Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Dating => Topic started by: sweetonsno on August 16, 2012, 06:22:49 PM

Title: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: sweetonsno on August 16, 2012, 06:22:49 PM
I'm sorry if this question has been asked before and I missed it, but here we go:

Is there any polite way to tell someone that they should update their profile picture to reflect the way they currently look? I've been on dates with guys with guys who looked completely different from their pictures (we're talking weight gains/losses of more than thirty pounds, pictures that were probably taken in a different decade, totally different hairstyle/hair color, different facial hair, etc.).

I absolutely understand wanting to show yourself at your best, but when your best is different enough from your "right now" that your date doesn't recognize you, there's a problem. So what say you? Is it okay to say something like, "You should update your profile picture. I didn't recognize you with the goatee/new hairdo/glasses" or "You look really different from your picture, it was hard to find you"?

On the one hand, it's giving unsolicited advice to someone who isn't really close to you. On the other hand, you're (presumably) both in the same boat of trying to find a partner and they might appreciate constructive advice that could improve their chances.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: NyaChan on August 16, 2012, 06:28:40 PM
Honestly, if the difference means that their profile picture hides something negative about their current looks, I bet they already know that they don't look that way anymore.  If it is just that a guy shaved his beard and wore glasses instead of contacts, then I think that a "I didn't recognize you from your profile picture now that you have X.  Is that recent change?" would be okay.  I don't think I would suggest a profile picture change though.  They are grownups and can figure out that having misleading  pictures is not going to work out for the best.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: SleepyKitty on August 17, 2012, 09:17:39 AM
I would be tempted to say something, just because it's deceitful and I think rude to do so. Not a good way to start off a date, and depending on the difference, it might be enough to prejudice me against the guy altogether. If you know there is a 40 pound or head of hair difference between the picture and reality, then using that picture reflects a propensity toward untruthfulness and insecurity - the physical factor may not have mattered to me at all, but the character factor certainly does.

I'm not sure how that would go, however. I might phrase it as a question: "Wow, your picture looked really different. What's up with that?" And then see where it went from there.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: ilrag on August 17, 2012, 09:52:32 AM
I think the only way you can say anything is right when it happens.  Like "Woah, you do NOT look like your picture"

Letting time pass just makes it more awkward.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Judah on August 17, 2012, 10:00:06 AM
I think the only way you can say anything is right when it happens.  Like "Woah, you do NOT look like your picture"

Letting time pass just makes it more awkward.

I agree. 

I think it's akin to lying to use a picture you know doesn't accurately depict you.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: #borecore on August 17, 2012, 10:04:28 AM
I have said, "Sorry, I almost didn't recognize you. You look pretty different from your profile picture." Sends the message without saying outright that they look WORSE.

(I said this even when I did recognize them, I just recognized that they looked totally different.)
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Sophia on August 17, 2012, 10:10:23 AM
I would cut off the date before it started,
"You look nothing like your picture.  I would have still been interested in you if you've had a current photo.  Since the photo is from the last decade, it makes me wonder what else you might have lied about.  Good-bye"
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: whiterose on August 17, 2012, 10:18:19 AM
This has not quite happened to me. The closest would be one gentleman that described his build as "slender" when the truth is he was of average build. But he looked exactly like what his pictures depicted him, so it was not really a case of deceit. And this was on the dating site named after the stick used to light fires with- while not free, not tremendously selective, expensive, or hard to join either.

My boyfriend was pleasantly surprised that I looked exactly like I did in my profile pictures. He said many women he had gone on dates with (all from the expensive dating site that has the long entry test) were heavier than their pics depicted them to be. OK, so I wondered if they took a pic from a good angles, striking the right poses, and wearing slimming clothes- and thus the pics hid their 20 or so extra pounds well. Nope- they turned out to be at least 50 pounds heavier in person (his words- and keep in mind he underestimated my weight). He says they were using pics from the chest and up that hid the abdomen. He was not happy with the deceit to say the least.

I would say "I did not recognize you. You do not resemble your profile pictures". And then you can decide whether to continue the date or not. Just because it was not lying about gender/race/age does not mean it is not deceit.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 17, 2012, 10:20:28 AM
I would cut off the date before it started,
"You look nothing like your picture.  I would have still been interested in you if you've had a current photo.  Since the photo is from the last decade, it makes me wonder what else you might have lied about.  Good-bye"

Yup.

