Smile, Frown or Flirt: The Three Profile Pic Expressions Examined

Most people will say it’s always better to smile in a photo. You look friendly, happy, welcoming, etc. when you smile. But is that truly the case for an online dating profile photo? What sort of facial expression works in dating profiles to catch the eye of potential matches?

An OKCupid blog post set out to examine dating profile facial expressions in detail. The author found some interesting results just by poring over the vast collection of photos on the site. Women smile in 56% of their photos, while men smile in just 37% of theirs. Meanwhile, men make a “flirty face” just 2% of the time, while women make it about 9% of the time. So that’s how the actual pics shake out; now what actually WORKS?

Flirting with the camera gets girls the most messages.

Flirting with the camera gets girls the most messages.

By and large, the flirty face gets a woman the most messages from prospective dates, but there’s a caveat: She must be flirting AT the camera, not away from it. Women who make the flirty face but don’t make eye contact with the camera get much worse results. It makes sense when you think about it. Men like to be flirted with, but they don’t like to think you’re flirting at someone off to their side. So ladies, send the bedroom eyes at the camera lens, and you’re most likely to get a response.

For the men, the pics that got them the most messages were non-smiling, and also, strangely, non-eye-contact. A man staring off to the side, stone-faced, is more successful than it seems like he should be. The author theorizes that it makes the man look more mysterious, and therefore, more interesting. And once again, if a man makes a flirty face, he needs to do it AT the camera, not off to the side of it.

But most men don’t do the flirty face at all.

 

Online Dating Profile Photos – Three Easy Ways to Get Noticed

We’ve talked before about things you should NOT do in/with your dating profile photo, but there are positive things you can do with your photo that will help you get the right kind of notice. Dating profile photos are basically the first impression you give to someone, after all, so how you come across matters a great deal. The folks at eHarmony crunched some numbers and came up with some patterns for what profile photos work and why, so here are a few tips based on their findings that just might give you a hand in catching someone’s eye.

  1. Post several photos to your dating profile. The first and best piece of advice is generally to have more than one photo on your profile. The eHarmony numbers say go even higher: those with 4 or more pics on their profile got the most communication. When you think about it, it makes sense: you can showcase yourself in a variety of ways, from a variety of angles and in various lights, and paint a complete picture of who you are.
  2. Putyour best (left) face forward. Studies have shown that, when people are presented two photos that are similar but show different sides of a person’s face, the photos that show the left side of the face are called more pleasing to look at. As it turns out, the left side of our face shows more emotion. You don’t have to go completely in profile, though; find a photo that shows your face turned just slightly, with the left side showing more than the right. Don’t have a good pic of yourself showing your left side? Take a good right-sided pic and flip it in a photo editing program.
  3. Go for 3×4 landscape pics or portrait-style pics, all at a medium distance.
    Medium distance shows more of who you are.

    Medium distance shows more of who you are.

    Again, this makes sense when you think about it. A medium distance (say, showing you from the waist up) displays your face well but also shows more of you than just your face, giving the potential date a chance to see more of your body type (because like it or not, that matters, and too many people have horror stories about meeting up with someone who didn’t match their self-reported body type). Make sure you shot is focused and well-lit, and don’t crop other people out of pics that you’re in. It just looks bad to do that.

To Shave or Not To Shave: Do Women Prefer Beards?

Is this attractive?

Is this attractive?

In recent years, facial hair has surged back into style. And we’re not just talking about standard beards and mustaches. A wide variety of lengths and designs are popping up on faces nationwide. From the close-trimmed “I haven’t shaved in a few days” scruffy look to the longer, more hipster, “I wear a beanie with my horn rims every day” look, beards are back like never before. But do they actually make men more attractive to women?

According to some sources, the jury is still out. Many women claim to see beards as manly and sexy, while others claim they look messy, lazy or otherwise unpleasant. A lot depends on the shape of the face wearing the beard, of course, and in most cases, it comes down to each individual beard evaluated by each individual woman. That said, however, studies have begun to give some parameters to the best of beards and their appeal to ladies.

CBS News reported on a study in 2014 that explains some beard science.

“When shown men’s faces, men and women study participants consistently rated the faces with beards or stubble as more attractive than clean-shaven faces,” the article notes. “But beards were most alluring when facial hair was rare, whereas clean-shaven faces gained in popularity when hairy faces were the norm.”

So beards and stubble are good, as long as not EVERY face is beards and stubble. This, the article suggests, could be why beards go in and out of style as time progresses. We go through beard eras, then clean-shaven eras, and each time the cycle repeats when the style is new or rare again. Facial hair, the scientists said, is most attractive when it’s the exception to popular style, not the rule.

Should you grow (or keep) a beard for your online dating profile pics? Right now, beards are very much in fashion, so you may actually stand out more by NOT having one. But in the end, you should opt for a look that best suits your bone structure and your style. Ask your friends and family for their honest opinion. Try a few looks and see what looks best on you. Be yourself, above all else, and that confidence will help you in the long run.