Dating Site Apologizes For Calling Freckles "Imperfections"
As part of the company's #LoveYourImperfections series, the above shot of a stunning flame-haired, spotted woman has been plastered throughout the London Underground. "If you don't like your imperfections, someone else will," declared the sign, referring to the model's beauty marks.
Many were outraged and took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction, with some calling the series "profit by bullying." Twitter user HeatherDeLand added her own sticky notes to the surface of the advertisement. "Sorry, but isn't judging people on skin pigmentation universally regarded as a dickish move?" read the notes. "Advert fixed now," declared Heather.
According to The Guardian, the #LoveYourImperfections series has been running since 2014, but prior billboards were regarded as humorous, calling out such "imperfections" as an inability to pronounce a subway stop or failing to get their train pass out on time. None had gone so far as to critique looks until this controversial ad.
Commenters on a blog post discussing the topic on the Ginger Parrot, a website celebrating redheads, were appropriately incensed. "Shame on you Match! You wouldn't think of posting someone of color and calling their skin color an imperfection," said one Facebook user. "My 7 year old daughter has red hair, brown eyes and freckles. I tell her how special her features are. I'm glad I didn't see this poster when out and about with her (and her younger red-haired sister)," remarked another.
Match.com has since apologized. "Our adverts reveal common perceived imperfections and quirks of Brits — these include freckles which some people who have them may see as an imperfection. We think freckles are beautiful and our posters are designed to encourage everyone who has them to be proud," the company said in a statement. "We're sorry if anyone has been offended by our latest ad — that was not our intention — but we're really encouraged to see so many people standing up for what makes them unique."
According to ITV, Match.com will be removing the billboards as soon as possible. Read on to see some of the tweets that the advertisements inspired.