Celebrities who use online dating
The result is something like one of those unmarked nightclubs, except it’s in your phone, and peppered with vloggers and net artists in addition to models and Disney stars of yore.
Raya isn’t the first online dating service to try to harness celebrity and status to cultivate an image of exclusivity — its strategy, however, seems shrewder than most.
“You see people who you would never go up to in public,” the friend who invited me said.
“But then they match with you and you’re messaging.
As my friend Chloe Mackey, an NYC writer and model, put it: “No one will ever find love on Raya.
It’s about getting an ego boost.” Other users see Raya more positively. A.-based fashion and art producer who’s been on five Raya dates this summer (her old average was once every three months) said of her matches: “They all have their shit together, with respectable jobs.” Plus, “every single person on it is legitimately hot.” The general attractiveness of the Raya member pool might provoke self-consciousness, if the interface didn’t make interactions feel so democratic.
Kelly Osbourne’s Raya profile on Instagram this week, which marked one of the first times the app has been referenced on public social media.
One member I interviewed reported spotting Raven Symoné of I matched with the owner of the Paris nightclub I spent the summer of my 19th year strategizing about getting into, and stumbled upon enough up-and-coming DJs/musicians to program a weekend at Mo MA PS1’s Warm Up.
(“The music is a great way to tell if someone is basic,” one artist told me over coffee.
He had sandy-brown hair, wide-set blue eyes, and a pet monkey.
In the photo, the animal perched on his shoulder, wearing a onesie and stroking his hair.
“People are like, ‘Oh my God, that’s so fucking sad,’” Raya solves the privacy problem through careful curation, as well as its interface: Try to screenshot someone’s profile, and you’ll get an alert threatening to kick you off the network if the photo makes it online.
(This makes sense, given that careful control of one’s social-media brand is a prerequisite for admission.) Most of the half-dozen Raya members I interviewed were skittish about publicly discussing the app, and preferred to remain anonymous.