OkCupid's Big Myths, Part II

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We're back to dissect the remaining two myths in OkCupid's "4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures". While their conclusions are unquestionably food for thought, it's important to remember that OkCupid is just one dating site, with its own personality and etiquette. These results might not apply at any other dating site. Still, let's figure out the basic tips we can learn from these last two myths:

Myth 3 - Guys should keep their shirts on Though shirtless "ab shots" are somewhat of a cliché, apparently it's a cliché that works: people respond to a good set of abs. Interestingly, the effectiveness of the "ab shot" decreases with age. Unclear whether that's because the abs themselves are less impressive, or whether those who are older are looking for more than just a pretty package. Conversely, posting a cleavage shot if you're a woman can apparently help keep the messages flowing even as you age. There's no doubt that cleavage will bring you attention at any stage in life, and probably men of all ages will always appreciate a busty woman, but is it the "right" kind of attention? Considering that women tend to post more outdoor shots of themselves as they age, and respond less to the "ab shot," it sure seems like they're looking for more. A related study determined that the skin might bring attention, but actual conversations tend to occur more for people who are doing "something interesting" in their picture.

  • What we can take away: If you want attention, flaunting your body will bring it - online or in the real world. It's up to you to decide if it's the kind of attention you want.

Myth 4 - Make sure your face is showing Essentially, it's okay to have a picture that doesn't clearly show your face, as long as it's an interesting photo - enticing or artistic, something that draws the viewer in regardless. This is probably an ultimate example of, "It's okay to break the rules, as long as you really know what you're doing."

  • What we can take away: It's definitely a gamble to use an unusual picture. If you're new at this, it's best to stick to the simple and effective, and mix it up later.

And thus, we come to the end of the OkCupid study. Have our perceptions of online photos been dramatically altered? Maybe not - but they've certainly given us more to think about.

For part 1 of this story, read this article and for more about this dating site, read our review of OKCupid.com.