Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Online Dating Profile Pics: What NOT to Wear

Alright, I realize that this is going to come off as me being petty and will most likely offend some of you, especially those who have a profile online, but I have to share.

This isn't about me making fun of anyone in particular (alright, it is), but after ignoring my eHarmony profile for over a week, I finally went over there to check out my latest matches and guess what?

There were over 210 matches waiting for me...and not one single profile caught my attention, except for the fact that I suddenly started talking to the people (by name) in the photos and actually taking notes (yes, taking notes).

Here is what I have learned from the profile pictures that came up on my screen and here's what I would suggest to everyone (male or female) who plans on putting their pictures online (or who has done so already).
  1. Don't upload a mirror shot: You know what they look like. You can actually SEE the camera and sometimes a flash...Get someone to take your photo. Anyone. A neighbor, your mom, the guy at the pharmacy who thinks he's taking your passport photo. Better yet, go in one of those photo booths that gives you four chances to get it right.
  2. Don't include a picture from last Halloween: A potential date is not interested in how you look in disguise. She or he wants to see what YOU look like. On a normal day.
  3. Don't include pictures from the bar: You know the one. You have a beer in your hand and you look laid-back and appear to be someone who knows how to have a good time. What this says to people is, "I like taking photos when I'm under the influence. Wait 'til you see what I look like when I'm WASTED!" Not a good message to be sending...
  4. Please, please, please don't include your children (or anyone else's) in your main profile pic: I have a child and I love kids, but the first impression you give when you include children in your main photo is "I'm looking for a new Mom (or Dad) for these adorable kids." Usually, the kids are the first thing people see, not you.
  5. Please put a shirt on: I really can't comprehend why people include photos where they're not wearing a shirt. Usually, when that happens, it's not flattering. No one wants to see you with your shirt off unless you're at the beach, and you're a Chippendale dancer.
  6. Please remove your hat - and your sunglasses: Again, please refer to #2. A potential partner wants to see what you look like - eyes, hair - or whether you have any underneath the cap.
  7. Don't upload a work photo: I can't even tell you how many doctors I've seen in their scrubs, firefighters I've seen with fires blazing in the background and military men in their uniforms. This all leads back to wanting to see what a potential date looks like outside the office (or place of employment).
  8. Please include a photo where you actually look happy to be alive: I've seen way too many photos of people who can't seem to crack a smile. Pretend you like yourself. Then maybe other people will.
  9. Don't include photos that look like they're 'still shots' from your sex tapes: You know the one - the shirtless, awkward angle and expression on the person's face = CREEPY.
  10. Please don't include major close ups: They're never attractive and typically look like the WANTED posters from the nightly news.
  11. If you're in the military, don't upload photos of you in your camo: You look like every other guy in camo...potential partners want to see what YOU look like, not what you look like when you're ready to head into battle...Unless you approach dating defensively, then I suppose it's OK.
  12. Please do not post photos of yourself EATING (Yes, I did come across this one): Photos of you with your mouth full. Not going to earn any points with the women I know (let's face it, women would NEVER post a photo of themselves eating).
  13. College students / military men - Please don't include your photos that showcase the nudey pictures on the wall behind you: The women who view these photos will not see you, but the pics behind you. And that's probably not going to get you a date. But, then again, you never know.
  14. Please don't include photos of you and your friends: Petty, I realize, but if I see a photo with a bunch of guys, I'm checking out the hottest one of the group, and chances are, it's not the one who's looking for a date.
  15. Don't include photos where you're in full scuba gear: So you like to go diving. Great. Why do I want to see a photo of you underwater, with a full wet suit on and a mask covering your ENTIRE face? I want to see what you look like. This photo only tells me what you like to DO.
  16. Last, but certainly not least, please don't submit your profile to an online dating site WITHOUT a picture. I realize that the above "suggestions" might cause someone to want to pursue the online dating thing with just their personality to get them by. It WON'T happen. We all want to SEE what we're getting into and - as long as the above suggestions are applied - you may have some dating success (of course there are no guarantees).
Good luck. And if you see my profile on line, don't worry. The photos of me wearing a hat and glasses, alongside my son and in our Halloween costumes will be removed soon. I pinkie swear.


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