According to an interview with BuzzFeed News, Cali Rockowitz tried to upload a specific photo to her Bumble profile that kept being taken down. In it, Rockowitz is posing in front of a canvas wearing a black bralette and sweatpants.
At first, Rockowitz thought it was a mistake. But after seeing it get taken down multiple times, she emailed the company to ask what the problem was. In response, Bumble told her she couldn’t post photos in her underwear.
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Rockowitz, confused about the policy given that men posting topless photos in their bathing suits were allowed to be on Bumble, decided to move on and upload a different image that she considered to be “less revealing.” In this photo, Rockowitz’s hair is covering most of her chest and bralette.
The photo got flagged again and Rockowitz sent another email to Bumble.
“On Bumble, you are totally allowed to have a bikini or shirtless photo, but we ask that these photos are taken outside,” a representative wrote in an email to her. “If you’re indoors, it looks too much like underwear.”
BuzzFeed News reached out to a Bumble representative who said that the policy started in 2016 after data showed that “shirtless bathroom mirror selfies” were the kinds of photos that were most swiped left on.
“Swimsuit photos are acceptable if you’re outside by the pool or on the beach as you’re in a natural setting to be wearing a swimsuit,” Bumble added.
“It’s just absurd to me,” Rockowitz told BuzzFeed. “I was like, am I going crazy?”
Then, Rockowitz noticed that a photo that had been on her profile for months was removed. In it, she is posed in a black bralette top with a blazer over it and pants.
Rockowitz found the photo restrictions to be ridiculous, especially since she could technically keep the photos on her Bumble profile or even wear less clothing if she had been posing outside.
She also found it to be overall counterintuitive for Bumble, which is marketed as an “empowering” dating app where women have to make the first move.
“I couldn’t fathom why [the photos] wouldn’t be allowed on a dating profile,” Rockowitz added. “Their stance is to empower women. [Bumble] is made for dating and intimacy. It just makes me never want to use the app again.”
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