There is simply no excuse for posting an unflattering profile picture on a dating website. None. We live in an age of technology. Nearly every person in America (especially most people on a dating website) owns a cell phone, a laptop, or some other mobile device capable of taking pictures. So it’s not that hard to take a picture, much less a good one. Maybe yours won’t be professional model-grade quality, but nevertheless, it is not difficult to have some great, interest-garnering pictures.These principles will help you as you choose your profile pictures:
1. Have One (Preferably three or four but definitely no fewer than one)
If you don’t have a picture, people are going to assume that you have something to hide. (And please, no whining about the superficiality of society. This is a dating website in which the ONLY information people have to go on is the picture you provide and the few scant paragraphs with which you sum up the whole of your personhood. If you were truly concerned about superficiality, you wouldn’t be wasting your time with making connections through online dating anyway.)Your pictures are dreadfully important because they will say just as much (if not more) than your words will.
“But I’m not attractive!” you might protest. So what? Believe me, I’ve seen MANY unattractive people on plenty of fish. but some of them have some great pictures.You don’t have to be a supermodel to showcase your best physical attributes. In the timeless words of Mr. Bullfrog from the musical HONK! (If you haven’t seen it, do so Immediately): “The ugliest of creatures has a few redeeming features…. There’s no need for disguise–even some potatoes have got nice eyes!” Play to your strengths. And even if you don’t feel that way, take a picture in which you look like you are happy and confidant.
2. Be current
Even if that picture from five years ago looks fantastic, if it looks nothing like you look now, don’t us it. If you have gained 30 pounds, lost a limb, succumbed to anorexia, DON’T USE PICTURES THAT DON’T LOOK LIKE YOU. Only post pictures that approximate what people can expect to see when they meet you in person. Most of the people I’ve spoken to affirm that when they meet up with someone who is much heavier than indicated in their profile pictures, they aren’t half as concerned with the differences presented as with the deception that was involved. Any relationship is built on trust. Don’t give people reason to question your trustworthiness from the get-go. Be honest.
3. Wear Clothes (preferably flattering ones)
This should be a no-brainer, and yet it seems that an increasing number of people are confusing a dating profile with an underwear commercial campaign. Guys, wear a shirt. You might have amazing ab muscles, but let that be something a girl gets to know AFTER she gets to know you. I don’t message people who aren’t fully clothed. You shouldn’t either. Some people feel less strongly about shirtless-ness than I do, but may we all be agreed that there is just no excuse for not wearing pants? None.
It doesn’t have to be be big and cheesy, but come on, at least TRY to appear pleasant and approachable
The above guidelines are a great start, but as you follow those general “do’s”, there are also a few things you should avoid.
*Post pictures of you with hot members of the opposite gender
It flabbergasts me to see how many guys on dating websites post pictures of themselves with hot women. seriously? The point is to find a relationship with someone new, NOT to brag about former conquests. [Especially avoid pictures featuring you + scantily clad members of the opposite gender] You might think the picture conveys your amazing powers of attraction. But, honestly, all it conveys is that you are not too concerned with finding someone new.
*side note: It DOES NOT MATTER that the hot woman might be your sister. The casual viewer would need to read the fine print in the caption in order to know that. But I don’t bother reading the captions if it looks like a man is perfectly content with the women he already has in his life. When selling a home, a Realtor tries to get a client to imagine himself in the home being shown. A profile pic is similar. You want potential dates to imagine themselves with you. But when I’m looking at a pic of a guy with another girl, I’m not imagining myself with that guy. I’m imagining HER with him. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot like that.
*Post my-ex-is-cropped-out photos
I don’t care HOW great you think you look. If it is obvious that another person was a prominent figure in the picture, and portions of their arm are still visible around your waist, it’s time to take a new picture.
*Feature Alcohol in every single picture
You like social drinking, I get it. But unless you’re an alcoholic, you should do your best to show that you have other interests as well.
*Make Vulgar Gestures
I’ve seen several profile pictures in which guys are flipping off the camera. What part of that is someone supposed to find attractive?
*Overpopulate your picture
If you have so many people in your picture that it looks more like a party than a profile, save the picture for date five when you are describing your awesome friends. You need to be the star of your own profile. I hate looking at a picture without knowing who I should be looking at.
*Also, keep kids out of your pictures. Be honest about having them, but this is a safety issue. Keep kids anonymous.
While this list is certainly not exhaustive, these four do’s and five don’ts should help guide you toward better profile pictures. (At the very least, they will make you more likely to receive responses from judgmental elitists such as myself ^_^)