Choosing Profile Pics

I have had to learn which profile pictures work and which ones don’t through trial end error. I learned almost immediately that group photos were a no-no, as were pictures from too far away, photos with anything covering my face, including hats, sunglasses, shade. I discovered pretty quickly that anything covering the face suggests I may have some kind of gross disfigurement that I am trying to hide, perhaps I have a skin condition, maybe I’m cross-eyed. I’m not – but Tom, 36, from Redfern has no way of knowing that and might swipe left just to be safe. So, I abandoned anything too arty for good old, standard headshots that showed my full face, including my teeth.   

But there is a danger in this approach too. I have had men enquire as to why I only have shots of my face and requested full-length shots of me before willing to chat further. Just to “be sure”. Chill out, dude, I promise I have legs. Probably too fat for you though, which is what many men assume when you don’t have full body photographs. Sending them full-length pics does sort of take the enjoyment out of meeting up and seeing the look on their face when they realise I’m actually a Centaur though.

Actual photo of me
(Credit: Ginger Opal)

I understand that people have physical requirements in their minds for what their partner should look like, and that’s fair enough. But with the rise of social media there is more pressure than ever on our appearances. It seems everyone on Instagram is either a personal trainer, supermodel or influencer of some sort, so everyone looks fit, tanned, primped, preened, and perfect one hundred percent of the time and those who aren’t must be in constant state of anxiety. Social media is pushing some pretty hectic ideals for us mere mortals to live up to and dating apps allow us to be pretty picky.

I have a type I tend to be attracted to. But some of the best dates I have have been on are with people who aren’t that type, who don’t train six days per week or even at all, who may in fact be the complete opposite of what I would normally go for. It’s about chemistry rather than centimetres.

It’s hard to tell if you’re going to have chemistry with someone from a photo. There’s no vibe, you can’t tell what sort of presence a person has until you meet them in person. You can’t hear the sound of their voice. You can’t watch the way that they move. You don’t know how they interact with people around them. It’s difficult to see their character. Sometimes they show it to you via their words and sentiments when you start messaging each other but with online dating apps you’re basically making choices based on the quality of people’s photos and that is how they are making choices about you. So:

  • Ditch the sunglasses, hats, shades, ski mask
  • Smile (showing your teeth)
  • Make sure you’re close enough to the camera (that fleck in the distance that might be you is no good)
  • Avoid group photos (which one are you?)
  • Make sure the pics are of a good quality (not grainy)
  • Choose pics that are relatively recent (less than 5 years old)
  • Be sure to get your hooves and tail in the shot

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