Monday, February 14, 2011

Ten pictures you should NOT post with your online dating profile... ever


In today's Online Dating What Not To Do, let's talk about what that profile picture really says about you. [Note, below I used fake pictures from gettyimages so as not to get have someone recognize their sister's cousin's second husband's stepbrother on here] Let's start with some basics. Your picture should be:
1) Flattering. Ask someone if you're not sure.
2) Taken in a neutral or phototabulous location. This means against a blank wall, a bland sofa, or in front of a touristy spot. Beaches, mountains, landmarks welcome. Bathrooms, kitchens and random confusing place not. By random confusing place, I mean why are you posing in front of a vending machine? In line at the local cafeteria? In front of a high school? (I've seen those three recently)
3) Like a resume - non-threatening, positive, and revealing the best you have to offer. And like a resume, it should not give me any reason to reject you from jump.
Here are some of the worst offenses:

1. The Cropped Pic - If the only good picture of you is the one of you huddled up with a former S.O. or some random person of the opposite sex... I'd rather you go with the bathroom mirror picture. Something about this is just wrong. But it's not as bad as...


2. The Wedding Pic - No sir. No ma'am. I'm sure you did look lovely on your wedding day but er, uh - aren't you in the market for someone new? Do you really think it's a good idea to post your failed marriage pic on your "Seeking Sexxxy Singles" profile? Go ahead and say it, "What part of the game is this?"


3. The Trying Too Hard Pic - They say a picture is worth a thousand words but this one is more like one: Thirsty. This picture is appropriate on your "aspiring model" MySpace page, not if you want someone to actually buy you dinner. Unless your message is "I'm down for whatever' - keep the ultrasultry pics on lock for a minute.


4. I'm going to give the "street cred" photo a pass because I recognize that a) there's an audience for that and b) it could be worse:


5) The Prison Pic - I'm so sad to report that I have seen this with my own two eyes. My first problem is - what are criminals doing with internet access and digicams? My second problem is - Is someone seriously checking for the Orange Jumpsuit dude? [I know there are prison groupies but come ON now] This is just no bueno.

6. The Offspring Pic - on the one hand, it's great that you are proud of your kids. It's also great if the two (or more) of you are cute together. But I feel some kinda way about having your child in your dating profile picture with you. I'm not saying keep your kids hidden, I'm just saying there are people who prey on that, don't open yourself up to it. 


7. The Cap Daddy (old guy in the club) Pic - Who can point all the ways this picture is wrong? I can count eight instances of FAIL in this picture. All that's missing is the balloon coming out of his mouth saying, "Watch out there now!"


8. The Ebony/Jet Pose - Cue the line from Boomerang "This is my best mac daddy vibe I'm giving you here. What's up?" When I see pics like this (in front of jets and cars), I think of #3 above - Trying. Too. Hard. What is natural about that? How many times a day do you find yourself squatting and holding the position (non-exercise related)?


9. The "Twenty Years Ago" Pic - Listen, the older woman in the picture above is lovely so there is NO GOOD DARNED reason why she should post her college picture and pretend she still looks like that today. People have got to stop perpetrating with the 10 years/40 pounds/2 kids ago pics. Yes men, you too. You are who you are today. Somebody is checking for the real you. Quit holding onto the past.


10. The Infamous "Flex" Pic - Why gents? Unless you are a personal trainer... why? Please reference numbers 3 and 8 above. And don't take this picture, let alone post it somewhere. I'm begging.

BougieLand, do you have any pic tips for our online posters out there? Did I miss some glaring violation? If you were posting your picture - what would it look like? Are you the posing in a bathing suit type? Leaning on your car hood? Smiling sedately into the camera? Do tell...

85 comments:

David Parrish, Jr.(Inkognegro) said...

#10 didn't work out too well for Christopher Lee, either.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

I'm too scared to do online dating (well, I was too scared before me and the current beau started dating). First, too many horror stories (plus the ugly myths/facts/statistics about ppl & how they view/treat black women online.

