Some photos in online dating profiles make for shutter shudders


(from the Seattle Times)

In the world of cyber dating, there are the standard headshots, and then there are the … bare-chested bachelor posing in front of a Camaro, or holding a fish or a (insert sports equipment here).

They have provided stand-up comedians a reservoir of material, spurred on parlor games and have become part of a conversation piece at girls’ nights out.

We are talking about the cheesy glamour portraits, beefcake shots and half-baked pictures. You know, the wedding picture with the significant other cropped out, all except for the hand. Or the puckered lips, hands behind the head pose that looks more like a “Saturday Night Live” parody of a Calvin Klein underwear ad.

Well, the honchos at dating sites have seen enough, and they have called in the photo police.

The Jewish dating site JDate now posts guidelines including “no suggestive photos” or “composites.” recently hired Jay Manuel from “America’s Next Top Model” to dish some common sense on‘s new Portrait Toolkit. And most dating sites also run some form of Photo 101 or Taking Profile Pictures For Dummies to help these poor souls.

Yes, the pictures are that bad.

Even yours truly has made some picture faux pas from time to time. I always figured that if a woman wasn’t my girlfriend, there was no harm showing her in the photo. Apparently, that’s a no-no. Any woman without a t-shirt labeled “Mom” can be considered a potential romantic partner and therefore, a threat to the sensitive viewer. I’ve never been one to freak out if a woman showed a picture of a guy, so I suppose I’ve never really gotten it, but I have gotten the message from readers: NO photos should include people you could have possibly slept with. Which pretty much kills all of my photos.

What mistakes do YOU see most commonly?

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  1. 1
    GhanaBa Hardy

    Most pictures don’t often match the written profile. Personally, I only look at photos after reading the written profiles. My confession though is that I only surf dating sites not to date but to sample perspectives and cultural bias for want of a better expression.

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