I cannot say this enough: Men are all about the photos. It hardly matters what you say in your profile. If you’re a knockout, you could describe yourself as an axe murderer and you’ll still hear from men. That’s because they’ll take one look at your photos and not even bother reading what you’ve written. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating, but not by much.
Men have told me that the first thing they read is how a woman describes her body type -- especially when she posts only a head shot. The men who’ve been around the online dating block a few times become very jaded.
Every online dating service asks its members to describe their body type. Way too many women choose average, even when, in a man’s opinion (and usually their own), they’re far from average. (Men do the same thing, though probably not as much as women.) I know that average is in the eyes of the beholder -- and given that the average dress size is 14, a lot of women justify their average. Trust me, it’s not going to work. Men who have been burned too many times look at “average,” see that you’ve only included a head shot or two, and come to what may be the right conclusion, at least based on their prior experience: She’s lying.
Obviously, there’s a simple solution to the problem. Post a current full-body photo of yourself.
If you think you should post a full-body photo only if you have a decent body, think again. In fact, my feeling is, the less conventionally pleasing your body, the more important it is that you post a full-body photo. And by full-body, I really mean from head to toes. Of course, it should be the most flatteringly realistic; it should show how proud you are of how you look. (If you’re not proud of how you look, do something about it before you join an online dating site.)
One of the most pleasing photographs I saw online was an overweight woman in a flattering jogging outfit running along a path. It said (to me), “Here I am. This is really me. Maybe my weight isn’t in proportion to my height, but I take good care of myself, and I’m happy with my body.”
So what happens when you check off slender, because you really are? Do you still need to show it in a full-body photo? Answer: Absolutely. Men who have been burned too many times see that you’ve described yourself as slender, but note that you’ve only included a head shot, or two…Seeing is believing.
The bottom line is, no matter what, you need to show what you really look like through your best photos: A close-up headshot and full-body shots in a variety of situations that are reflective of who you truly are.
If you exercise, post a photo of you exercising. If you play the piano, post a photo of you at your piano. If you are truly looking for an animal lover, post a photo of you with your pet. If you love your children and/or grandchildren to death and want to find a man who isn’t turned off by that, post a photo of you with members of your family. Post a photo of yourself in formalwear (but only if you like to dress up); post a photo of you in casual attire, preferably jeans (but only if you look good in jeans), preferably with high heels (but only if you actually are the type who wears jeans with high heels). Let me tell you, men love women in jeans with high heels!
Think of it as a photo shoot. Change the backgrounds Change your clothes.
And now, the don’ts:
Don’t post blurry photos.
Don’t post photos that are too dark.
Don’t post photos that don’t have you in them.
Don’t post photos of you without a smile.
Don’t post photos of you in the distance.
Don’t post photos where you’ve cut out someone else, even if it’s a girlfriend.
Don’t post a photo of you with a drink in your hand, unless you really are a heavy drinker.
Don’t post a photo of you in a hat. (Men will think you’re experiencing hair loss, or worse.)
Don’t post a photo of you in sunglasses. (Men will think you’re cross-eyed, or worse.)
Don’t post just one photo.
Don’t post photos from different times of your life.
Don’t post photos that are more than two years old, even if you think you haven’t aged. (You have.)
Don’t post a photo of you without glasses if you wear glasses.
Don’t post your profile without photos. Statistics show you will receive twice the number of responses if you post photos than if you don’t.
Of course, I can’t force you to do as I say, so I’ll make the following deal with you:
Post photographs of yourself that are more than two years old and/or photos that don’t show your body (especially if you’re not slender or average by men’s definition of average) and see what happens. How many men take you out for a second time? If you’re not happy with your answer, take down the old photos and post a current head shot and a current full-body photo. You’ll notice the difference!
Exclusive Limited FREE Offer: Join BetterDate.com, a new and exciting 50+ dating community. Also receive your FREE copy of "The Boomer's Guide to Sex and Dating" as well as either "The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Online Dating" or "The Intelligent Men's Guide to Online Dating."