Now, I have, however, seen other people's profiles through friends that are dating online. le big darn sigh. So many buckets of fail. I can't stand the sultry pics, the flex pic, the crouching ninja hidden sense pics, and definitely the I-shole-don't-look-like-this pics (seen more men pull that one than women, cuz you know if women are looking a hot mess, the pull the extreme eye/lip/profile closeup).

Out of all of these, I cannot STAND cap (cat?) daddies. Sorry. Hate hold dudes with the fire of 10,000 suns. And if I were to get my geriatric groove on (just vomitted in my mouth a lil) it certainly wouldn't be with a dude w/ a droopy C-cup.

CurvyGirl said...

I had been online dating for the better pat of 12 years before I gave it up. What used to be an innovative way to meet people you might never have the chance to meet has turned into a free- for -all for the lazy, the uneducated, the perverted, the "I don't know what I want but let me flail around until I figure it out and drag some ladies through the process, too". I admit to being picky. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Pics I skip on dating sites:
- Shirtless. I don't care how buff/ripped/toned you are. I'm not looking for a gym rat, and Ima need you to have a shirt on. And some dignity.
- In front of your car. ANY car. You can't win this. If it's a Hooptie DeVille, I am going to pick on your car. If it's a Benz, I'm going to roll my eyes. ESPECIALLY if it is a royal blue Camaro, I am gong to laugh out loud. You look like Papa Smurf.
- I don't really care about bathroom pics, self taken pics, all that... but if the area around you is dirty? Skip. At least wipe off the mirror before you take a pic!
- I agree with no kids, no other women in the pic, PERIOD. Just you. I don't care much about cropped pics but don't make that your main profile photo.
- No smiles. No one wants to date a curmudgeon. I'm one of those black women that smiles-- I'm smiling all nice and bright in my profile. I will skip you if you aren't.
- Sunglasses. You are not cool. OFF!

SingLikeSassy said...

Why is commonsense so uncommon? I personally think you should have a close up RECENT (as in the last two or three months pic) and a full body shot. Nowadays everyone has a camera so get you some RECENT pics taken and post those and use the tips and guidelines above.

blackprofessor said...

Chele, thank you for the belly laugh! While I have seen some of these no nos, it was pure comedy to read this post today. SMH!!

Mykeia said...

These pictures are reminders why I am trying to stay married...shifting through all of this foolishness...I have a friend that is trying out dating online, I will be passing this along today...Happy Monday all!

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

*is cackling like a fool* XD Thanks for making my Monday brighter, Chele!

GrownAzzMan said...

*Fist Bump* for the Boomerang refernece. Thanx for the laugh Chele. Just what I needed for a Monday.

Steve said...

I'm going to try and guess the things wrong with Geriatric Gigolo
1. The peace sign
2. The chain
3. The top
4. The cap
5. The jeans
6. Is that a 40 ounce?!

LOL - and I rebuke you for the chick with the daisies on her head.

Pure Choco said...

Bwahahaha! I was on Black People Meet for exactly 30 days - I think I saw all these people! What's wrong with the demure smile into the camera while clothed?

Grace said...

It's funny - when I see a crazy FB picture I wonder what people are thinking. But on what is supposed to be your personal ad? Le Deep Sigh, Chele.

Leon X said...

I'd post my headshot up for my online dating picture. I've had some women tell me they thought it was a fake. I guess why my responses are few and far between. I have more to add, but I want to see how the rest of the week plays out.

rozb said...

Please - no pictures of you in the club in front of the spray-painted "Rollin' on Dubs" background with you standing with your friends in various poses (see pic #3 above as a similar example).

Do not do your own Photoshop unless you are a pro - most of the ones I have seen are not done by pros.

#9 - This right here. I remember posting here about old dude who posted a 20 year-old picture of himself on his profile. Both he and the Mercedes he was bragging about looked a whole lot older in person - kinda raggedy, with dried and ashy skin (and leather), with some nicks, abrasions, dents, and rust (car and dude).