Shaving/growing facial hair, adding glasses or removing them for contacts etc?  No problem.  But a grossly outdated picture that doesn't fairly represent what you look like?  Buh-bye.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: WillyNilly on August 17, 2012, 10:25:59 AM
I thik with guys somethings can be a bit tougher - short hair needs to be cut a lot more, so styles might change frequently.  A lot of guys go through numerous and frequent facial hair changes as well.  And glasses... well lots of people take off their glasses for photos if for no other reason then glare.

But!  I still think if that's the case it can easily be mentioned in a pre-date email "oh hey just and FYI, I actually wear glasses/have cut my hair/shaved since my pics, so when you see me, that's who you are looking for."

As for major weight gain/loss or major age difference, to me that's a straight up, unmitigated and purposeful lie and I'd call someone out pretty much immediately on it.  Did they also forget to mention the wife and kids they picked up along with the 30lbs?  Or did they think when I posted an age range I was looking for I was not meaning them - what other priorities of mine will they ignore?

When i did online dating - I met my DF on Match.com, and my BF before him as well - I maxed out on photos, making sure to include full body shots as well as face ones, and i even made a point to put a few where I thought I looked terrible (you know the ones, we all have 'em, where I thought I looked awful but friends & family thought I looked cute) figuring 'well its what I actually look like sometimes'.  I always figured I'd rather not know I was rejected because the guy rejected me privately in his living room, then be rejected face to face.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Yvaine on August 17, 2012, 10:27:03 AM
He says they were using pics from the chest and up that hid the abdomen. He was not happy with the deceit to say the least.

I don't think anyone is obligated to post a full-body shot. If you arrange a date with someone who only has a head shot, and their head looks like that head shot, they have not deceived you. You're taking a chance on what the rest of the person is going to look like, and if you don't like it, fine, don't date them, but no one is obligated to bare themselves on a dating site. It's just like your tattoo thread. The person doesn't need to post pics of all their tattoos, just as they don't have to post a picture of their cellulite. dating is about getting to know a person, and sometimes as you get to know a person better, you find things you don't like, whether that's tattoos or extra weight or a collection of scary dolls in their attic.

Whatever is shown in the picture should be reasonably accurate, but I don't see why anyone has to show anything they don't want to, and I don't think it's unfair to use a flattering angle either.

Ancient pics that don't resemble you anymore, no. But a current picture that emphasizes your best features is just marketing!

Edited for mixing up my pronouns.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: WillyNilly on August 17, 2012, 10:36:50 AM
He says they were using pics from the chest and up that hid the abdomen. He was not happy with the deceit to say the least.

I don't think anyone is obligated to post a full-body shot. If you arrange a date with someone who only has a head shot, and their head looks like that head shot, they have not deceived you. You're taking a chance on what the rest of the person is going to look like, and if you don't like it, fine, don't date them, but no one is obligated to bare themselves on a dating site. It's just like your tattoo thread. The person doesn't need to post pics of all their tattoos, just as they don't have to post a picture of their cellulite. dating is about getting to know a person, and sometimes as you get to know a person better, you find things you don't like, whether that's tattoos or extra weight or a collection of scary dolls in their attic.

Whatever is shown in the picture should be reasonably accurate, but I don't see why anyone has to show anything they don't want to, and I don't think it's unfair to use a flattering angle either.

Ancient pics that don't resemble you anymore, no. But a current picture that emphasizes your best features is just marketing!

Edited for mixing up my pronouns.

As much as I agree with all this, its not exactly how most dating sites work.  Sure people don't need to show their whole body but both Match and eHarmony (we are allowed to mention companies on here) have an area of the profile where you fill out your 'body type'.  Its usually somewhat generic, if you put "curvy" or "plump" maybe there some room for a few pounds difference in expectations, but if you put "slender" or "athletic" and turn out to be straight up fat, that's a lie.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Yvaine on August 17, 2012, 10:38:05 AM
He says they were using pics from the chest and up that hid the abdomen. He was not happy with the deceit to say the least.

