Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Advice for Men: Profile Pictures

Subtitle: I want to see your face


Look, I'll be the first to admit it. Despite every profile proclaiming to hate the "superficial" bar scene, online dating is just as superficial. Your picture is the most important part of your profile. Anything else—likes, dislikes, intelligence, humor—is secondary. It's a fact of life. Like it or not, you have to be attracted to a person to date him or her. Of course, I understand that you cannot necessarily tell if you're attracted to a person based on a two-dimensional picture. The way I approach it: If I feel there's even a possibility I could be attracted to the guy, even if the attraction is not immediate, I'll give his profile a closer look.

Is online dating based on appearances just as much as real life? Of course it is. Do I reject profiles because I don't find the man attractive? Yes. Does that make me a bad person? I think not.

That said, men, please put some thought into your picture. Or rather, pictures. All of the dating sites I've been on (JDate, eHarmony, and Match) allow you to post multiple pictures. Match allows up to 26 pictures.

You would think that gives you more than adequate opportunity for me to ACTUALLY SEE WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE.

What does that mean, exactly? It means I want. To see. Your FACE.

What do I not want to see?
  1. I don't want to see 10 zoomed out photos of you performing extreme sports. You can write  about your snowboarding adventures in your profile. I'll believe you. I promise.
  2. I don't want to see shots of you in a row with 8 other people. Especially if it's far away. I don't know you. I can't always tell which one is you.
  3. I don't want to see a picture of your dog by himself. Okay, so you like animals. I'm not thinking about dating your dog. At least BE IN the picture with your dog.
  4. I don't want to see 15 pictures of you wearing large sunglasses. I CAN'T SEE YOUR FACE.
  5. I don't want to see a blurry shot of you holding your cell phone to a mirror. Really? You don't have a single photo of you taken with an actual camera? 
I understand the rationale behind these types of photos. You want to show the range of your interests and personality. If you must include a sports photo, a fraternity photo, a sunglasses photo, then you must. ONE of each. You have 23 more opportunities for me to see your eyes, your smile, your hair, your... let me hear it... FACE!

Seeing your body is nice too, but for me, and I think for most girls, the face is the most important part of determining if I'm attracted to you. One more request: please smile. Maybe it's macho to look all serious and angry and emotionless, but it doesn't make me see you as a fun guy with an irresistible smile. There are some things I'll take your word for—like your mountain biking hobby or your pet shih tzu—but not your sexy blue eyes or your love for laughter.

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