If ever an app deserved to be deleted from all platforms and banished from Black-kind, it’s a monstrosity known as Smoochr.
Shout out to fellow outlets, including Blavity, and the virtual drop squad known as Black Twitter, for revealing this numbskullery and dragging it into the light to wither and die.
What is so bad about it?
Well, sit down somewhere solid and take a deep breath. This one requires a trigger warning. Smoochr is a dating tool for Black people which, in addition to normal matching metrics, takes the divisive, plantation-adjacent step of grouping its members by such variables as skin shade and hair texture.
Lest I be accused of oversimplifying, in its own description, the site tells its would-be users:
“Discover Black Singles by complexion, hair type and more.”
At first, I sincerely thought this was some kind of joke being tossed around by satirical sites like cream.bmp. At any moment, the creator would rise up against the Twitter dragging it has received and announce that this is a sociological experience to prove the existence of colorism in America.
But naw. This seems to be a sincere and straightforward effort . An effort that makes me want to hide under my desk reading Maya Angelou poems for the remainder of the day.
It’s as if all the ignorant rappers who have been talking about redbones, yellowbones and “long hair, don’t care” all got together in a cave and dictated (via their extra idiotic lyrics) the schematics of this mobile mess.
It’s like all of the misguided Twidiots who post pictures of multi-racial kids as #progenygoals stumbled upon a technology accelerator and used their collective (low) brainpower to launch this initiative.
This app reminds me of some of my Facebook friends who go out of their way to incorporate their skin shade into every status or, if they can beat Mark Zuckerberg’s “real name” rules, make it a nauseating nickname. News flash: We can all see your profile photo. We get it. We just don’t care. And P.S. neither do non-Black folk that will STILL deny you a loan, pull you over for nothing or follow you all up and through a store despite your ability to buy its entire contents with pocket change.
As your resident Social Skills expert, I have to insist that you not only refuse to add this foolishness to your app arsenal, that you jot a note to the creators. Please advise them that we will not stand for this type of terribleness in the time of #BlackLivesMatter, out-of-control cultural appropriation (despite receipts) and the long overdue end of respectability politics. It might help if we offer that this compatibility “capability” of theirs essentially sends us back to the era of slave auction blocks.
In conclusion, suggest gently that everyone involved in this mess needs to log out of everything, stat.
And while they’re offline and hopefully rethinking their life choices, I’d kindly direct these individuals to the following Social Skills independent study: Three consecutive readings of The Bluest Eye, an immediate viewing of Imitation of Life, School Daze, the entire first season of Underground and School Daze. I’d also tack on two hours a day for the next month listening to India Arie go IN on ignorance, specifically via “Brown Skin,” and “I Am Not My Hair.”
Kyra Kyles is the Editor-in-Chief and Senior Vice President, Digital Editorial for Ebony Media Operations, LLC. You can get @ this digital diva on social media via thekylesfiles on Twitter or Facebook. Oh yeah, and feel free to send social media / tech etiquette questions and grievances to her via firstname.lastname@example.org. She just might tackle them for the next “Social Skills.”