I don't think anyone is obligated to post a full-body shot. If you arrange a date with someone who only has a head shot, and their head looks like that head shot, they have not deceived you. You're taking a chance on what the rest of the person is going to look like, and if you don't like it, fine, don't date them, but no one is obligated to bare themselves on a dating site. It's just like your tattoo thread. The person doesn't need to post pics of all their tattoos, just as they don't have to post a picture of their cellulite. dating is about getting to know a person, and sometimes as you get to know a person better, you find things you don't like, whether that's tattoos or extra weight or a collection of scary dolls in their attic.

Whatever is shown in the picture should be reasonably accurate, but I don't see why anyone has to show anything they don't want to, and I don't think it's unfair to use a flattering angle either.

Ancient pics that don't resemble you anymore, no. But a current picture that emphasizes your best features is just marketing!

Edited for mixing up my pronouns.

As much as I agree with all this, its not exactly how most dating sites work.  Sure people don't need to show their whole body but both Match and eHarmony (we are allowed to mention companies on here) have an area of the profile where you fill out your 'body type'.  Its usually somewhat generic, if you put "curvy" or "plump" maybe there some room for a few pounds difference in expectations, but if you put "slender" or "athletic" and turn out to be straight up fat, that's a lie.

Gotcha. I'm not talking about the dropdown menu for body type, though, because I didn't think that was what whiterose was talking about--I thought she just meant pictures. Yes, if there is a menu for body type, one should choose an option that is accurate.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Bexx27 on August 17, 2012, 10:56:52 AM
He says they were using pics from the chest and up that hid the abdomen. He was not happy with the deceit to say the least.

I don't think anyone is obligated to post a full-body shot. If you arrange a date with someone who only has a head shot, and their head looks like that head shot, they have not deceived you. You're taking a chance on what the rest of the person is going to look like, and if you don't like it, fine, don't date them, but no one is obligated to bare themselves on a dating site. It's just like your tattoo thread. The person doesn't need to post pics of all their tattoos, just as they don't have to post a picture of their cellulite. dating is about getting to know a person, and sometimes as you get to know a person better, you find things you don't like, whether that's tattoos or extra weight or a collection of scary dolls in their attic.

Whatever is shown in the picture should be reasonably accurate, but I don't see why anyone has to show anything they don't want to, and I don't think it's unfair to use a flattering angle either.

Ancient pics that don't resemble you anymore, no. But a current picture that emphasizes your best features is just marketing!

Edited for mixing up my pronouns.

As much as I agree with all this, its not exactly how most dating sites work.  Sure people don't need to show their whole body but both Match and eHarmony (we are allowed to mention companies on here) have an area of the profile where you fill out your 'body type'.  Its usually somewhat generic, if you put "curvy" or "plump" maybe there some room for a few pounds difference in expectations, but if you put "slender" or "athletic" and turn out to be straight up fat, that's a lie.

Gotcha. I'm not talking about the dropdown menu for body type, though, because I didn't think that was what whiterose was talking about--I thought she just meant pictures. Yes, if there is a menu for body type, one should choose an option that is accurate.

Of course if the site asks you to specify your weight or body type, it's wrong to lie. However, those body type options are vague and subjective. I have a friend who is solidly in the middle of the medically advised weight range for her height, so she marked "average" for weight on her profile. One guy she met up with told her she should have marked "a few extra pounds" instead.  :o Yeah, no second date.

There's nothing inherently deceptive about only having (accurate) head shots in your profile. If your weight is not indicated anywhere, someone who only wants to date people within a certain weight range is free to ask for a full body pic or ask about your weight before setting up a meeting. I'm also curious how someone can be 50 pounds heavier than she appeared in a picture that didn't show her body...
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Sophia on August 17, 2012, 01:01:56 PM
When I did the online dating thing (successfully, met my DH there.  He was my third actual meeting), I'd had photos done and I put the date that they were taken on the profile.  I know there was one from the waist up.  I think I was 200 pounds then.  Guys seemed to really appreciate that photo date.  I think if someone is a little overweight and they only post a headshot, they are dooming themselves to disappointment.  Part of the benefit of the online idea is that you can sort out the incompatible people ahead of time.  If you are meeting guys that are only interested in skinny girls, and you aren't, you are wasting everyone's time. 
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Reason on August 17, 2012, 02:13:25 PM
I would cut off the date before it started,
"You look nothing like your picture.  I would have still been interested in you if you've had a current photo.  Since the photo is from the last decade, it makes me wonder what else you might have lied about.  Good-bye"

Never tried online dating, but I agree with this. It does not seem good to start getting to know each other based on a lie.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: whiterose on August 17, 2012, 07:38:51 PM
I wonder if the women my boyfriend me that had posted deceptive pictures (and possibly deceptive body type descriptions) carried most of their weight in body parts not seen on the pics. For example- arms (I do have bulging biceps), thick waists, large hips/derrieres, legs. So if they sent a pic of themselves from the chest and up that does not show arms and that has the head tilted at a flattering angle, there could still be deception about weight.

