It couldn’t just be me, could it?
“You’re kinda fat anyways”
“When was the last time you swallowed”
“Now I see why you’re single you hag”
“You only have one more year to get pregnant”
“Give me a good blowjob”
So many texts. So many creepy, mean and just plain cruel messages from strangers on every dating app imaginable. All unsolicited. From tinder, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, and even the “higher quality” paying sites like match.com and jdate.com. There’s no way I could be the only one getting all this hate.
After a particularly nasty text message from a guy I had been on one date with, something clicked. I knew I wouldn’t reply to him, it would be beneath me, and my sense of pride as a single woman. But I felt like I needed to take control somehow. I wanted to share my story, I wanted to prove to myself (and a few other people) that I wasn’t alone. That’s when the idea to create Sareytales emerged.
It’s entertaining to read other peoples’ dating disasters, and it’s by no means a unique concept (there are many IG accounts like tinderinyour30s and texts from your ex that post the terrible text messages people get). But what I was hoping to accomplish was something different. Something empowering, and powerful. And totally cathartic for me as a single woman.
Combining my passion for art and design with my portfolio of online dating fiascos, I started turning all the terrible text messages I had received into typographic designs, some with humorous illustrations like penises, boobs etc., and then placed them in a totally ironic setting. For instance, one message I received simply said “when was the last time you swallowed”. Boom. He ends up in a fine art museum next to a statue of a nude woman. Another guy tells me that he “really needs to eat some pussy”. Next thing you know, he’s in a lovely picture frame in a family room.
Almost immediately I realized that this was something bigger than just my own dating mishaps. Women started reaching out to me with their own tragic texts. They felt angry, violated and . Feelings I was all too familiar with. I decided to start taking submissions and began to incorporate other women’s stories into Sareytales. And more keep pouring in every day.
I’m beginning to realize that it isn’t just me, not at all. Unfortunately, that’s not a good thing. But I think that turning these creepy texts into humorous and ironic works of art is a way to take back control of the online dating game.