Dating site OKCupid has over 1.5 million users and periodically pulls some interesting data about its users. For example, what profile picture will get the most “likes” on Facebook, or requests for a date?
The 4 Big Myths About Profile Pictures
Myth #1: It’s better to smile.
For women, smiling is better than not smiling, but the profile picture that’ll get the most responses is a flirty face looking directly at the camera. (Interestingly enough, a flirty face looking away from the camera is the worst option for women.) For men, an unsmiling picture looking away from the camera gets the best responses.
Myth #2: The “MySpace angle” is lame
You know this picture – hold your cell phone just above your head and take a self-portrait at a slightly skewed angle. Believe it or not, it’s single-most effective shot for women to get a positive response.
Myth #3: Showing off your abs (or your boobs) is dumb.
Truth? If you got it, flaunt it. Men who show off their muscles in their profile picture get a response 9 out of 10 times, whereas a picture of them drinking or traveling will only get them 4 or 5. For women, a cleavage shot (with the camera slightly looking down their shirt) will get twice as many responses as a normal picture.
Myth #4: Show your face.
Your picture should be of you, yes, but if your face is in the picture… well, it doesn’t matter. An artsy shot of just your shoulder will get as much attention as a close-up of your face.
Maximize Your Sexy: 4 More Profile Picture Tips
1. Do you want people to “like” your picture, or actually talk to you?
If you want an intelligent conversation, a picture of yourself doing something interesting (traveling, playing an instrument, etc) will more likely lead to a real exchange of messages. If you’re just interested in a hookup or some cheap compliments to boost your ego, then go with a boob or ab shot.
2. How old is the picture?
Truth about profile pictures: the more attractive the photo, the more likely it’s out-of-date (a year older or more). So if she looks really hot, you’re probably actually thinking she looked really hot in 1997. For your profile, go with the more recent photo, not your high school yearbook picture.
3. Camera flash adds seven years to your face.
Soft light hides wrinkles and blemishes, but a bright, harsh light will bring them out. No matter what age, a picture without flash got a higher rating on OK Cupid than a picture with flash. Always.
4. The best time of day to take your photo is in the afternoon.
There’s a “golden hour” right after sunrise and just before sunset, but generally speaking the best time of day to take your photo is between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m.
If you still have absolutely no idea what picture is best, try MyBestFace – if you upload a few pictures and analyze attractiveness of others, it’ll measure composite features and decide which one you should be using as your default profile picture.