Bumble’s Celibacy Ad Is a Big Fail

It’s 2024, and women are still being pressured or judged for choosing not to have sex. And by a dating app that claims to empower women? Which fraternity brother wrote this ad campaign, and where were the women on the Bumble marketing team to fix this before it was marketed across the U.S.? Bumble’s celibacy ad is facing backlash for allegedly blaming women in an attempt to attract more users back to the dating app.

Bumble Is the Dating App for Women…

“We’re the only app that makes dating better by putting women’s experiences first. Because when things are better for women, they’re better for everyone.” – Bumble.com

Source: Bumble.com

From its origin, Bumble was a dating app specifically created for women. Whitney Wolfe Herd and Andrey Andreev founded Bumble in late 2014. The co-founder, Wolfe Herd, is a former employee of Tinder who created Bumble as an app where women can make the first move. She describes Bumble as a “feminist dating app.”

Whitney Wolfe Herd stepped down as CEO of the app in January to take the role of Executive Chair. Lidiane Jones became the new CEO after Bumble faced a loss of $32 million in the first quarter of 2024. These ads and recent changes to the app to allow men to make the first move, as well as the new celibacy campaign, are an attempt to gain back app users who recently left.

Bumble Faces Backlash

Bumble’s celibacy ad has sparked controversy as users respond to billboards mocking the choice to be celibate. Ads debuted on billboards across the U.S. stating, “You know full well a vow of celibacy is not the answer” and “Thou shalt not give up on dating and become a nun.”

Source: Fastcompany.com

These billboards went viral on the internet as women responded to the message that Bumble seemed to be sending.

Source: Instagram

Even celebrities commented on the Bumble celibacy ad, as Julia Fox responded: “2.5 years of celibacy and never been better, tbh.”

Women Choosing Celibacy

Many comments on the app’s Instagram mention the flagrant irony of blaming women for being celibate rather than the men who are causing women to choose celibacy.

Even in a society where dating apps attempt to make the dating experience equal for men and women, unfortunately, women will always face more challenges and endure more negative outcomes. Women are more vulnerable to tragic instances like date rape, stalking, or even abuse. For this reason, celibacy is not a choice but a necessity for many women. Others have chosen celibacy after going through never-ending situationships, ghosting, or heartbreak.

Women have raised their standards when it comes to dating, and this has become a problem for dating apps. Dating apps, in general, have garnered a bad reputation among women using them to find legitimate relationships and the men who use them, like Door Dash, for dates.

Bumble’s Apology

Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

Bumble recently responded to the backlash by apologizing on its social media. Although this apology is backed by Bumble’s efforts to donate to the National Domestic Hotline, many people feel the apology is too little, too late.

Ironically, this female-centered dating app would create such an anti-female campaign. We hope that it and all the other companies do better in the future. No woman or man, for that matter, should feel shamed for their choice to refrain from sex.

Read more about women’s health and relationships here.

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