Imagine if, instead of sweeping floors, Cinderella was swiping left and right. Australian photographer Kirra Cheers (who has called New York City home for the past two years) put on her glass slippers in an attempt to find her Prince Charming the modern way: on Tinder. Embarking on an experimental art project, Cheers cataloged the people she met in a black-and-white photo series, aptly named Tinderella.
"Initially I intended to inform each person of my project before the date, but found I had a much higher success rate explaining the project in person," Cheers writes on her website, Tempting Alice. "I never pressured anyone into having their photo taken, accepting their decision as final. The most common concern was that of being objectified. Most people wanted me to confirm my interest in them as a person and not simply as an art project."
"In this way, I saw it as a swapping of traditional gender roles — posing the question that perhaps men and women aren't all that different," she says. "Perhaps the stereotype is a reaction to the dynamic imposed upon women by a male dominated society. Change the power dynamic, however, and you achieve the same result."
Despite finding this reversal "empowering," after going on nearly 20 Tinder dates Cheers experienced what she describes as a "dating hangover," and opted to remove herself from the app. And, while she didn't find love (just a few new friends), her documentation, which includes not only portraits, but also some (vulgar) messages and profiles, provides an interesting look at the modern dating scene. There may not be pumpkin carriages or fairy godmothers here in NYC, but there are plenty of men and women who are ready to take you for a drink in the East Village.