3P Part II: How to take the Perfect Profile Picture

Now, I don’t want to sound shallow, but I am a big believer in first impressions in any situation.  Real life, phone, social media, word of mouth.  Some people are great and try not to judge in the first few minutes of meeting someone, but I am not one of those people.  Kudos to those of you who don’t judge a person on their appearance, but I just feel like you can tell a lot about a person from the way they look (it’s my inner Sherlock Holmes).  Which is why it was so very difficult for me to take a 3P.

Let’s start by me saying that I am a beautiful person (and modest, too!) I mean, I definitely have some ugly flaws, but generally speaking, I’m beautiful both inside and out. I might not fit society’s skewed ideal of “beauty,” mostly because as Meghan Trainor puts it, “I’ve got all the right junk in all the right places.”  Plus I don’t have the stupid things that Hollywood has told me I should have: the right color hair, the right color eyes, the right dress size, flawless skin, etc.  Well, here’s the thing, Hollywood, if everyone met your standards, WE WOULD ALL LOOK THE SAME!

I know, how cliché is it for the fat girl to talk about how beautiful she is because she’s not what society tells her to be? Who cares how cliché it is? I’m super cute and I’m an awesome person. I want a 3P that shows this!  Here are some tips that might help you pick out your 3P that shows just how awesome YOU are:

  • If you insist on taking selfies, PLEASE limit it to just one or two.  If all your pictures are selfies of you in your car, that’s kind of lame.  And if you’re taking a mirror reflection selfie, please please PLEASE make sure the bedroom/bathroom/whatever room in the reflection is clean.  (Selfies are generally more acceptable for women’s profiles.  Sorry fellas!  We ladies don’t want to see you taking selfies!)
  • If you’re looking for more than just a one night stand, don’t post pictures of yourself half naked.  If you do want to show off your rockin’ bod, don’t make it your main profile picture.  Why don’t you try a picture of you wearing an outfit you know you look good in?
  • When you post group pictures, I don’t know which one is YOU.  And definitely don’t post pictures of you with someone of the opposite sex.  Sure, guys, it might be obvious to YOU that the super cute girl you have your arm around is your sister, but I don’t know that!  Cropping someone out doesn’t make things better, either.  It makes me wonder who that person was, what you were doing with them, and what they did to get cropped out.  If I’m more focused on that sliver of a person’s arm than I am on you, that defeats the purpose of the profile picture.
  • Get good lighting.  Preferably natural lighting.  Don’t post a picture of you basking in the glow of your computer screen.  It makes you look slightly sickly and makes people wonder if you ever leave your computer.
  • Don’t post blurry pictures of yourself.  You’re advertising yourself here, people.  Make sure it’s clear!  And no possessed red-eyes.
  • Provide some diversity.  If you’re making the same pose in every picture, then I’m going to get bored.  Make your main picture a closer up head-shot, but also be sure to include some full body shots.  (If you’re worried about your body, don’t be!  I guarantee that there will be people who find you attractive.)
  • Post pictures of YOU!  Don’t put up a picture of your dogs; put up a picture of you with your dogs.  Don’t put up a picture of a delicious dinner you made; put up a picture of you cooking a delicious dinner or eating a heaping plate of yummy looking food.  Also, kids don’t belong on dating websites.  I’m not saying you should hide the fact that you have children, I’m just saying that there are some real creeps who frequent online dating sites.
  • Really think about what you’re doing in your pictures.  Try to think about what you want to advertise about yourself.  Think about your face and your body, but also think about your personality.  Try to include pictures of your hobbies (hiking, biking, kite flying, whatever).  If you’re at the gym, try to be a bit more creative than glaring at yourself in the mirror while flexing your muscles.  Instead try a yoga shot, or a photo of you running a marathon, maybe an action shot of lifting weights.  Remember, if you’re holding a drink in every picture, you kind of look like an alcoholic.  Halloween is coming up, and costumes are a great way to express your personality, but don’t make them your main profile picture.
  • Women should make eye contact with the camera.  Men don’t like to see women flirting with other guys, and the same holds true for online profiles.  Men, however, can get away with looking off into the distance.  Women find it adds some mysterious quality to men that they’re attracted to.
  • SMILE!  And mean it.  If you have a horrible picture smile (you know who you are), go for a candid one.  Women should generally post more pictures of themselves smiling, because men are drawn to that.  Men, however, have been found to be more attractive when serious, however, you should be sure to include at least one smiling picture.

Basically, the secret to the 3P is to just be creative, be approachable, and be yourself!  Don’t be what you think people want, because that will result in unhappiness on everyone’s part.  Be real, otherwise someone is going to be disappointed (either yourself or the other party).  It’s that simple.  Best of luck!  Now, say cheese!



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