I posted an item here a few days ago regarding my concern that my online dating profile photos were too flattering. I was worried that although they were recent, they made me seem better-looking than I really am.
But I have to tell you, there are some folks out there who could work at making their photos a little more flattering.
OKCupid has a feature called QuickMatch in which the user is presented with another user's profile, lacking a name or contact information, and is asked to rate it from one to five stars. I resisted this for awhile because it seemed too much like rating people as if they were sides of beef.
I finally decided to give it a try tonight. But I didn't give anyone one, two or three stars. If I wasn't impressed with the profile, I simply skipped it. And when I did give stars, it was for quirkiness and/or originality. One profile, for example, got five stars because her favorite authors were people like Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and Howard Zinn.
But most of the profiles simply got a 'skip'. One that I skipped, for example, was a stunningly attractive woman who was apparently a former NFL cheerleader. Her profile was utterly conventional. There was nothing wrong with it, but it didn't convey even the slightest spark of awareness about anything other than sports and Twilight movies.
But the point I wanted to make was that I saw dozens of truly awful photos. In one, for example, the dominant object was a disembodied elbow in the near foreground that filled about a fourth of the screen. The user who posted the picture was 'way back in the background, out of focus and impossible to make out. A ShopVac and a step stool completed the scene.
Another user posted herself in a sort of flirty/sultry Marlene Dietrich pose, but using her bathroom toilet as a prop instead of a chair.
And yet another posted, as her only picture, a blurred, extreme closeup showing only a chihuahua peeking out of her frankly enormous cleavage.
There were lots and lots of pictures that were out of focus, overexposed, and occasionally underexposed. And a lot of pics in which the user made herself a secondary element of interest, ceding the primary position to an SUV, or a fountain, or some other inanimate object.
I think the bottom line here is that if you're posting pictures of yourself on a dating site, maybe you should get a friend to offer a second opinion on your choices.