#7 is almost as bad as #9 - except that you know he is old by the acid-washed jeans with the crease in the front, tucked-in sweater from the Bill Cosby collection, and the Kangol worn backwards.

rozb said...

Between them and BlackPlanet.com, there is truly some picture shiggity going on!

FreeBlackMan said...

Match.com was doing a thing last year where friends could find matches for their friends - epic fail. Like I had to threaten friends never to do that ish again. All I say was Trying Too Hard chick.

rozb said...

From crouching ninja, hidden sense, to the geriatric stuff - well - I am giggling like crazy over here. This post made my day!

BrendaKay said...

If I legally and morally could, I would post the photo that the Old Dude AKA "The Horny Deacon" sent to me when he was desperately trying to get my attention. This particular photo was all manner of ways wrong on both the eyes and my soul. It was one of those infamous bathroom photos with the bad lighting, the smudgy mirror and the faded towels in the background, topped off with that 70 year old Fool posing in his geriatric wide fronts. I've held on to the photo for those moments when I'm either upset about something that I can't control or I'm feeling a bit down ~ one quick look and I'm howling with laughter. :-)

J B said...

7. The Run DMC glasses.

And what's he wearing under the jacket?

J B said...

Please add men who don't smile. Yeah, I went out with him anyways. Yeah, I found out why he didn't smile. Brown teeth, y'all. BROWN. Gargling with espresso brown.

#4 is a personal pet peeve, be it in a photo or face to face. I don't get wearing XXXXXL shirts on an XL body.

And #9 really is a cute woman. Then and now.

OneChele said...

Who's got the 8th FAIL?

OneChele said...

Excellence - and Happy Birthday, Steve.

OneChele said...

Might as well call it hotmess.com

OneChele said...

*bump*

OneChele said...

You would think folks would know this!

OneChele said...

Great list!

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

So happy to oblige!

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

That grimace trynna be a grin. You should not bare your teefus in a defensive manner like a primate when trying to catch the attention of young ladies. Sorry gramps, but "go hard or go home?" You're doing it wrong.

BrendaKay said...

The creepy smile on his face, no doubt caused by the dentures that don't quite fit? :-)

Earthangel172 said...

LMBO!

datdudeincali said...

You didn't list nekkid pics. Or rather - might as well be nekkid pics. Doing the most

OneChele said...

yes! Nailed it... ;-)

OneChele said...

Yep!

Tru Shots Photo said...

This is effin' hilarious. I am dying in laughter. Ok, let me state my bias first before my comment, I am a professional photographer. Ok, seriously, hire a professional or at least have someone else take the picture for a dating site. If you are looking for your life partner, there shouldn't be a price limit on what you'll do to have a great dating profile. Seriously. Hire a pro or have a friend take a nice picture of you that is well-lit, expressive but not over the top and in focus. Don't let bad avatars happen to good people.

Mony_Mony said...

I recently ventured into the world of online dating (and quickly exited, but that's another story). The one thing that I can't stand that wasn't mentioned is the "wave" picture, showcasing all of that hard work with the Dax, wooden handle brush and wave cap. I even saw one where the guy had a closeup of the top of his head, with a caption that proudly proclaimed that he had "good hair". Epic fail for me, but unfortunately there's an audience for that, too.

Beautifully Complex said...

Sadly, I can admit to having personally seen over 75% of these type of pics back in my online dating days.
It used to kill me to see guys who posted pictures of their houses, motorcycles, boats, cars, etc & they were not even in the pictures ! Sometimes this would be all in one man's profile ! These same men probably walk around calling women "gold diggers" but they are the ones flossin' and trying to show off all of their "gold" ! SMH

Bethany Showell said...

Ooh I can't wait to see what this week brings. My sister put me on a site and all I get are polyamorous/wiccan/s&m people, nerds (which I am but at least I hide it well), and people all the way in Kenya or Nigeria.

Andrea M said...

Supposedly the sites are supposed to approve the pics and reject the ones that are too nekkid.

Andrea M said...

