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The Secret to a Sexy Profile Picture

What you don’t know about your profile picture could hurt you. Dr. Smartass lays bare what men and women really want to see when it comes to self-promoting snapshots.

By (@doctorsmartass)

January 25, 2010

Got a question for Dr. Smartass? E-mail doc [at] esarcasm.com.

Dr. SmartassYour profile picture, my good readers, reveals many things. It gives others a glimpse at whether you’re hot or not, sure — but it also provides plenty of other subtle clues about your personality. And nowhere is this more evident than in the dog-eat-dog world of online dating.

From my inbox:

Dear Dr. Smartass,

What’s the best kind of self-pic to use to get girls’ attention online?


Dylan, you dapper little donkey, have I ever the answer for you. My own advice, of course, would be to don a white lab coat and goofy glasses (let’s just say your trusty virtual doc doesn’t dress like this for Dan and JR’s benefit).

Personal courting methods aside, though, the professional mating-orchestrators at OkCupid.com have just wrapped up a study into profile pics and how they affect the opposite sex. Whether you’re on a full-fledged dating site like theirs or simply showing off your goods at Facebook, these findings could help you put your best self on display.

The study breaks down the booty-seeking mission into three main profile pic principles:

1. Your Smile

No big surprise, the ladies smile and make “flirty faces” nearly four times as often as guys, according to OkCupid’s research. And with the chicks, it works: Females looking straight into the camera with subtly sexy expressions seem to get the most messages from men. Those with full-blown smiles follow with a close second.

For us guys, however, the effect is slightly different. Men with coy, flirty smiles still get the most attention — but looking away from the camera works best for the males, claims the OkCupid crew.

So smolder away, Sir Dylee-Dyll, but avert your gaze. Or just follow your doc’s lead and get the goofy glasses.

2. Your Pose

A casual, self-shot photo seems to be your best bet, gauging from this online dating investigation. Both guys and girls responded more to potential mates with cell phone- or Webcam-style shots in the OkCupid analysis.

See? Everyone loves a good facial. I don’t know why Mrs. S won’t believe me.

3. Your Bod

Whether you’re a guy or a girl, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. For the women, showing some cleavage will grab the guys’ attention — but that’s not telling you anything you didn’t already know.

The slightly less expected finding: Despite their public denials, the ladies love a guy who shows off his ab-crunching, according to OkCupid’s number-crunching. Shirtless guys were among the most-contacted men in the dating site’s membership.

You know, all this talk has your dear Dr. S thinking about switching to a shirt-free, open-coated photo for this column. World, get ready to meet the most exquisite areolas you’ve ever seen.


Showing off some sexy skin
Can help you score a dating win.
The one exception to being a tease
Is if you look like Dom DeLuise.

Until next time,

Dr. Smartass

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