10 Tricks to Look Amazing in Your Online Dating Photo

A picture can be worth a thousand dates. Literally. Research shows that your online dating photo is most often the deciding factor when it comes to whether a potential suitor will reach out or pass you by. (Gee thanks, Tinder.) Fortunately, we’ve devised this handy guide to help you look your best.

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  • Sure, a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. But if a trout could operate a twelve-speed, chances are they’d take it for the occasional joyride. With that lighthearted approach to online dating (and dating in general), we're offering up some fail-safe tips to help make your profile photo stand out from the pack. Follow our lead and you’ll have ‘em falling hook, line, and sinker.

  • Style Your Hair Down

    While we ladies go weak in the knees over an adorable pixie cut or a voluptuous topknot, it’s a sad fact of life that men prefer women with long hair (it probably has something to do with cascading locks signifying fertility, blah blah blah, sexual Darwinism). Anyway, if you’re really in it to win it, wear your hair down.

  • Full Length Shots Are Best

    According to a new study conducted by the dating website, Zoosk.com, user profiles featuring full-body shots receive a whopping 203 percent more messages than those with cropped photos or close-ups. Translation? Potential mates like to see the whole package.

  • Stay Indoors

    The same Zoosk.com study also reported that women whose photos were taken indoors received 60 percent more messages than those who were shot outdoors. This probably has less to do with any outdated, misogynistic notion that a woman’s place is the home and more to do with the ambient, flattering lighting offered by said home.

  • Pass On the Prints

    It’s painful, we know, but you’re better off leaving that fab new Peter Pilotto dress in the closet. Patterns, and metallics for that matter, are apt to make the picture look too busy and detract from the center of attention (i.e. you).

  • Wear Red

    According to the results of a study reported in the new book, Drunk Tank Pink, women received anywhere from 4 to 7 percent more emails from men when they wore red. One possible explanation is the color’s historic association with passion and romance (see: Valentine’s Day). Moreover, from a biological standpoint, red signifies sexual reception (see: a baboon’s rear end).

  • Do Your Own Makeup

    Unless you have beauty guru Pat McGrath on speed dial, it’s best to DIY your own primping. You’re likely to do a better job at making you look like, well, you, than a professional makeup artist. Besides, you're not going to be wearing false eyelashes or airbrushed foundation when you meet your date so you don't want to be accused of false advertising.

  • No Flash Photography

    In addition to giving you an epic case of redeye, the harsh glare of flash photography has the tendency to make subjects look older. So unless you’re out to snag a WWII veteran, make sure that little lightening bolt symbol is switched to the off position.

  • Dress Like You're Going On a Date

    This is an easy way to automatically eliminate anything that’s too sexy, too frumpy, or too eccentric. For more info on what not to wear on a date, check out what the experts have to say on the issue.

  • Leave Fido Out of It

    Studies show that photos with pets are less likely to elicit a response. The same goes for pictures that include other people. Apparently, would-be suitors simply don’t have the time/facial recognition skills to pick you out of a lineup of all your BFFs partying on a beach in Cabo. Best to go it solo.

  • Skip the Selfies

    As pretty much anyone with a smartphone will attest, it’s tough to capture your best angle from just an arm’s length away. Moreover, selfies convey a level of a narcissism that’s unlikely be found attractive to anyone other than Kanye West.

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