All my bar charts are zeroed on the average picture. One of the first things we noticed when diving into our pool of photos is that men and women have very different approaches to the camera.Now, you’re always told to look happy and make eye contact in social situations, but at least for your online dating photo, that’s just not optimal advice.
Instead, they increasingly choose to show themselves in non-sexual contexts, like being outdoors: For women in their late teens and early twenties, body pictures are the most popular type of shot; outdoor pictures are second. To wrap up our cleavage discussion, let’s assess the of messages the cleavage-showers are getting.To wit: a journalist was visiting our office recently, and when we told her we were researching user photos, the first thing she said was “please tell me people hate it when guys show off their abs.” We hadn’t finished running the numbers yet, so we confidently reassured her that people did. Of course, there is some self-selection here: the guys showing off their abs are the ones with abs worth showing, and naturally the best bodies get lots of messages.So we can’t recommend this photo tactic to every man.In the future perhaps we can investigate what’s behind the decline: is it because older guys and their older abs are inherently less attractive, or because women as they age find body shots less interesting?One final point, vis à vis men, their torsos, and the clothing thereupon: if you’re not the type of guy who can show off your muscles, don’t veer off in the opposite direction and get all dressed up.We at first thought this was just because, typically, you can kind of see down the girl’s shirt with the camera at that angle—indeed, that seems to be the point of shot in the first place — so we excluded all cleavage-showing shots from the pool and ran the numbers again.