I'm on one of these sites now and I have seen it all! I need someone to review my profile and pic and tell me what it is that says I want 65 year old white men to holla?!

Jubilance1922 said...

I once met a guy who pulled a #9 on me - his pic was a couple years and at least 50 pounds lighter than what he was in person. I told him it was false advertising. Can't have up the skinny pic or the pic of just your face when you know you're carrying some extra weight. Just be honest about it.

I really hate #1 - the cropping is so obvious & they always want to put up the pic with the ex-gf & then crop her out #fail.

Can we also add #11 - don't put a pic where you're 1 of 8000 people in the pic & expect anyone to be able to pick you out or get a good view of you. I saw that a lot when I was online dating.

thinklikeRiley said...

Nuttin' wrong with a lil nekkidity.

William Martin said...

Might you have Chick #3's info... just for recreational purposes. Don't Judge Me.

Sweet N Tart said...

This. Right. Here.
The chopped off head, the blurry bathroom pics, the tragic group photo - S.No.B!

daisy said...

I've been lurking for a minute but I must speak up - Daisy May know she DEAD AZZ WRONG for that pic above. Giving "Daisy"s a bad name every durned where.

MariSol said...

iQuit with #4 and #5. *throws mouse at monitor*

MidWestDominicana said...

Haaayyyy...watch out there now! Hah!

MidWestDominicana said...

o_O tha hell? Is that a selling point?

James McCoy said...

This is so true

Jesse said...

Please tell me someone didn't really post their wedding pic?!

Jesse said...

Happy birthday, playboy.

I Am Me said...

Manly sigh. We as a people will never be free while folks are still talking good and bad hair. Back in the day, me and Sportin' Waves were tight!

Deb B said...

LOL at Daisy May!

rozb said...

The guy is probably telling his mother to stay out of his room while he takes his profile pics!

OneChele said...

I'm afraid it's true. Classless and true.

OneChele said...

Side-eye. Don't you have a date this weekend? Yup, put your biz all in the bougie streetz.

William Martin said...

Damn! Bouge is gangsta!

JohnKinPDX said...

Grandpappy need lub too.

JohnKinPDX said...

If this is what's out there... I'm not ready.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

I suppose it is for the beyond shallow women he was seeking to attract.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

I don't even want to see the women who fall for the prison pics.

Reggie said...

That sounds like all the pictures of me I've got.......I don't have anything else.

GammasWorld said...

I quit. I cannot handle it. Some of the most interesting dates I had were when I ventured into the personals before they were online -- yep straight out the newspaper LOL. I will never forget the guy that picked me up for a "movie date" and took me straight to the $2 movie AND DIDN'T HAVE MONEY FOR POPCORN. He said he was so anxious to meet me he didn't want to wait (side-eye and eyebrows raised). Plus he had so much cheap cologne on that I couldn't even sit up straight next to him without gagging. Cell phones weren't prevalent either so my out was going to the lobby to check with my babysitter who needed me right away. I gotta go NOW right away.

J. Jackson said...

I can't with ol' girl and the flowers. Everything you wrote is dead on. Sadly, I have encountered some (not all) of these shenanigans while logged into my account with eHarmony. I haven't met anyone from eHarmony, but the personals that I have seen have left me speechless and not in a good way. Let's just say that I cancelled my three-subscription after three weeks.

Jasmin said...

Just_A_Though1218, you have me and my bf over here rolling! Just what I needed on this rainy SF day. :-)

MCYBW said...

As a current victim of online dating fatigue, I am so with you on these pictures. Dead wrong and far from bougie. I do have to add that if you are a man with a tattoo around your navel... you might be lying to yourself when you say you're looking for women. (yes I did right click and save the photo, you know for amusement purposes). After the 3rd dating fail I deleted my online dating profile, and as of now I have given up on dating indefinitely.

Brneyed1 said...

I hurt myself laughing at this post today at work! I swear sometimes I wonder if these folks have ANYONE who loves them enough to tell them about their pics.

