What your profile picture says about you

I once forwarded my friend a picture of a guy from match.com, who had reached out to me.  I was excited about this guy and wrote “I’m excited- a hot, normal guy.”  His profile picture was of him on a boat wearing a T-shirt, hat and sunglasses.  My friend simply wrote back:

“Hat = bald

Sunglasses = wrinkled

Chest up  = short

Let’s not jump to conclusions….”

Yes, sadly this is how many (not all) women think.  I never ended up meeting this guy, but based on his other pictures I would be willing to bet good money that he was neither short, wrinkled or bald.  That being said, it doesn’t matter, since it’s all about perception.  On any online dating site, your picture is the most important aspect of your profile. Both women and men see a person’s profile and immediately create an image of who they think that person is.  If I don’t like what I see in the profile picture I am never going to take the time to read the profile.  Therefore, here are some simple guidelines to creating the image you want, whatever that may be:

1. Under no circumstance should you take a picture of yourself in a mirror with your camera phone.  Are you so anti-social that you don’t have a single picture of yourself with family or friends or standing in front of some famous landmark!? It comes off as trashy or lame. Just don’t do it.

2. Don’t post a muscle picture of yourself at the beach, in a bathroom mirror (see above), or anywhere else.    Unlike men, I have never once heard of a woman going to an online dating site to get laid.  If she is even halfway attractive she can simply go to a bar on any given night and find someone.  Therefore, seeing your perfectly chiseled body is only going to either A) make her think you only are in it for sex and lose interest or B) intimidate her.  The only time I have ever seen a body picture be acceptable is when the guy is in the pool/water with either a bunch of friends playing around or playing with a kid (usually a niece or nephew) and the focus isn’t on his body, it’s on his activity.

3.  You must include pictures with friends.  In The Departed Alec Baldwin’s character says “Marriage is an important part of getting ahead: … people see the ring, they think at least somebody can stand the son of a bitch…”.  Well for that same reason, you need to include pictures with friends, or at lease pictures in which it is clear that you cropped friends out.  If you don’t have a single picture with a friend, women assume you have no friends and therefore must be a socially inept shut-in or a weirdo.

4. If you are posting pictures with women other than family members make sure the women are hot, but classy.  Any woman in your pictures should look like the type of women you want to date.  Women are extremely territorial so the best thing you can do is include pictures with other woman to spark their competitive nature and prove that you are appealing to other women (even if it is just a friend or even your friend’s girlfriend). Be warned, this is a tricky tactic that can easily backfire.  If the woman is too hot, it is intimidating, but if she is too plain looking we think “he must not be that great, I can do better.” (although I would say it is safer to go with a plain Jane than a super gorgeous woman). One guy I was initially interested in had pictures of himself from what looked like a club in Vegas with two women with fake boobs, wearing close to nothing and he had a shit-eating grin on his face.  As soon as I saw that picture I thought “gross, what a creepster!”  I get that pictures like that might give you huge bragging rights when shared with your guy friends, but they will never appeal to women. Honestly, if he thought that made him look good I shudder to think how he would be in real life.

5. Never try to make a sexy face! Men, your sexiness lies in your manliness, and there is NOTHING manly about you trying to look sexy. According to OK Trends the most effective pictures are those taken in which you are not smiling, although smiling doesn’t hurt and I have to say, personally there is nothing better than a good smile.  Also, it doesn’t matter if your profile picture is a clear picture of your face versus a full-body shot. Therefore find whatever your best asset is and make sure it is the focus of your picture.  Like i said, it is all about perception.  The profile picture just has to be good enough that it makes her consider you.

6. Be aware of the clothes you are wearing in your pictures.  Although your pictures might be taken on a random day when you happened to just throw any old shirt on, a woman will look at that and think that is reflective of your style.  Be sure your clothes reflect the style you would want in a woman.  For example, if you want a classic, preppy woman, you should be wearing classic, preppy clothes whereas if you want an edgy, artistic woman you should be wearing something with an edgier style.


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