The world of online dating: Profile Pictures


What does your online dating profile say about you? More importantly, what does that oh-so-important photo say about you? Does it say, “I’m a really put together single person looking for the love of my life” or does it just scream “douchebag!” or “I’m easy, come and get me”? Don’t be so quick to dismiss this post. Remember, I just spent about six months researching a book about dating, which means I spent A LOT of time on dating websites and you would be just as shocked as I was at what I saw. You may even be just as shocked if you took a good look at your own profile.

Putting your best foot forward takes time and it takes some tweaking. You can never proofread too much and there’s nothing wrong with constantly revising and revamping what you have to say on your profile. What isn’t okay is putting shitty pictures up for the world to see. In my book I write:

For the love of God, keep your shirt on. Believe it or not, this applies to women, too. This is no joke. First, to you men: I don’t care how ripped and beautiful you are, you can show that hunky body off at the gym. I wince when I’m reviewing a profile and suddenly happen upon a shirtless photo. Grow up! This isn’t the frat house. And a man in a wife-beater? Holy hell, people. Those piss me off. A shirtless photo of any type will make me pass on the match. Truly. It is juvenile and tells me that you really have nothing more to offer a woman. It also tells me that you really are after only one thing — getting me naked so you can show me more of that six-pack.

Ladies, you too need some work in the photo department. When I did a search for women I was in awe at what I saw. Women in slips standing in seductive poses, women topless but just barely not showing any nipple. Ladies, come on! The message you are sending is this: “pick me because I will fuck you.” Is that really the message you want to send? I have heard time and time again from men that the women they meet on-line put out way too soon. Ladies, you need to respect yourselves and respect your bodies. Make sure your photos capture that. Photos of a strong, independent, fun woman go a lot further with men. Trust me. An air of mystery is much sexier and seductive.

Besides being dressed in your photos you ladies should beware of a few other glaring mistakes. Be wary of wearing too much jewelry and make-up; those of you wearing too much of either look like hookers. Next, ditch the black eyeliner. First of all, it’s not in style. Second, it makes you look like a raccoon in your photos. Remember that when someone does a search all they can initially see is a thumbnail photo. For those of you trying to look earthy and natural, fix your damn hair. You may look cute and unpretentious in real life but the way you’re going about it doesn’t translate well in your photos. Do not be lying in bed; I think you can imagine what that message is sending. If you have black hair do not be dressed in black; think El Vira. Think you’re taking a pouty, seductive photo? Wrong. You look drugged.

Here’s something else women should avoid showing: lots of cats. Like it or not, men do not want to think you are now or will ever become that awkward, smelly, quintessential cat-lady. Whether it’s pictures on your profile or the background picture on your phone, get rid of them. Now. It’s a potential deal killer.

Some other things to avoid for both men and women are taking your own picture and not paying attention to the scenery behind you: the shower, cabinets, white walls, walls with holes in them, you laying on the couch (couch potato, lazy), you in the car looking like a complete dork…just to name a few. And when you take that picture keep your tongue in your mouth. You wouldn’t think I would have to tell you that, would you? Seriously, who thinks that posting their profile picture with their tongue sticking out is cute, fun or sexy? It’s just gross. My seven-year-old son knows better and so should you.

Do not ever take a picture of yourself in the bathroom mirror, even if you are dressed. The ubiquitous bathroom picture is the all-time worst picture. Ever. Look around you at the scenery. A shower curtain with a towel slung over it or a toilet with the seat up. Or worse. These things do not make for a glorious picture. Neither does a barren office wall or a messy desk. Basically, taking your own picture with your phone is never a good idea. Be very aware of what is behind you. Do you look like a slob? Have you ever bothered to hang a picture? Then don’t take a picture in that room. I have been appalled lately at the number of photos I’ve seen of people in the bathroom, women included. For some reason people see a mirror and think, “photo op!” The latest “craze” has been people dressed up at dinner or for work and snapping a photo of themselves in the restaurant or work bathroom. Trust me, this does not make it any better.

I went out with someone recently and while perusing their Facebook photos happened upon a photo of him in the bathroom at work. He felt compelled to post this photo to show everyone his new sweater. Really? I had already stopped seeing him but trust me, had I seen that photo earlier it would have been over right then and there. Have some fucking pride people.

Think about who you would want to go out with and how their photo should or would portray them. Now do the same with your photos. See you online!!

Still Rockin It!!
Scarlet Mom

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About the author
I am a single mom & author. I write about dating, sexuality, health, parenting, and trying to have it all. My new book, "Evolve or Die Single," is a must-read for single men & even has some sizzling tips for couples.

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