For Jarrod Allen, a 25-year-old electrician based in Sydney, Australia, Tinder is something like the online dating world’s equivalent of Awkward Family Photos: an alternate universe where irony is on permanent vacation and posing as a cat seems like a great idea. Amused by some of the more eccentric profile pictures he saw while swiping through the app one day, he decided to recreate them and pose as model. The Instagram Tindafella and Tumblr Tinderfella were born.
Allen, who is also a model for Aussie swimwear label Budgy Smuggler and a Beard Season Ambassador, talks to FLARE about Tinderfella’s appeal, why beards are funny, and how the search for love may begin with putting your phone down.
Walk me through the moment Tinderfella was born. What were you doing?
It was born almost six months ago. I was sitting in my mate’s work truck, waiting for him to finish his last job. Bored, I got my phone out and started having a flick through Tinder when I saw a girl with a serious set of eyebrows. I got out the electrical tape and planted myself a matching set, put my pic next hers and posted them on Facebook. It got a pretty good response so thought I’d do another one… all uphill from there.
How many have you done so far?
Upwards of 60. Tinder supplies some absolute cracking profile pictures.
What kinds of images make you want to recreate them?
Images that I find funny; ones you see and think, why would you put that on there?
Why do you think people enjoy Tinderfella so much?
I guess seeing a manly looking bloke with a beard taking on something like girls’ profile pictures in a ‘who wore it better?’ situation isn’t something you see every day.
Have any of the women you’ve parodied contacted you?
Yeah, a couple. It’s pretty apparent I’m just taking the piss, so people generally receive them well. I did have one girl message me, saying “Hi, can you please take the photo down as I am working on a business pitch that it would negatively effect.” But if the photo is something that’s going to negatively affect your business pitch, it probably shouldn’t be up there in the first place.
Do you use Tinder for dating or casual sex, or is it just a peephole into another universe for you?
Peephole. I don’t use it to meet girls. I find the whole thing a bit weird—it’s an app that promotes shallow hookup culture. Good for something to do if you’re bored, but I’m all about going old-fashioned and meeting someone in person.
Why is it so funny to see a man pretending to be a woman and not always that funny to see a woman pretending to be a man?
It has to be the beard. Everyone knows women have trouble growing them.
Tinder’s slogan is “it’s how people meet.’’ If you had to re-write it, what would it be?
“It’s where you never tell people you met.”
Your Tumblr says you’re looking for love. Is this still true?
Yes, still on the search. I know she’s out there. I just must not be looking hard enough. If you’re reading this… I will find you.
Any advice for women on taking the perfect Tinder profile pic?
Don’t take the picture. Delete the app, go out and do it the old-fashioned way, like your grandparents did. Be courted and not treated like an object someone met on a phone.