And yes, he had full-body shots showing his arms that were pretty recent. No double standard or even hypocrisy. I was as pleasantly surprised as he was  ;D

Regarding body type descriptions, I could get away with slender, athletic, average, or curvy, since I have an hourglass figure, muscular arms and calves, a small waist, and large bones (I look like the letter X). I have heard the last two are often used as euphemisms by people wanting to hide extra pounds. But I do not want to say that I am slender either, since I do have muscles/curves/big bones. So I just list myself as athletic, since I do exercise often. Hopefully pics backed this up well- so far, nobody has accused me of not looking like them  ;D

I do wear glasses- but do wear my contact lenses when having my picture taken- and nobody has complained about my glasses once they see me wearing them either. So glasses should not be a problem. According to another thread I posted about, braces should not be a problem either. Not sure about hearing aids- but I would not have a problem with them, even if they had not been displayed in the original picture.

Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: greencat on August 17, 2012, 08:33:42 PM
I've had serious issues with guys not looking anything like their profile pictures.  Actually, after my last boyfriend and I split up but were still extremely involved in each others' lives, some mutual friends and I (we were all on the same dating sites) realized that his profile photos were all either extreme angles or reflected him at 50 pounds lighter.  He refused to acknowledge that the reason women were cutting their first dates short and never talking to him again was because of this issue or even that the photos he chose didn't accurately represent his appearance - I think they looked like his self-image rather than his actual reflection in the mirror, as he was in denial about his weight problems.

The guys I've been on dates with that had this issue, by and large, were ones who used photographs at least two years out of date.  I am really wary of men who don't have multiple photos showing changes in hairstyle up on their profile.

One guy went from looking like an indie rocker to a Jersey Shore reject.  His photos were two or three years old when I went on my disastrous date with him.  He messaged me again almost two years later and was still using the same photos, now four or five years out of date!  Another's photos weren't all that old, but he had started experiencing early-onset male pattern baldness between when his photos were taken at 18 and when I went out with him when he was 19.  I did not, if you were wondering, hold that one against him, although I would have preferred that he had more accurate photos available.

The flip side:  I've been out with a few guys whose photos actually didn't fully capture how very cute they are.  I met them and was pleasantly surprised.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Raintree on August 20, 2012, 01:09:37 PM
A friend of mine has a picture up that was taken 10 years ago. Firstly, it's a head and shoulders shot, and secondly, she's gained about 50 lb since then. And surprise, surprise, she is having rotten luck with the guys she meets.

I do not think she is deliberately trying to deceive; my belief is that she likes that picture of herself and doesn't realize how much time has flown since it was taken (and how she's changed in the meantime). I don't want to say anything because she is very sensitive, but I think if she'd just post an honest, up-to-date picture of herself, she could attract guys who are interested in her just the way she is, right now.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: WillyNilly on August 20, 2012, 01:29:18 PM
A friend of mine has a picture up that was taken 10 years ago. Firstly, it's a head and shoulders shot, and secondly, she's gained about 50 lb since then. And surprise, surprise, she is having rotten luck with the guys she meets.

I do not think she is deliberately trying to deceive; my belief is that she likes that picture of herself and doesn't realize how much time has flown since it was taken (and how she's changed in the meantime). I don't want to say anything because she is very sensitive, but I think if she'd just post an honest, up-to-date picture of herself, she could attract guys who are interested in her just the way she is, right now.

You might want to encourage her to not so much take that picture down, but rather encourage her to put up more photos in addition to it.

As I said upthread, when I internet dated, I maxed out on photos - as many as I was allowed I had.  I had face pictures, solo pictures, with friends and family pictures, me doing stuff (I think I had one horseback riding, one skydiving, one with friends at Cirque Du Soleil, etc). 

