque lipstick in the picture below.

After adding these pictures, I was gifted with a little "beauty certified" icon on my profile!! In my opinion, this really confirmed that it had nothing to do with how legitimate my no makeup pictures were, and everything to do with my appearance. When I asked Robert how the staff judged whether or not they believe someone should be certified, he responded with the following criteria:

1. They [the user] must have at least one no-makeup photo to their "no-makeup" photo album and send them to us for review.

2. The No-Makeup photos must contain the front of their faces. No glasses and nothing to hide.

3. They also have to have an avatar with their profile. And, the person in the avatar and the no-makeup photos should be the same person.

4. Only those with the age range from 18 to 35 will be verified. (Ah ha, so I was right about the age requirements! Ladies over 35, you're apparently not suitable enough to be "beauty certified." Bummer.)

So, considering I violated none of these standards the first time I submitted the pictures, I still don't see why I was denied. And what does "reviewing my no-makeup photo" even mean? I'm still banking on the fact that I was physically judged, but I'm not going to make anymore assumptions without actual proof of what those team members were discussing when they happened upon my no makeup selfies. I guess the world will never know.

I am not feeling this app. Even if you want to have a sugar daddy/baby relationship, there are other less creepy websites out there. After this experience, I will never say a bad word about Tinder again. Swipe on, Tinderellas.

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Images: Madison Fraser (7)