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Picture Perfect

February 6, 2008

It goes without saying that Sylvia and I have done our fair share on online dating. Throughout the process, we’ve seen thousands of profile pictures posted by both men and women (yep, we’re totally checking out the competition). We’ve also done enough experimentation with our own profile pictures to qualify for a quasi-experimental study. We’ve determined what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t work.

The following is a list of the common faux pas we see:

  1. 415239092_54b932843f1.jpg
  1. Baseball Caps = Men: You’re bald or going bald. Women: I’m sorry, it’s just not statistically possible for that many women to like sports.
  2. Whited-out or blurred out people = Multiple choice: a. You’re embarrassed to be doing online dating. b. You’re still getting over your ex and you totally cried as you whited out their face before scanning the picture in.  c. a and b. Lethal combo.
  3. Blurry/grainy photo = You’re ugly. -or- The picture should be returned to your 80’s scrapbook.
  4. Company picture = You know the one. You’re dressed up in a suit in front of the Olan Mills background. You either don’t have much of a social life or work is priority #1.
  5. Lying on the bed making bedroom eyes to the camera = See 2b. I learned this one the hard way.
  6. Lead picture looks nothing like the others or you only have one picture = The old bait n’ switch. Too high of a probability that you’re 5 inches shorter, 25 pounds fatter, or 10 years older.
  7. Picture of your reflection in a mirror = This must be an art class 101 project I’ve seen it so many times. Yawn.
  8. Sitting in your car taking pictures of yourself with your camera phone = There are just so many things that are wrong about this I don’t know where to start.

For advice from nice people about profile pictures, see:

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One Comment leave one →
  1. His Rythmic Majesty Hercules Wollstonecraft Paramour IV permalink
    September 29, 2011 7:35 PM

    I have a few other ones, from a Man’s (that’s right, capital ‘M’) perspective:

    1. Don’t take a photo of yourself shirtless, or wearing a speedo. In the bathroom mirror or otherwise.

    2. Consider carefully before posting a picture of yourself taken in costume at a Halloween party, or at any party where you are riding a buzz and raising a beer in toast to the photographer.

    3. Don’t use a blurry outdoor shot of you taken with a telephoto lens.

    4. I suppose if you are posting on a gay dating site, you can ignore number 1.

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