Annoying but not altogether unsurprising news from Discovery.com, today. Researchers recently studied heterosexual men and women as they looked at online dating sites, by using a device which traces eye movement. Based on this data, they were able to determine that men spend far more time looking at a woman’s picture on a dating profile, whereas women are more likely to also read what a guy has to say for himself. (Men! Stop doing that!)
Related: How to Look Hot in Photos
So, as frustrating as this is of the male sex, at least women know what they’re working with, right? If you’re a woman interested in meeting a man online, you might as well invest time into making sure you have the best possible picture, simply because this is probably what is going to catch his attention first. (And before you freak out about whether or not you need to look conventionally “pretty” in order to attract male attention online, check out this excellent OkCupid blog post from last year, “The Mathematics of Beauty.” Remember, what you look like doesn’t matter that much, but how you present yourself does.)
One huge mistake that we see a lot of straight women making on HowAboutWe.com is choosing a profile pictures that are goofy, endearing, self-deprecating, and adorable. In other words, pictures that other women would instantly relate to, but that ultimately leave men cold. Unfortunately (and, tough love, here), men who are on dating sites tend to (unknowingly!) resort to more evolutionary tendencies. They’re thinking “sex”, they’re looking for “sexy”, and that picture of you dressed up as George Washington for Halloween last year isn’t going to cut it.
This is not to say that you need to book an appointment for a sultry photo shoot ASAP, but in general, you, smiling naturally at the camera, or looking relaxed in a candid shot, is much sexier than you hamming it up with a donkey at the Grand Canyon. Maybe your photo with a fake moustache gets lots of attention from guys, in which case, keep doing your thing. But if you’re wondering why you’re not doing as well as you thought you would online dating, goofy profile pictures might be the culprit.