I figured a lot of pictures told a story about myself as much as my written profile - it showed I had friends and maintained relationships with family, it showed some of my interests, it showed my personal style, etc.  And with guys I appreciated lots of pictures - you can tell if a girlfriend is cropped out (sign of a recent break up perhaps?) or if a guy has a dog, or there were plenty of guys with pictures with what appeared to be their kids yet none were listed on their profile, etc.

So maybe appeal to her like that "friend you have such a great and well rounded life, maybe putting up more pictures of yourself would help attract a better caliber date - guys who really saw you for you and appreciated all you have to offer! A picture tells a million words, best to have plenty up to really tell who you are."
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: TurtleDove on August 20, 2012, 01:58:45 PM
Disclaimer: I don't internet date. 

It seems to me that using out of date photos that are no longer an accurate reflection of current appearance is counterproductive both because it shows deception and because it reveals that the person is not happy with themselves how they currently are.  It's not an attractive quality to be unhappy with one's appearance (and this has little to do with physical beauty and more with the attitude that shines through).
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Kitty Hawk on August 26, 2012, 12:45:21 PM
Not a dating situation, but a photo situation.

Back when I was working in an office, my female boss gave a speech at a convention. For publicity purposes, she sent them a photo from one of those "glamour photo shootings".  All I could think was, they will never recognize you.....
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: spookycatlady on August 28, 2012, 08:11:18 AM
I once went on a date with a guy with whom I had zero connection.  He had no interest in me either, but we had dinner anyway, just kind of commiserating about the weirdness of various people we had met.  He said he arranged to meet one woman who had described herself as average, and had an older photo that showed a model slender woman.  The woman who arrived at the bar was probably close to 300 lbs, by his estimation.  She explained to him, "But if you just got to know me, you would see how awesome I am!"  At the time of our date, I was probably around 250 lbs, and my pictures were flattering, but not deceptive.  I bring up that because I wanted to illustrate that the guy in question wasn't actually sizist.

When you're (general) proving yourself to be a liar, that is part of you.  Appearance has nothing to do with it.  Dishonesty and self-loathing are not character traits that overcome any imperfections you think you have.

So, yes. Very rude.  And sad.

Before I agreed to date my now husband, I had his profile on a 'watch list'.  I liked his profile and he seemed like he was a good match.  The problem?  I couldn't see his eyes in any of his pictures.  When he changed his profile photo to show his eyes, I sent him a first contact thingie.  I needed to see those peepers.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: nonesuch4 on September 02, 2012, 10:46:11 AM
As I said upthread, when I internet dated, I maxed out on photos - as many as I was allowed I had.  I had face pictures, solo pictures, with friends and family pictures, me doing stuff (I think I had one horseback riding, one skydiving, one with friends at Cirque Du Soleil, etc). 

I figured a lot of pictures told a story about myself as much as my written profile - it showed I had friends and maintained relationships with family, it showed some of my interests, it showed my personal style, etc.  And with guys I appreciated lots of pictures - you can tell if a girlfriend is cropped out (sign of a recent break up perhaps?) or if a guy has a dog, or there were plenty of guys with pictures with what appeared to be their kids yet none were listed on their profile, etc.

I'm a little leery of men who have to take their own pictures in the mirror.  I wonder if they haven't maintained any friendships or familial ties.  I am a bit suspicious of unlabeled pics of kids, too.  I don't expect first and last names, but without an explanation of who a child is, it looks as though a scammer had pulled stock photos and tried to create a profile family for himself.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Raintree on September 03, 2012, 02:00:23 PM
And what is with the ones who post torso-only shots to show off their chests? I appreciate a well-toned chest as much as the next person, but I'd never respond to a profile in which the guy posted a picture of just his torso. Something about it screams, "I think I'm an amazing catch because I work out and just LOOK at my chest!! Women should be falling all over themselves to go out with me!" I don't know any women who would actually go for that. (Sorry to go off-topic).
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Sophia on September 03, 2012, 02:12:18 PM
Speaking of annoying dating site photographs.  What about how almost every man (my DH included, we met on matchmaker) has a photo of them at some event with the ex cropped off the photo?  I always compare myself to what I can see of the EX
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: MariaE on September 04, 2012, 01:20:32 AM
I'm a little leery of men who have to take their own pictures in the mirror.  I wonder if they haven't maintained any friendships or familial ties.  I am a bit suspicious of unlabeled pics of kids, too.  I don't expect first and last names, but without an explanation of who a child is, it looks as though a scammer had pulled stock photos and tried to create a profile family for himself.

