relationships

Climb out of the Tinder basement: 19 ways to level up your game

If all your Tinder game has led to recently is a sprained swiping finger, it’s time to upgrade your profile to get the matches rolling. You don’t need a head-to-toe makeover straight out of the movies to seriously improve your desirability on the dating app. Instead, perfect your message and make sure your profile is saying what you want people to hear. With a few new profile pictures and a strong bio, prepare to spend a lot more time on dates with recent matches and a lot less time worrying about your number.

Your starter job headshot was awesome, but why are using it 10 years later?

Credit: Photograph of Bronislava Nijinska, graduation picture, 1908. Digital image. Wikimedia Commons. 13 December 2015.

Pictures are hard. Unless you are a selfie fan or a social butterfly, a good snapshot may only come around once a decade. However, using dated pictures is a major problem on Tinder. When the person in the photo doesn’t match your listed age or your appearance in extra pics, potential matches may view you as untrustworthy and swipe left.

Schedule a photoshoot with a friend for new pictures.

Credit: Photographic portrait of nature photographer Ansel Adams. 1950. Wikimedia Commons. 6 March 2018.

If you need new pictures go on an outing with a friend and take dozens of photos to review. Pick the best options that reflect a bit about your personality, such as an enthusiasm for fine dining, and use them on your profile.

Tinder isn’t jail, but you still need a mugshot.

Credit: Elvis Mugshot. 1970. Wikimedia Commons. 7 March 2016.

Whether your trying to get a date or a job, a good headshot is a must. When updating your photos, make sure one focuses primarily on your face. It doesn’t have to be full Orange Is the New Black but should stick to the upper third of your body. Potential matches want to see your face. Give it to them in the first picture.

Props are great, except in your Tinder profile pictures.

Credit: Instagram @Tinder

A successful Tinder profile does require a bit of personality, and you definitely need to convey it anyway possible…except with too many props, such as shirts with a message, your car, a favorite gesture, a political button or pets. If someone misinterprets your meaning or takes a joke as a hard stance, you lose a match.

Assume that others will make assumptions.

Credit: Instagram @Tinder

Men and women are going to take in everything in your photos to determine your personality. If you give them too much data, there is too much to judge before a conversations start. Beyond mixed messages, you may also find the interior of the room is reviewed or the tidiness of your backdrop assessed. Make sure everything in your photo conveys the real you. 

Use all of the picture slots to increase matches.

Credit: Twitter @Tinder

If you were so excited to join Tinder that you skipped over adding extra pictures, go back and edit, edit, edit. Profiles with more photos see more matches. According to one Tinder study, women who upped pictures from one to three saw a 37 percent jump in matches while men saw an 82 percent increase.

Blank spaces were made for Taylor Swift songs, not your profile.

Credit: Instagram @taylorswift

If you can fill it out, do so. This includes specifying your location with a degree of accuracy. Some of your potential matches may be looking for city boys only while others don’t mind the suburbs. When you don’t specify your home base, you are limiting the field. 

Bios: Think tweets, not War and Peace.

Credit: Photo of the Book “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy. 20 May 2013. Wikimedia Commons. 22 May 2013.

Your bio provides you with a limited amount of space to make a killer first impression. The best way to do this is by keeping individual comments brief and charming. 

To be or not to be serious.

Credit: Hamlet – “To be or not to be, that is the question.” 1870. WikiMedia Commons. 15 June 2018.

It’s OK to specify passion topics, but equally okay to make a fun joking/not joking comment that reflects your interests, such as “If you think Darth Vader was misunderstood, swipe right.” 

Play with tone when introducing yourself in the bio.

Credit: Instagram @Tinder

Any single points about yourself should be succinct, but you can introduce them in paragraph form or create a spaced-out list that is more visually appealing. When you go through a dry spell, consider mixing up the format to improve scrolling potential.

Friends and family are a big part of your life but don’t need to be in all of your photos.

Credit: Tolee Fete in den fruher Sexhzigern. WikiMedia Commons. 11 July 2014.

After a starter mugshot, extra photos can be more freewheeling but should still highlight you. If your mom and/or kids are a major part of your life, include them in one picture to weed out bad matches but avoid using all of your snaps to show that you are social. You want to make new friends, not reinforce existing relationships.

Avoid telling your life story.

Credit: Books Books and More Books of Shelf Esteem. 1 November 2017. Wikimedia Commons. 3 November 2017.

See above. Friends and family are great, but don’t introduce Aunt Maria’s cousin in the bio or wax poetical about the little moments in life throughout. You want to provide succinct highlights and leave room for later conversation.

Tragedy and Tinder matches aren’t good bedfellows.

Credit: Instagram @Tinder

Emotional appeals are a mistake. Don’t lament the unfairness of the local dating scene or whine about your inability to meet new people in your profile or later messages. Instead, focus on what you want from Tinder – to meet new people.

Message your matches to get a conversation started.

Credit: Instagram @Tinder

Even if you match with someone you weren’t sure about swiping right for, invest some time in messaging. It helps you develop a rapport and feel for how to successfully convert a match to a date and may lead you to a winner. 

Ladies, Make the First Move.

Credit: Instagram @tinder

Women are less likely to instigate messaging on Tinder following a successful match according to research but both sexes need to step up to the plate. If you are interested in a man or woman, jump in and say, “Hello.”

Be persistent but not creepy.

Credit: Instagram @tinder

When you have a great match, give a little breathing room between a first message and subsequent check-ins but do follow up. A gentle nudge after 48 hours is good. Back-to-back “Did you get my messages?” messages are not.

Let’s not take this offline right now.

Credit: Instagram @tinder

Avoid immediately trying to get a fresh match to take a messaging session off Tinder and to traditional texting. Many people are concerned about share a personal number due to privacy concerns. No one wants a stalker. Only ask for additional contact info when you prepare for or finish a first meeting.

Even if your main goal on Tinder is to hookup, be a human first.

Credit: Instagram @tinder

If the only reason you want Tinder tips is to find a new hookup, that’s fine when your match is down for it. But don’t treat people you match with as your next booty call and navigate straight to pic requests and suggestive language without a bit of conversation. Consider it the equivalent of buying a drink at the bar before asking someone to go home with you.

Sales analogies are bad, but you need to close.

Credit: Friendship. Wikimedia Commons. 11 November 2005.

A great messaging session should lead to a meet-up. If things are stalling but you’re not ready for a big date, ask to continue the conversation over lunch, coffee or drinks. Try a pleasant, “Let’s continue this conversation over lunch this week. Does Monday or Wednesday work for you?” The assumption is a meeting will happen but the mechanics need to be sorted out. 

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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