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Tinder Ad Sparks Outrage in Nakhon Ratchasima: A Misstep in Cultural Sensitivity and Respect

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Imagine strolling through the vibrant streets of Nakhon Ratchasima, where the air is scented with the promise of adventure and the whispers of history echo through the alleyways. Amidst this cultural tapestry, a rather peculiar billboard catches your eye. “Nakhon Ratchasima’s Tasty Treats,” it declares boldly, juxtaposing the city’s beloved phad mi Korat, a noodle dish that tickles the palate just right, against an entirely different kind of offering: Korat girls. Yes, with a cheeky green check mark, no less, as if to say, “Approved!”. (Photo credit: Prasit Tangprasert)

But wait, Tinder, the maestro of modern match-making, seems to have swiped left on subtlety and respect in their latest billboard campaign, leaving a sour taste in the vibrant locale of Nakhon Ratchasima. The billboards, including one audaciously perched on a building in the heart of Muang district—merely a stone’s throw from the statue of Thao Suranari, the venerable local heroine—has sparked quite the uproar.

The billboards flirt with controversy, serving up “Nakhon Ratchasima’s Tasty Treats” with choices that include the innocuous phad mi Korat and, quite jarringly, phu sao Korat (Korat girls), the former marked with a forbidding red X and the latter endorsed with a green tick of approval. This bewildering comparison has stirred the pot, especially among the local womenfolk who find it downright disrespectful.

Leading the charge is the indomitable Chanyanut Surachat, at the helm of the Korat Women’s Rights Protection group. A fierce advocate for dignity and respect, Ms. Chanyanut voices the collective indignation of women throughout the region, who take immense pride in their heritage as descendants of Thao Suranari, affectionately known as Lady Mo. “Women deserve respect, across all provinces, all territories,” she asserts, with the fire of Lady Mo in her eyes.

Meanwhile, the folksy wisdom of Prom Noktajan, a seasoned maestro of local folk songs, offers a melodious critique. According to him, describing women as “tasty” strikes a discordant note, hinting at undertones that veer uncomfortably towards the salacious. It seems this advertisement has not only swiped wrong on respect but also on cultural sensitivity.

In the fluttering heart of Nakhon Ratchasima, a battle of values unfolds beneath the gaudy glow of a billboard. It is a reminder that in our fast-paced world of instant connections, the timeless principles of respect and dignity still hold the ultimate swipe card to people’s hearts. As the city rallies for the respect its women rightfully deserve, one hopes that this episode will remind brands everywhere that in the intricate dance of cultures, every step must be taken with thought and respect.

The people of Nakhon Ratchasima, with their rich history and vibrant culture, represent much more than a swipe right or left. They embody the soul of a city that refuses to be reduced to mere “tasty treats.” Instead, they stand strong, spirited, and united, echoing the courageous spirit of Thao Suranari herself. In the end, it’s not just about billboards or adverts; it’s about the enduring power of community and the unshakeable respect for the dignity of all its members.


  1. MaeS March 21, 2024

    Honestly, I can’t believe Tinder thought this was a good idea. It’s 2023, and using women as a marketing gimmick is just unacceptable. Where was the vetting process for this ad?

    • KoratPride101 March 21, 2024

      Right? It’s like they completely ignored the cultural significance of Korat and reduced it to a cheap punchline. So disrespectful.

      • MaeS March 21, 2024

        Exactly my point! It’s disturbing how they thought equating women to ‘tasty treats’ was a clever campaign strategy. It shows a lack of cultural sensitivity and basic respect.

    • TinderUser March 21, 2024

      I think everyone’s overreacting. It’s just an ad, and ads are meant to grab attention. Maybe it wasn’t in the best taste, but surely it got people talking, which is all that matters in marketing.

      • angryatTinder March 21, 2024

        Just because it grabs attention doesn’t make it right. Objectifying women to sell a service is an archaic and harmful practice. We should be past this.

      • MaeS March 21, 2024

        Agreed @angryatTinder. Attention for the wrong reasons is not the kind of marketing a global brand like Tinder should aspire to. It’s just lazy and offensive.

  2. ThaoSuranariFan March 21, 2024

    As a direct descendant of Nakhon Ratchasima, this appalls me. Thao Suranari is a symbol of bravery and respect in our community. To see women from our region labeled as ‘tasty treats’ is a direct insult to her legacy.

    • JohnD March 21, 2024

      While I get where the outrage is coming from, shouldn’t the focus be more on how Tinder and perhaps other brands can learn from this? Maybe this can lead to more culturally sensitive advertising in the future.

      • CultureVulture March 21, 2024

        Hopeful but unlikely. Brands do what sells until public backlash becomes too much. This isn’t the first time a major brand has disrespected cultural sensitivities, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last.

    • KoratBorn March 21, 2024

      This isn’t about learning lessons after the fact. This is about having the common sense and decency from the get-go not to objectify women under the guise of ‘cultural celebration’.

  3. globetrotterXXI March 21, 2024

    Wonder how Tinder will swipe this controversy away. With globalization, brands should know better than to stereotype cultures. It’s a hard pass for me on their services from now on.

  4. FeministIcon March 21, 2024

    This advertisement is a stark reminder of why feminism is still critically needed. It’s not about hating men; it’s about demanding respect and dignity, irrespective of gender. Using women as bait is an age-old tactic that we should vehemently oppose.

    • DevilsAdvocate March 21, 2024

      But can’t we see this from another perspective? Maybe the ad was trying to be cheeky and humorous, not disrespectful. Could it be an overreaction?

      • FeministIcon March 21, 2024

        Humor at the expense of a marginalized group is not humor; it’s oppression. Objectification under the guise of cheekiness is still objectification. It’s essential we analyze these ‘jokes’ for what they are.

  5. LocalHistorian March 21, 2024

    Symbols like Thao Suranari are reminders of our rich cultural heritage and the strength of women throughout history. It’s a shame to see that legacy trivialized for an ad campaign.

  6. AdGuru March 21, 2024

    In the advertising world, controversy isn’t always a bad thing. It keeps people talking and the brand in the spotlight. Maybe that’s what Tinder wanted all along. However, crossing the line into cultural insensitivity is a dangerous game.

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