Whitney Wolfe, Bumble's founder : the feminist Tinder

Bumble, it's her ! Two years after the creation of Tinder in 2012, which she co-found, Whitney Wolfe leave the start-up accusing one of her fellow for sex arrestment. She then create Bumble, in 2014 in Texas, the first dating site where women do the first move. Her claim : “Empower women”. A success-story in the United States with 10 millions of users. Whitney Wolfe just launched her app in France and everywhere in Europe. We had the chance to meet this inspiring woman, such beautiful as brilliant at a dinner at the Ritz. The great occasion to prove we can be feminist and sexy at the time….

How did you launch Bumble ?

I originally wanted to start an different app, an app that young girls would use like Instagram and snapchat, but with no bullying, only a place where they can be nice to each other, say complimentary and nice things to each other, bad behavior will be forbidden on this platform. And it’s funny because when I met with my now business partner he loved the idea of this, he thought it was great but he said “however why don’t you do that on dating ?” This could be very phenomenal on dating, if you create good behavior on dating, and he was really right, so I took my original idea and I modify it into the dating space. This is how we started.

You’re encouraging women to do the first step : Is it girl power or man failure ?

It’s both but not men failure, it’s a mixture, it’s something different, definitely not man failure. A little bit of girl power but really what I’m trying to say is : women and men are both great but the way we treating each other back is not. Look at our society now, the boys always expected to be in control , they are supposed to pick up the girl for the date, they’re supposed to open the door, supposed to be king.. Women are supposed to be delicate and very quiet, and she has to wait for the men. But in reality this is not true, this is not accurate, so the dating culture is quite updated.

What would be the perfect outfit for a first date ?

It depends. It all depends what you’re going to do on the first date. If you’re in Paris in November, then just wear what you’d wear with your girlfriend, something you’re comfortable with. I’m a huge advocate for a women just dressing with what they’re comfortable. Don’t try to wear something that is gonna feel like you can’t breathe all night. A sweater and a skirt, tights and heels or jeans… Anything. Honestly just wear what you’re comfortable in. That’s the best way to approach the date. It don’t have to be crazy fancy or crazy casual !

How to start or make a good conversation when you don’t really how to do at first ?

I think that the best way to make the first move is to have a bit of humour. It doesn’t have to be serious. Look at the photos, the profile, if there is a photo of him skiing maybe say how you can beat them down the heel or something funny you know, anything that you can take from their bio or their photos, say something charming and silly back to that, if the name is Jean Marc just use it, use emojis...

How to choose a good photo without being show off or pretentious ?

If I’m doing mine, for example, most of the days I’m wearing fitness clothes, in America this is really casual, I spend 90% of my life in casual outfit. So I’ll show this a little bit, in one photo. Because this is a big part of me. But when I go to Paris, I like to get dressed up so maybe have a photo that show this. I love to be outside, and do activities outside, I love to ski and hiking. Maybe show a photo of this. It’s just taking your personality, what you care about, and choosing photos that are nice representations of this.

Where to go for a first date ?

It depends on their preference. If you’re going on a date with a guy that does not drink alcohol, you’re not gonna want to go to a bar, maybe go see a music performer in a cool place where you can take a tea and listen to music or if you see that they’re passionate about sport, go to a sport game. Do this thing that you can see are relevant to the personality.

What about the bill ? Sharing or paying to show you are the big boss ?

Im a big fan of “whoever invites, should pay”. If I’m the one that say “ hey wanna go for a drink tonight ?” maybe I’ll pay. If the man says that, he can pay. It’s all about the invitation.

Would you advise to educate little girls with Disney or Simone de Beauvoir ?

OMG Not Disney. I think that We have to change the way young girls are educated, it always end at the wedding, have you notice that ? It always end at the big wedding. This is the story and then the story is over, then what ??? I think that little girls are trained their whole life to think “you must find the prince charming, you must find your prince charming when you’re young and you must find a prince that can do X Y and Z” and a lot of women ending up in really bad position. I mean almost every girls I KNOW, all of my friends, at some point they have had a bad relationship. Either he is cheating, or abusive, or he’s just mean… But they stayed because they wanted to get married, or they want to have a relationship, they don’t want to be alone. I think it’s about changing the way we look at relationships and dating because dating is a huge part of women’s life. Think about it, when girls go to dinner together, 80% of the conversation is talking about relationship. So we need to make the relationships healthier and better.

In that spirit, what is your favorite romantic comedy ?

My favorite romantic comedy is Nothing Hill. Because the man is so sweet. And actually she’s in control and I like it. Usually in romantic comedy, the girls are crying the man is doing something macho… But he is quite sweet, he has his book store, his small apartment and she’s this force of nature. She’s really in control, she comes and she left… I just really love this.

notting hill

And the one you really hate ?

Honestly I have a lot of problems with Disney, we talk about it in the office all the time, the princess and the strong men on the white horses, coming to save them… We have a big problem with this, and there’s a lot in literature we had to read growing up too.

walt disney

Your favorite heroine ?

I love anything Jane Austen, it’s amazing.

mark darcy

Your motto in few words ?

Just own it.

Do you feel feminist ?

Feminism is funny because everyone is making such a big deal about feminism but go read the definition it’s very simple, it’s just equality for men and women. So if you’re not a feminist, in my opinion there is something wrong with you. This is the mentality of 100 years ago. Actually, I don’t even like the label of “feminism” because I think it’s obvious. It should be so obvious. Everyone should want equality for men and women. I almost feel I do something regressive.

suffragettes

In your opinion, how do you recover from a break up?

Join Bumble !

What is forbidden after break up ?

Talking to the boy still. You can’t do this, I know you miss him but Stop it, go away ! You have to cut ties

carrie on the phone

When you prefer to meet in real life, why going on bumble ?

You still have to meet in real life ! Bumble is not going to be a digital relationship. It’s still very natural, it’s not bizarre. Actually, my grand mother told me that her first date with my grand father was over the phone. It’s still the same thing. You even have more infos on bumble because you get to see their photos, their bio, their personality …….

By Elodie Rouge assisted by Mélanie Hroorakvit

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