The dating app Skout will no longer allow restroom portraits on its network.
As of today, the dating app Skout has officially banned its more than 220 million users from sharing shirtless bathroom selfies — the literally and figuratively steamy genre of self-portraiture favored by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and even Geraldo Rivera.
"This cliché of shirtless people showing off their abs — we're not having that," Skout PR manager Jordan Barnes told the Daily News. (For what it's worth, she notes that you're welcome to post as many fully dressed bathroom photos as you like, so get posing, kids.)
Beyond their noble desire to scrub the Internet clean of attractive people's abdominal muscles (and, may I add, thank god), what motivated Skout's decision? According to Barnes, they're looking out for you and me — research has indicated that people who share a bathroom selfie will see their response rate drop by 43 percent.
This ban is a terrible idea. As an analytically minded online dater, I believe that if you want to post a bathroom selfie, I need to see it. Its very existence is highly valuable data that I'd like to factor into my evaluation of whether you'd make a suitable partner.
For one thing, some people are gross. I definitely fall towards the latter end of the neat-messy spectrum, but if your bathroom is visibly mildewed and strewn with charcoal grey towels that were once bright white, I do not want to date you. More importantly, the mere fact that you'd choose to post a bathroom selfie tells me almost everything I'd need to know about you. As a rule, bathroom selfies strike me as insurmountably icky (I'm sorry, but that's where you poop) and reek of a very teenage lack of self-awareness (or, again, is that just the poop?).
By babysitting a small, socially inept portion of its users, Skout is doing a disservice to the rest of us — it's important to let the forces of dating Darwinism run their natural course. They, of all people, should know better: that response rate takes a nosedive for a (very good) reason.