The mirror thing wouldn't bother me. I'd just assume that he was too embarrassed to tell anybody he needed a photo for an online dating site. The unlabeled pics of kids I agree with though.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: RingTailedLemur on September 04, 2012, 02:16:23 AM
Speaking of annoying dating site photographs.  What about how almost every man (my DH included, we met on matchmaker) has a photo of them at some event with the ex cropped off the photo?  I always compare myself to what I can see of the EX

I saw a story about a guy in a magazine who used his own wedding photos on a dating site... although he was still married.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Twik on September 10, 2012, 02:06:29 PM
Something about it screams, "I think I'm an amazing catch because I work out and just LOOK at my chest!! ..."

Am I the only one hearing "wigglewigglewiggle" in their head?
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: NyaChan on September 10, 2012, 04:13:59 PM
Not anymore  :)
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: greencat on September 10, 2012, 11:41:57 PM
I flat-out refuse to even talk to men who don't have at least two clear photos of their face and (clothed) upper torso.  If you can't show your face on a dating site, you shouldn't be on it.  I am extremely hesitant to give out off-site forms of contact for guys to "send photos" as either they're scammers trying to collect valid e-mail addresses for mailing lists, or they're going to send me photographs of an extremely private and unwanted nature.  I also consider my physical attraction to a potential partner to be a big factor - and no picture means no chance for me to evaluate that.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: whiterose on September 11, 2012, 06:35:28 AM
My boyfriend was hesitant to put pictures at first- sending them only upon request.

I told him later that lack of pictures (especially on a free site, on eHarmony or Match not so much) is often a sign that the man may be married.

That, and I would not have even considered somebody without profile pictures either, since I do need the person to be at least someone that I find attractive upon first sight, even though I may not necessarily feel an instant flutter kick.

But I did upon seeing his pics upon first seeing his profile. The rest is history  ;D
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Twik on September 11, 2012, 09:41:29 AM
Part of the problem is that I think most people do not have a really accurate idea in their own minds of what they look like. So, they may not understand that their pictures aren't giving others a good idea what they look like *now*. The picture was good five years ago, so why wouldn't it be good today?
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: greencat on September 11, 2012, 10:59:24 AM
Even if the photos aren't that old - if the person has made major changes to either their personal style or has gained a lot of weight in a short time, the photo may still not reflect what they look like now.  When my ex and I started seeing other people, he would sometimes get to the first date point with women, who would then end the date as soon as possible, and at least one of him did him the courtesy of telling him he didn't look like his photos and that his profile wasn't accurate.  He asked me and a male friend what he was doing wrong with his photos and profile.

1) His most recent photo was a headshot taken from a "Myspace angle."  One you'd only see people from if you were standing up while they were sitting on the floor.  That kind of photo usually sends up red flags to people on dating sites. 
2) His next most recent photo, which was a full body shot, had been taken six or seven months ago (by me, actually.)  It was, arguably, a good photo of him - well lit, at a proper angle, etc.  However, he'd gained probably 40 pounds since then.  He really didn't look the same anymore - besides the obvious changes in his body, the weight had changed the shape of his face pretty significantly.
3) He described his body type as "average" when he was close to 150 lbs over the ideal weight for his height (and the average weight for a man his age, for that matter - they happen to be almost the same number.)  Both myself and the male friend thought that was very misleading.
4) He had his height listed at 5'11.  He had always given his height at 5'10, and I'm pretty sure he was actually only 5'9 - or else every single pair of my high heels was taller than they said they were.  Two vanity inches are unfortunately fairly common for men on the site, but when you combine that with the other misrepresentations, it was the proverbial back-breaking straw.

