My friend Ian Percy pointed out that in Sue Pelletier’s blog entry “What’s your backstory?” she discusses the Dentyne “Happy Hunting” guide to help young men and women seem more attractive to each other. For example, it gives some fake stories you can use to impress the other sex (e.g., you were in a commercial as a kid, backup dancer in a rap video, won a big payout in a slot machine).
It has “business cards with attitude” templates that allow you to fill in your name and number and a printable PDF will be downloaded. Women could pose as a belly dance instructor, runway model, beer quality control, sex therapist, or lingerie designer. Men can pretend to be a game developer, poker instructor, pilot or movie location coordinator.
There are printable photos of your supposed hot car, lake house, dog, race horse, motorcycle, etc., to have in your wallet to show your potential date.
It will tutor you so you can assume an accent (French, Italian and British for men; French, Italian and Swedish for women). Guys can choose customizable clippings of them supposedly doing something heroic. And women get tutoring in “guy talk” about sports, financial info, and male movies.
So the message is you aren’t good enough to make someone interested in you based on who you are. You have to pretend to be someone more accomplished, interesting, or foreign. I thought society had progressed to the point where it was perfectly fine to be honestly and unabashedly who you are, and if someone doesn’t find you compelling, then just move on.
While the Dentyne campaign is amusing, what messages does it send to singles — especially young singles? They have to lie to get a date? This is the wrong message. If you don’t think you’re very interesting, go out and do something to make yourself more so.