Issa Rae's Insecure has been taking millennial, men and women alike, to church for the past few summers. Mostly because it's a representation of us and how we date and how we do life that is more accurate than most. It's the most authentic show that the black community has received in quite some time and it shows.
So in season one when Molly was simultaneously trying to fix her broken pussy and prove to Issa that being single was not where it was at, she made mention of a dating app that many of us had never heard of before: The League. An alternative to the other mediocre dating apps that we are aware of, but especially Tinder which Molly refers to as a "fuck app."
Something like those inconspicuous 555-5555 phone numbers your favorite shows of the 90s and early 00s would give out, many of us weren't sure that this elite dating app actually existed until we were. Curious, I made it my business to try this app that was only for professionals (it even connects to your LinkedIn) — a truly elite concept. And, not going to lie, a standard that sits damn-high on my list with a handful of exceptions is a man who is career-oriented.
I reached out to the League and was able to bypass with mile-long waitlist with these xoConnects — not even going to hold any of you up, let's just keep it all the way real. And while in theory the app would be great, I'm almost positive that Insecure took creative license with the fish Molly was catching using this app (in that they were all black men). Spoiler alert: That was not my experience.
Let's start with the bad and just rip the bandaid off. When or if you decide to use The League, you might be surprised by the lack of black or brown prospects at your fingertips. As an elite dating app, there are a handful of possibilities to consider. So here it is: 1) as a people, we don't have the resources to frequently become the "elite" and thus there aren't nearly enough of us to use this app in hopes of finding #BlackLove. Although growing, we know that the ratio of institutionally educated black men to women is off kilter and it shows when you're using the app. 2) We know based on OkCupid's 2014 finding that Black women are the least desired amongst all races of men, including our own. And if this app is further indication, well then, the odds are only further stacked against us, me, we.
While I wouldn't go as far as to say that the app marginalizes users of color because that is beyond them, its elite touch serves as a bigger reminder of the prejudices held against black women and the difficulty that comes attached to our prematurely marginalized identity. And I was not someone who was only seeking out black men, but as a natural black girl, I can't say that this was my crowd. The reality is, to fit into elite crowds we are asked to do away with features such as natural hair and that translates to the microcosm of the world that is dating apps.
I also would like to throw out there that I was on the app consistently for a month (while they suggest spending three months on the app); nonetheless during my time, no dates came to fruition. Most of the men I matched with were stiff and the dialogue felt forced, as in I am of the belief that a person who is interested will not leave me on "Read" for days and then come back to the dialogue multiple times. Which is fine, it simply means we didn't vibe and that's bound to happen.
What the app gets right is that in asking users to pay for a better experience, you are absolutely weeding out the weak links from the winners because anyone who is not serious about dating in a promising way is not coughing up membership fees to utilize a dating app. Most might find the membership fee steep, but quite frankly it wouldn't be an elite dating app experience if the price didn't say so. Oftentimes, we don't see things as "elite" until the price point parallels the very definition of that and The League is no different than that in this right.
Furthermore, the way they hold users accountable by revoking privileges and membership when you've been inactive is another hurdle that weeds out the clowns and clownettes of the dating pool. This can feel both overwhelming but also exciting because you are only able to swipe on five people per day--leaving you with something to look forward to and a reason to return. New swipes are available at the cost of tickets (which can be purchased) or the next day at 5 o'clock i.e. Happy Hour.
But the best part is the concierge, who not only is there to gently nudge you when you have been inactive, but also provides personal customer service to help you create a profile that is worthy and winning. I took advantage of this element asking my concierge for tips on how to improve and took any feedback they provided to up my odds.
The algorithm, according to my concierge, is able to prioritize traits like humor and even better users who have six clear pics of themselves -- eliminating the hella annoying crowd who enjoy using group photos on their dating profile that have us stuck and confused like this:
They also provide a community of people with groups and local events that allow users to create meetups of their fellow league members. This brings back the traditional and desired, but nearly obsolete element in modern dating which is the potential to meet and connect with people in real life.
As someone who feels conflicted, I feel unsure about what platform best serves my generation as we seek out romance that lasts more than a few pumps.
I would say that The League has the potential to be the Match.com of elite millennials, bringing the modern to the Matches of the world. Perhaps as they become more known to black and brown elite communities, the potential for matches will increase, making for a higher rate of matching. As it stands, the app only serves a handful of communities but works efficiently to do roll outs in more cities each day.
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Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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