Finding true love in the metropolis is no easy feat and it is little wonder many Londoners now use online dating to try to find their heart’s desire.
However, the most widely used online dating site in the world, match.com, has found a novel way to give a helping hand to two eligible bachelors in search of east London love.
Those strolling down Bethnal Green Road before Friday can ogle the pair behind a shop window sandwiched between a music shop and a leather store. The gentlemen are undoubtedly well dressed and in good shape but it’s useless to try to catch their eye.
The two figures are, in fact, mannequins – or more precisely – 3D printed doppelgangers of match.com members Keron Knight, 26, and Michael Catuogno, 33.
A match.com spokesperson told ELL that the three-day ‘Guy Candy’ pop-up project is “a fun, quirky tactic to give [the men’s] profiles a bit of a boost” and to help them on their way to finding someone special.
Single females that pass by can click straight through to the match.com profile of their chosen ‘male model’ and arrange a date.
The 3D printing process took over three weeks. Both men’s heads were first scanned in a booth filled with over 40 DSLR cameras and then their 3D heads were designed using specialist software from experts iMakr. A team of five put the mannequins together, which were built to match the men’s skin tones. Finally the men themselves selected clothes for their doubles.
Knight, described as “a tall confident guy, with an impulsive streak” on his profile, said: “The whole experience was a lot of fun… I’m glad I took the opportunity to do it. The 3D printing shoot was really cool… I got to learn a lot about the process. On the day of the shoot we got a lot of interest from people walking past who were wondering what was going on, so I’m hoping that translates into a bit of interest in my profile.”
The purpose of the exercise is to support match.com’s Boost function, a paid-for add-on, which “turbo-charges” members’ profiles for a 30-minute period and thereby increasing their chances of finding a partner.
Catuogno said: “Hopefully the perfect date is just a few mouse clicks away. I’m looking for an intelligent and genuine woman who is ready for an adventurous and meaningful new beginning.”
However not everyone is convinced by the models. Lindsay Corstorphine, who works at nearby Flashback Records, described the mannequins as “a bit creepy”.
A female passer-by believed they did not have “sex appeal” as they are just “a bit of plastic” and was more fascinated by the 3D printing than the idea of the bachelors themselves.
Statistics have not yet been released by the site, so it is still to be seen whether two bodies are better than one when trying to maximise chances of love, and whether these men are indeed any closer to finding “the one”.