Explicit Tinder messages inspire Molly’s fashion collection

A student who received explicit Tinder messages has used her dating app experiences as inspiration for her fashion textiles collection.

The constant barrage of unwanted messages arriving in Molly Anne Barchard’s app inbox has included comments on her appearance and unsolicited sexual advances.

She’s taken the worst, and some of the more bizarre, and printed them on a full-length bodysuit, trousers, top and gilet. Molly also made a waistcoat from redesigned emojis.

“Some of the messages can be funny, but some are just plain nasty, and I really wish I knew why people take the time and effort to send them,” said Molly, who is in the third year of her Textiles for Fashion course at the University of Northampton.

“Unfortunately, dating apps make people focus on appearance, rather than personality, so you get people judging you on a photo. So, it’s often all about looks, and that puts so much pressure on women. Nobody needs to be told they need bigger boobs, or have somebody sexualise you before even meeting you.

“Some say it’s just banter and want to see if you can take it. But it’s not something they’d say to your face, it’s just out of order.”

Molly, who is 22 and from Leighton Buzzard, added: “I want to highlight what feels like to be a single woman in today’s modern world of app dating.

“In an era where we celebrate how far we’ve come terms of equality, we really haven’t come that far at all when women like myself are getting these types of unwanted messages.”

Despite her experiences, Molly says she’s not been totally put off by app dating.

She said: “Like most people my age, I’ve met all my boyfriends via an app. So, they can be a great way of meeting people. You just have to wade through some awful things to find somebody who is normal, and you click with.”

Senior Lecturer in Fashion, Jane Mills, said: “I’ve been impressed with how Molly’s turned a negative experience into a positive, by hand screen printing the messages she’s received.

“I am both proud and impressed that, in the realisation of her final year collection, Molly has demonstrated a willingness to take on and communicate an important and challenging issue that impacts so many women. Through the medium of her printed textiles, Molly has created an effective and unflinching insight that focuses on a contemporary issue that blights the use of social media and its use in dating in the 21st Century”.

View the University of Northampton’s Fashion courses on the website.



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