I was recently contemplating taking a sabbatical from online dating. While the barrage of misspelled emails and inappropriate propositions are flattering, they also get a bit tedious. However, the morning I made this declaration of going on hiatus, I received and email from the people at Match.com telling me I had a free subscription.
I couldn’t possibly turn down free, even if it meant a few more months of online sexual harassment. I reopened my profile and began sifting through the gentleman that had “winked” at me and in this process, I noticed a common theme running among most of these guys: their photos are freakish.
Match offers up some pretty decent guidelines about what types of photos to post: clear, (clean), recent and decent. No prom pictures c.1998, no obscure art photos and certainly nothing that resembles and Olan Mills serial killer-esque family photo.
It appears that none of my matches bother to follow any these guidelines. Perhaps they laugh in the face of all advice? Why else would they post five blurry camera phone photos of themselves standing in front of their bathroom mirror?
Other great photos on Match I’ve seen:
- One guy posted 20 photos of himself in a fencing tournament. Yes, fencing, the Dungeons and Dragons of sporting events. He also sported a slicked back George Carlin ponytail: Follicle death up front, party in the back.
- Photos of the Grand Canyon. I’ve seen at least three guys who have done this and I have no idea why. It’s not that I would doubt that they’ve been there. It’s a fairly popular tourist destination. And if I wanted to see the Grand Canyon in a profile, I would go to the Arizona board of tourism.
- Family photos where they are one of the blurry heads in the background, but you have to guess which one.
- More blurry bathroom camera phone photos, but this time topless. I love a man who shows me his armpit hair before we’ve even met.
- And a lot of Fabio-style lounging on their side giving me their “sexy pout” face.
Perhaps I’ve had the fundamentals of marketing drilled into me for too long. If you’ve got five seconds to make someone interested, shouldn’t it be something better than a photo of the top of your head taken from your phone?
Lesson learned: First impressions online are still first impressions.