Sex & Love

Fifty First (J) Dates: Picking Your Pic(k): A Primer

Sadly, far and away the most important part of an online dating profile is the photograph. I know, we want to pretend we aren’t superficial here, or morbidly curious, but it’s really really important. Which is why I thought I … Read More

By / August 9, 2010
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Sadly, far and away the most important part of an online dating profile is the photograph. I know, we want to pretend we aren’t superficial here, or morbidly curious, but it’s really really important. Which is why I thought I would give my four cents (my cents count more) about how to pick a profile photo.

1. You must have a photo.

I know, you want people to judge you on your beautiful poem that is reminiscent of Tennyson and cleverly includes your love of cats playing pianos. We just want to see what you look like. I consider profiles without pictures to be burying the lead. When someone doesn’t have a picture, it makes me think they have something to hide. I’m not saying looks are the only thing that matters, but they do play a large part, at least at first.

2. Have it only be of you.

Having someone else in your photo can be a lose/lose sitch. If it’s a person of the same sex, the person looking at your profile will assume you’re trying to look hotter standing next to your ugliest amigo, or that you’re trying to become osmotically hot by standing next to your friend who resembles Javier Bardem (Hola, Javier. Si estas leyendo, llamame!)

It’s just not going to fly either way. It’s worse if it’s with someone of the opposite sex, as if to say “I know I’m on a dating site but yes I did at one point in my existence have physical contact with the other species.”

3. Include some parts of your body.

It’s okay if the initial profile picture isn’t a body shot. But you have to include at least one, if only for the reason that people will assume you have something to hide about your body (even if you don’t and are shaped like Audrina Patridge. In which case you should most definitely include bikini shots. Shake what the plastic surgeon gave ya!)

The person you go out with is going to find out how you look physically anyway, so it’s best not to deceive.

4. Do not wear sunglasses or have it be from far away.

These are both red flags. And if you look like an ant, I’m not having it. Too close is equally as bad. Boogerz.

5. Make it a recent photo.

It’s very easy to tell that you’re using a photo that was taken the night you peaked at Senior Prom. Sixteen years ago. (When you had Room 405 on reserve, with the key clinking in your pocket and you couldn’t wait to show off your bra-removal ambidexterity.)

Make it a recent photo. Nobody wants to think they’re going out with Ben Stiller but really they’re ending up with Jerry.