AMP app – funny or offensive? Or both?

Oct 19, 2009
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Wow. My first thought when checking out AMP UP Before You Score was disbelief and abhorrence. I was appalled, beside myself. Once I finally managed to shut my jaw closed, I was able to step back a bit. This app profiles 24 different types of women, paraphrasing each of their personalities like CliffsNotes. If you’re […]

Wow. My first thought when checking out AMP UP Before You Score was disbelief and abhorrence. I was appalled, beside myself. Once I finally managed to shut my jaw closed, I was able to step back a bit.

This app profiles 24 different types of women, paraphrasing each of their personalities like CliffsNotes. If you’re out with the bros trying to get your date on, this app provides you with all the tricks you’ll need to crack any lady’s code. The collection of stereotypes spans the gamut from Treehugger to Trouble.

Once you pick a girl, you flip her card to reveal the magic: opening lines to use, favorites in each genre, and relative places of interest nearby. If you’re lucky enough that these tips bag you a babe, you can add her to your Brag List and even share this information with your friends.

Wait, really?

It’s the kind of thing you have to see with your own eyes because it’s that hard to believe, but it’s also that real. On the one hand, it’s impossible not to find this app offensive, and not “as a woman,” but as any self-respecting individual who is familiar with the Golden Rule. 

But at the same time, how seriously is this app to be taken? We can guess the audience they are aiming for—AMP energy drinks aren’t exactly geared towards musicians or actors—but who is actually going to participate in this game?

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Let’s say a group of bros decides to download this app and really put it to the test. Aside from the icebreaker lines, almost everything else relies on the Internet for answers: best of lists, blog posts or tweets, genre histories, etc. The Internet itself takes quite a few minutes to load before anyone could even read the articles thoroughly enough to retain the information.

Realistically, how does this work? A dude ditches his friends to hole up in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes while he crams in dating information? Most of the guys this app is directed at are probably not even coherent enough when they’re out to take in and resume all that information.

Besides, with lines like these: “I’d trade my vintage concert t-shirt for your phone number” (Indie Girl); and “Why do people say feminists aren’t hot?”

(Women’s Studies Major), it would be pretty hard to meet a girl who would do anything but laugh at you if you tried them.

At its best, AMP UP aspires to replicate the humor of a Judd Apatow movie but doesn’t quite succeed. At its worst—well, this is the easy part—the app insults women, treats them like objects, and boils them down to cookie-cutter personality molds.

Truthfully, I think before guys use this app as a tool to hit on women, they will laugh about it together. And the joke is on anyone who would believe this is the way to meet or talk to women in the first place.

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Jesse Sposato

Jesse Sposato is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer, and one of the founders and editors of Sadie Magazine, an online counter-culture magazine for young women.

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