I have seen most of these during my online dating days. My all-time fave: dude in red silk PJs, laid out on the bed, holding a bottle of Henny and the scariest "come hither" look I've ever seen. Not sooo bad, till I noticed the rather large stain on the sheet! Eeew and yuck!

CaliGirlED said...

I am dying over here! "Garling with espresso brown"? LMAO!!!

CaliGirlED said...

Yeah, they also need to reject the ones that meet the criteria Chele listed above. LOL

CaliGirlED said...

I'm dyin!!! LMAO

CaliGirlED said...

You already know how Chele does it! LOL...So can we be expecting an follow up next week?

CaliGirlED said...

LOL

CaliGirlED said...

Died 2 times over with this one!!! Can't stop laughin!!!

CaliGirlED said...

What size bra does CapDaddy wear? Chele I think this would be FAIL #9 huh?

Tried online dating, HATED IT!!! Had a guy tell me that he wanted to rent a RV and drive cross country with me. And exactly where would my body parts be discovered? Not quite the Lifetime movie I want written about my life!

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

I think I saw that photo....

C Nelson said...

I agree with all of these except the pic with the child. It's one thing to say "I have children" and another to put them right in your profile pic so prospective suitors know this is what they have to contend with: child is present, is at least this old, and will have an opinion, so you'd better have your head on straight from the beginning. As long as child is clothed, in a neutral pose, and you're not giving out your street address and phone number to the world, it's just about as risky as (or even slightly less than) a school yearbook picture, and no-one thinks twice about those. Anyone who's looking for a child with a single parent would have been trawling for those who admit to having children, photo or not, and would have had you bringing out your wallet photo anyway. There aren't nearly as many of those as there are men who assume your children will suddenly take a back seat to them once you start dating.

Sol_dier said...

I think you missed one: Using someone someone else's picture.

Who ever used the pic you used for this post, used the image of Amy Lame (TV & Radio presenter)
http://londonist.com/2006/11/amy_lames_mama.php

Bonn Group said...

Check out the “Black Online News Network” (BONN) www.thebonngroup.com . BONN is the largest network of online news portals to date targeted to African Americans. Its current digital network consists of 100 unique and interconnected web sites covering a wide range of today’s hottest topics on the radars of African Americans worldwide.

Bonn Group said...

Check out the “Black Online News Network” (BONN) www.thebonngroup.com . BONN is the largest network of online news portals to date targeted to African Americans. Its current digital network consists of 100 unique and interconnected web sites covering a wide range of today’s hottest topics on the radars of African Americans worldwide.

Brneyed1 said...

If they are sitting in the wicker chair in front of the spray-painted background, is that cool?? LMAO!!

CorettaJG said...

The wedding pic? The prison pic? What?!?

Thank goodness I never spotted any of that in my eharmony try out. But, I did see plenty of the Trying Too Hard, Street Cred, Ebony/Jet and Flex pics. I admit that I gave one of the Flex pic brothers a chance. We're just friends, but it turns out that people who work out like that really love posting pictures of themselves showing off their hard work. I've never seen so many I love me photos on a man's Facebook page.

CaliGirlED said...

Still laughin!!!

Ms. Jay said...

Nekkidity? Now you are creating your own words . I quit

Alvin Milton said...

You don't know how many women I bypassed because they have pics of their kids on a dating website.
Its not appropriate.

JojoRaze said...

I understand Chele's aversion to the child and parent pic on online dating profiles--it does seem it would attract pervs. However, it's proclaiming that I have children so those perusing have a choice anonymously to not date someone with children. I prefer honesty to someone lying any day. Perhaps the parent should blur the child's face, but that isn't very elegant...But still honesty over dishonesty any day

JojoRaze said...

How about the manboobs? That's what struck me immediately.

JojoRaze said...

Chele, thanks for the laugh, as per usual. This post is classic Chele in that it offers deft criticism of awful behavior while utilizing your picture aggregating skills. Even if I don't agree with all the points in a post--which is rare--the pics you use to headline posts are always the business.

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