Before Fashion Nova, there was Rainbow …

I grew up in the late 90s and early 2000s era where jelly shoes and door knockers were still a thing. Outlined lips and low-rise jeans were a must along with skirts with odd slip placements. These looks defined my youth and defined somewhat laughable trends to look back on. But what is ever present in our current fashion trends is the return of looks from the 90s. From lip outlining to baby hairs and various colored clothing. One thing that I remember most from these trends are the stores where people got their clothes. A little store called Rainbow, a littler known store called Fashion Bug, and maybe lesser known, Dots. These stores were formally considered the catalog for the “ratchet” girl. The girls who purchased make-up from Rite-aid or the around the way hair store. Girls considered to be “hood rats” before being a hood rat was cool.

I remember being young, in the mall, watching these girls go in and out of the store with bags and bags of Rainbow clothes. Outfits for almost every occasion. I also remember some of the whispers and looks for the girls who came from Rainbow with the huge bags. As years past, Rainbow had morphed from popping to being “that” store. The one where “those girls” shopped. I remember once reading Facebook comments about the clothes looking like they would, “make the skin itch.” The trendy powerhouse of the 90s became the “ghetto, cheap” store where none of us wanted to go, or where we went in secrecy. It was the store to get the big bangles, quick camisoles, and a basic t-shirt. Those gems that made Rainbow a go-to faded into the background. This was not the move anymore. The urban fashionistas transcended to Forever 21 and H&M. Of course, by this point the jelly sandals and door knockers had become a thing of the past. Skinny jeans, snapbacks, and Polo had moved in like a cold front. Rainbow was a background shop being dragged by Forever 21 and H&M.

It had become an unwritten punchline to a joke about the “basic girls at Rainbow.” Later, the emergence of Fashion Nova changed the entire game in about 2014. Fashion Nova became IT, especially with their magic jeans and crop tops. Fashion Nova and Forever 21 changed the game with their fashions except I couldn’t help but notice some of their clothes looked like Rainbow’s. From the fabric to the look, some of these clothes are the same. But what was it about Fashion Nova and Forever 21 that people loved so much? It could be they have everyday essentials or date night outfits or something cute and causal.  Somehow, the reputation of Fashion Nova was building while Rainbow kept its bad name and bad taste in people’s mouths.

For years, up until recently, Rainbow was tens of steps behind the trendier stores. Recently, Rainbow has been making a comeback, being featured in magazines as a “cheap on trend store.”

The point is, before Forever 21 and Fashion Nova made their way into the hearts of thousands of Baltimore girls, there was Fashion Bug, Dots, and Rainbow. Three stores that defined the kick back, ring dance, and night out looks for several years.

Baltimore on Tinder

Why is it so difficult to find a decent Tinder date in Baltimore? Let’s face it – Baltimore has a bad rep concerning the physical attractiveness of its citizens. We’ve all heard it. People in other cities just really seem to think we’re ugly.  We’ve seen our city appear on various lists of places with the least attractive people, and we’re constantly reminded on social media.  Earlier last year, the entire city was roasted when the #FinePeopleFromBaltimore hashtag was trending. Between the initial unimpressive selfies and the many (equally unimpressive) follow up selfies intended to “help” the movement, it was the biggest social media L of the year. Citywide disrespect. Although some of our own natives agree with this negative sentiment, most of us seem just fine dating one another. I happen to find a beautiful woman or nice-looking man almost everywhere I go. Gorgeous, stylish people are all over Baltimore, but looks are not the problem with our tiny online dating pool.  Whether you’re looking on Tinder or OkCupid, the profile content is horrendous! While online dating can be bleak in any area, the profiles I see in Baltimore are just ridiculous.  Let’s examine some of the unattractive content that holds us back:

  1. Basically Cursing People Out in Your Bio

If I had a dollar for—you know what, never mind. So many bios are filled with SO much aggression that the reader is exhausted by the time they get through it all. The pure, unfiltered negativity will make you want to get up and take a walk. This kind of bio typically reads like this:

“I’m here, but I’m not here for the close-minded foolishness. I’m not the one for petty games! F*ck your opinion cuz it’s worthless tbh. F*ck you if you childish. Please don’t be ugly. This site is pointless, but I’m bored so I guess. Not really on here like that, so if we match and I don’t reply, oh well. Don’t be dry in my messages. Positive vibes ONLY [random heart emoji].”

If your profile looks like this and you ARE NOT intending to scare people or make them want to fight you, consider a change? Love you.

2. Clearly Throwing Shade at Past Flings

This is Smalltimore after all, but even if we can’t name your target, we can tell there is one. These profiles make it obvious that the last person you dated annoyed you so much that you felt the need to forewarn the public. Not cute.

3. Acting Too Cool For Online Dating

This kind of profile is similar to number 1, but far less angry. They try to seem like they don’t care to be on the site even though they took the time to sign up. Every other sentence in these bios reminds the reader that this person does not give a damn about this bio, potential dates, nor themselves.

Image result for tupac juice gif dont give a damn

4. Already Making Excuses for Terrible Dates (or lack thereof)

These are very popular for the men. These bios will actually spew cheap garbage like “Not here for material b*tches” or “Let’s vibe first and see where it goes.” They are letting the internet know that the women they’re courting are not deserving of their scarce funds. This is really happening. These are the profiles to swipe left or even block unless you want a (at best) mediocre smoke session in someone’s mother’s basement as a first date.  That’s putting it VERY lightly.

If the internet doesn’t find you a date in this city, it will certainly give you something to laugh and think about. As we near the third decade in this increasingly digitized world, online dating will likely increase from common to the normal way we meet potential partners and friends. Some people would say it’s the norm now. Online dating is taking over the dating world, and that includes us, Baltimore. If we’re going to do this thing, let’s do it for real!

What are the most bizarre things you’ve seen on dating sites in Baltimore? Have you had any interesting dates? Comment below and let us know.