Berlin, Humour, Life in Berlin

Tinder in Berlin

IMG_20160617_182853_165The Bavarian and I have split up so for the first time ever, I am open explore Berlin’s modern dating scene. This can be summed up in one word: Tinder.

For those of you who have been trapped underground or in a relationship for the last few years, Tinder is an app that almost everyone who is single (and a quite a few who are not) is on. It’s like flicking through a catalogue of men in your vicinity on your phone – swipe left for no, thanks, and right for yes, please.

If it weren’t for Tinder, I have no idea how the Germans would hook up. They all either meet in school and stick to each other for life, or through friends later on, which is a pretty limited model. German men, unlike the British men, would never dare chat you up in a bar, or club, or hell, even on the street. As a woman, this is kind of nice because it means you never get bothered or objectified. On the other hand, it makes meeting new people difficult.

There is one subtle thing the Germans do do – so subtle, in fact, it took me years to notice: they look at you. Yes, that’s it. They look. And what the hell are you supposed to do with that? The German government should probably throw Tinder some support, because the app might just help raise the population’s happiness as well as poor birthrate.

Anyway, all this to say, in this exciting new world, I’ve noticed 5 curious things about Tinder in Berlin.

1. Height

Almost every guy on German Tinder specifies his height in centimetres. Apparently, it’s something they get constantly asked about by women, which why they list it.

Conclusion: height is pretty important to the Germans.

2. CEOs

If you were to believe everything you read on Tinder, you might conclude that there are a disproportionate amount of CEOs residing in Berlin. Curious, since Berlin is hardly a business or financial capital. Even more curious; these CEOs are often in their 20s, kinda scruffy-looking, and incapable of writing a sentence without using emojis. The only possible explanation is that we are a city of start-ups, and these men with their over-inflated egos and sense of accomplishment think they can call themselves CEOs because they secured enough funding to spend on ping-pong tables or whatever.

3. Open Relationships

A lot of men list themselves as being in open relationships. In real life, I interact with many different types of people, but I don’t know anyone an open relationship. So either a disproportionate number of Tinder users are in open relationships, or they are lying. In more than a few photos, you can glimpse wedding rings or the cropped off body of a partner. Come on, people.

4. Bathroom Selfies

Why oh why are so many photos taken in bathroom mirrors? What is attractive about that? And it’s not even private bathrooms. Most of them are taken in public bathrooms. How does that work? So you’re out for dinner, or in a bar with your friends, and all of a sudden you decide to go to the toilet, take a photo of yourself in the mirror and post it on Tinder. Why don’t you use literally any other photo of you in the world? Can someone please explain this to me?

5. Sebastians and Christophs

There are a lot of white men in Berlin, and most of them are called Sebastian and Christoph. From the point of view of someone who has had it with German men, this is kind of disappointing. I would love a little more diversity, which I would get in another city such as (my hometown) London. To be fair, of all the cities in Germany, Berlin is probably the most diverse, but it’s still pretty hard to find someone who is not called Sebastian or Christoph, 190cm tall, a CEO in an open relationship and likes taking selfies in random bathroom mirrors…

Here’s to hoping.

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art, Berlin

Exhibition Opening: Condition Humaine at the Laden Gallery

Eva, by Lilli Hill
Eva, by Lilli Hill

Yesterday saw the opening of Condition Humaine, an exhibition organised by the Ingeborg-Leuthold-Stiftung, a foundation promoting the art of women – especially realistic fine art in Berlin, at the Laden gallery in Tempelhof.

The exhibition brings together the work of three artists living in Berlin from different generations:  Lilli Hill (b.1976) Ingeborg Leuthold (b.1925) and Heike Ruschmeyer (b.1956).

Although they are distinct, their work displays a common theme; the body.

Heike Ruschmeyer, winner of the Marianne Werefkin prize 2005, paints corpses. Her huge canvases are most affecting, depicting blown-up images of the dead subject up close, taut in their rigor mortis, tinged yellow, purple and green. The images invoke eeriness and contemplation, reminding us that violence and death are part of the human condition.

In contrast, Lilli Hill’s paintings of fat women are solid, celebratory, lacquered and Rubenesque in their sensuality.

Ingeborg Leuthold’s naked bodies, bejewelled and tattooed, with mobile phones and sunglasses, are displayed in the context of modern leisure, evoking a bright, lively atmosphere.

Gehen, Bleiben, Durchdringen, by Johannes Grützke
Gehen, Bleiben, Durchdringen, by Johannes Grützke

In addition, the Laden Gallery is crammed with paintings and drawings by Berliner Johannes Grützke, whose works were celebrated in a retrospective at the Germanischen Nationalmuseum Nürnberg earlier this year and of which the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (09.29.200) said, “In a hundred years, people will hardly use our contemporary art to look for information about our life and bustle. Primary image sources are photography, film, television. The work of John Grützke is a rare exception because Grützke’s images are unique…They comment on bizarre social role- playing, attempts at emancipation and infantile regressions, single culture and obsessive group behavior, the battle of the sexes, women’s power, sexual liberation and sexual tensions, ideological contortions and collective neuroses…”

Condition Humaine by the Ingeborg-Leuthold-Stiftung is on at the Ladengalerie, Alt-Tempelhof 26, 12106 Berlin (U-Bahn 6 Alt-Tempelhof) until 26th July 2012. The gallery is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 12.00 and 18.00 or by appointment.