Advantages and disadvantages of selfies on dating apps and profile pictures that work
Before you post another selfie, say, looking like an adorable freckled dog, to your OkCupid profile or upload it to one of your favorite dating apps — be it Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, etc. – the people of Plenty of Fish has put together some interesting data on how different types of selfies affect how people see you and, as they say, “how a selfie can make or break your dating game.”
Believe it or not, they’ve found some fascinating insights into how selfies affect your online dating experience.
First, of course, you have to relax. Yes, there are ways selfies can negatively impact the effectiveness of your dating profile, but there are also a whole host of different ways selfies actually improve your online dating experience if you know how to take them. A voucher.
How Selfies Help You Find Love
- 91% of singles have a selfie on their dating profile.
- 86% of single people are more likely to message someone who has a selfie on their dating app profile.
- 73% of singles think selfies can be great conversation starters.
- 60% of singles think a selfie on someone’s profile shows they’re confident!
- 51% of singles do not use filters, believing that their own face is strong enough on its own!
- 53% of singles take between 2 and 5 photos to get the perfect selfie, so (somewhere around) the third time is the charm.
I don’t know about you, but these discoveries have made me feel better about the wealth of selfies I’ve taken in my relatively short life.
Show me someone who doesn’t have a real graveyard of selfies on their phone, and I’ll show you a liar. Or, at the very least, I’ll show you someone who’s awesome at remembering to delete their photos. and empty their trash folder.
If you feel guilty about using a selfie as your profile picture, these results should be very reassuring, because it turns out most people do the same.
When you think about it, this information makes a lot of sense. After all, it’s not exactly the easiest or most comfortable thing in the world to ask a friend to take a picture of you that you can use to find the man or woman of your dreams.
Besides finding out all those things that make selfies perfect for use in dating profiles, there are definitely some selfie sins people commit that could risk banishing you to the “totally undateable” category, and at the least one of them shouldn’t surprise you in the least.
How selfies decrease your chances of finding love
- 67% of singles have taken a selfie in the bathroom.
- The biggest pet peeve of selfies (at 26%) is duck lips, followed by poor image quality and a messy room in the background.
Guys, there’s no reason to do this. Most smartphones these days can be configured in such a way – via timers, mounts, selfie sticks, etc. – that you should be perfectly capable of taking the perfect shot without giving us any of that “I needed the mirror” nonsense.
Plus, if you’re looking for privacy, there are about a million other places you can take a photo that won’t give potential partners the sudden urge to wash their hands.
I have to admit, I might personally believe that posing with a ducky pout is a more unforgivable crime of self-portraiture than taking a selfie in the bathroom. We now live in a time where everyone knows what duck lips are, so there’s literally no excuse to think you can get away with this kind of silly and frankly unflattering shenanigans.
To sum up, you won’t find me or anyone else in the online dating business complaining about the number of people posting selfies. In fact, it looks more suspicious if you don’t have one on your dating profile!
How to Take Great Dating Profile Pictures
1. Smile sincerely.
In addition to making you come across as a happy, balanced person, numerous studies have shown that smiling in your dating profile picture makes you more approachable. But when using photos of you smiling, make sure they’re genuine smiles – perhaps a photo taken by a friend.
There are also certain ways of smiling that make you more or less attractive. For example, a study by Coffee Meets Bagel found that women with their heads tilted while smiling were 71% more likeable, while only 5% of men found a woman smiling in their profile picture to be likeable.
2. Show your creative side.
Potential matches aren’t interested in someone who doesn’t have a hobby or creative outlets. Mixed in with your other profile pictures, it’s essential to include photos of yourself expressing yourself, whether through painting, drawing, writing, or other artistic outlets.
A study determined that, for men, photos that showed creative self-expression—painting, poetry, and photography—were associated with the number of sexual partners reached. In a separate studyactivities found to be the most creative and engaging included photographing artistic photos, recording music, and playing in a band.
3. Pay attention to lighting and angles.
When deciding which photos to use of yourself for your dating profile photos, pay close attention to the lighting in the photo, as well as the angle at which your photo is taken.
Lighting: Rather than using flash in your photos, opt for softer light instead, as this will hide imperfections and make you look naturally attractive. For example, shoot outdoors rather than in a dimly lit area.
In a OkCupid surveyIt turns out that the best time to take a photo outdoors is during Golden Hour: just before sunset or just after sunrise.
Angles: Believe it or not, we all have a good side. But for dating profile pictures, your left side might just be the perfect angle for you. Studies have even determined that there is a stronger preference for photos showing the left side of your face, not the right side.
4. Avoid sunglasses.
Want to post a nice photo of you from the beach or driving around in your car on a nice day? Make sure you don’t wear sunglasses in your photos!
Turns out the pictures that hide your eyes make you look untrustworthy and much less sympathetic, which can significantly reduce your chances of a match. Make sure all of your dating profile pictures include your eyes, unobstructed by sunglasses.
Photo: Look Studio/Shutterstock
5. Do not use photos containing alcohol.
While it may seem like you’re letting potential mates know you have a fun side, posting photos on your dating profile with booze in the frame could actually hurt your chances of a match. Why? Because it makes you look less intelligent.
Known as the “idiot’s imbibition effect”, it seems that because alcohol leads to impairment, both mental and physical, daters are more likely to perceive you as less intelligent. So, maybe skip the photo of you sipping your Long Island iced tea.
6. Include a photo of you wearing red.
No one can deny that a little black dress or fashionable outfit will grab the attention of a match, but science is there to tell you the most important color to add to your dating profile pictures: red. Whether you are a man or a woman, wearing red makes you more attractive!
Because the color of our blood is red, science says attraction is based on this, as it is linked to fertility. So pull out your favorite red shirt or lipstick and wait for those matches to come flooding in.
7. Add a full body photo.
To complement your other photos on your profile, consider adding a photo of yourself that includes your full body. Not only can you show off your proportions, but if you get the angle and lighting just right, you’ll look even more attractive.
Remember to be confident in this photo. Maybe it’s a photo from a friend’s wedding, or maybe it’s a photo where you feel really good. Whatever the reason, just make sure there’s nothing in the background of the photo to distract you.
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Photo: KK_face / Shutterstock
8. Add variety.
Rather than including five photos of the same type – whether it’s a photo of you in the mirror, using the same pose, or a photo with a pet – variety is the spice of life! And it will let potential matches see how versatile you are.
Include a photo of your face, of course, but also consider including photos with your friends, doing some kind of adventurous activity, or even a professional photo. The point is to show other daters that you don’t just have one good pose.
9. Leave potential dates wondering.
Just as you don’t openly share everything about you on a first date, the same goes for your dating profile pictures. It is essential to create a mystery about who you are and your interests. This will make you more intriguing and have potential matches asking more questions about you.
A study found that creating mystery in this sense is because we are drawn to unconventional interests and determined to find out more about that particular person. A good example might be sharing a photo of you performing a weird task, like juggling, or in an environment that isn’t so common, like Stonehenge.
10. Ditch the filters.
The most important part of dating and adding a photo to your profile is to always be yourself. Forget about adding filters that enlarge your eyes, your blemish-free skin, or the presence of dog ears.
Not only are the filters annoying, but they’re easily detectable and will only trick potential daters into thinking you’re lying about who you really are.
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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a freelance writer and the former Pop Culture Editor at Newsweek with a passion for lifestyle, geek news and true crime.