In the days that have passed since the PUA Academy (Pick-up Artist Academy) made headlines for the inappropriate treatment of women in their Facebook group, we've taken great pains to understand who they are and what they teach.
Before they went dark online—Facebook, YouTube, an official website, all taken down Tuesday last week—they touted themselves as the ulitmate dating coaches, who teach desperate men how to get the women they desire using a range of dubious, underhanded techniques; some more harmful and problematic than others. There's a lot about PUA Academy that needs to be called out, down to the very premise of their practice. But that's a discussion for another time.
For now, enjoy this tutorial video that we chanced upon during our excursion into the cringeworthy world of Filipino pick-up artist culture. In what seems to be a material in the the Academy's curriculum, PUA leader Ssein "Smooth" Meneses tries to teach men how to take better profile photos for Tinder.
To do this, he thumbs through a bunch of male Tinder profiles to point out what works and what doesn't. It's difficult to ascertain what exactly Smooth expects viewers to take away from this twenty-minute video, but note that it's this sort of advice that he expects people to pay for.
If you managed to watch the entire thing, congratulations. But if you decided to prioritize your sanity over the instinct to watch this guy embarrass himself, we'll spoil it for you: he goes nowhere, and doesn't really make a point. Except maybe that your photos need to have "detto field" for girls to freakin' like you, you know.
But wait! There's more! If you're as perplexed as we are by Smooth's insistence on struggling through an English twang rather than speaking comfortably, you might be relieved to know that at the very least, he's aware of it.
We acknowledge that there are a lot of serious problematic aspects to the PUA Academy phenomenon, and what it reveals about how false masculine ideals have festered in Filipino culture. The bigger picture certainly isn't a laughing matter. The guy at the top of it all, on the other hand, is a different animal.