My profile has I think eight photos up, all taken within the last year and three months, all with different hair colors from white-blond to reds to dark browns - I change my hair color frequently.  I usually have a warning on my profile somewhere that it changes frequently.  I tell guys what color it is on the day of our first date so they know what to look for.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: nonesuch4 on September 14, 2012, 08:20:03 AM
I'm just finishing up a six month stint on a dating site.  On this site, people are allowed to categorize their own looks (average, good looking, very good looking) and their body types.  The Dunning Kruger effect is evident.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

Just met a man whose picture was ten years and 50 pounds out of date.  This made him 17 years older than I.  He knew how old I was, too, but glossed over the difference by saying  something like "older by the calender but not anything else." 

Hmm, 72 years old with COPD might be something you want to mention, if you're honest at all.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Shea on September 16, 2012, 05:01:39 PM
I do think that it's both rude and dishonest to post pictures that look nothing like you anymore (as PPs have said, a noticeable weight gain or loss, or a picture that's years out of date). Like other people mentioned, if I met someone whose photo showed him to be of average weight and in their mid-twenties, and he turned out to be 100 lbs overweight and in his mid-thirties, I'd wonder what else he was lying about. I suppose it's possible that he just didn't realize how much he'd changed, but with something that major it seems unlikely. I'd assume they were trading on the assumption that "Well, I may be very overweight and 10 years older than my picture, but if I can just get to the first date, she'll see how awesome my personality is and not mind!" Actually, while the weight/age might not turn me off if he was honest about it and seemed like a great guy in other respects, the fact that he actively disguised it would bother me far more than the extra pounds.

However, having a picture that looks a bit different from the way you really do (something about camera angles, maybe), or you're wearing glasses when you normally wear contacts, or a guy has a beard that he recently shaved off, I think that's all right. It might be good to give a head's up before you meet ("Oh, and I've grown a goatee/cut my hair short since that picture was taken), but it's not as big a deal as a really out-of-date picture. And I do think full-body shots are good, as well as having more that one picture, just to get a good idea of what they really look like. I had a basic head-and-shoulders picture, as well as a few others (me dressed up like Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly for Halloween, a cool action shot of me on horseback at full gallop, I think maybe another one I don't remember).

I met my BF online, and his picture, while a nice one, just doesn't look all that much like him. I think it's the angle it's taken at; there's nothing I can point to exactly that's off, but it doesn't look quite right. Honestly, when we first met, I recognized him from his smile, which is wonderful and does show up in the picture :).
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: blarg314 on September 16, 2012, 07:23:05 PM

I figure that photos on a dating site should be recent (within the past year) and show   at least a full body shot, possibly with a head shot. That way you get a good idea of what a person looks like, and what their body type is.

However, I think that posting a flattering picture of yourself is fair game. I wouldn't expect someone to take the photo in a way that makes their physical flaws as clear as possible - a rear shot to emphasize butt size, an overhead light to make balding clear, maybe without a bra to make it evident that these aren't perky nineteen year old breasts anymore, a tight shirt to emphasize the beer belly, or a shot from below to show of a double chin.

It's the same for the written profile. People don't generally highlight personality quirks or annoying flaws - the fact that they grind their teeth at night, or are really grouchy in the morning, or are a picky eater, or take a really long time to get ready in the morning, or hate exercising and love junk food. These are things you learn as you get to know people. The profile is to give an accurate but flattering view of you, to get people to be interested.

Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Raintree on September 17, 2012, 03:10:47 AM
I flat-out refuse to even talk to men who don't have at least two clear photos of their face and (clothed) upper torso. If you can't show your face on a dating site, you shouldn't be on it. I am extremely hesitant to give out off-site forms of contact for guys to "send photos" as either they're scammers trying to collect valid e-mail addresses for mailing lists, or they're going to send me photographs of an extremely private and unwanted nature.  I also consider my physical attraction to a potential partner to be a big factor - and no picture means no chance for me to evaluate that.

Unfortunately, that rules out a lot of perfectly nice, attractive people who don't want to post their photo on a dating site for all the world to see for valid reasons, such as being a teacher or a prof and not wanting your students reading up on how much you like long walks on the beach, or are looking for someone active and adventurous, etc etc. I know a guy who is a prof, a really nice, active, and smart guy, who met his gf on POF in spite of not posting a picture at all (for the reasons I mentioned). And personally, I have not tried online dating myself, because although I know I am considered attractive (ie I am not trying to hide anything, I can still turn heads, and men might actually be pleasantly surprised if they went in blind) I just feel very, very uncomfortable with the idea that anyone I know (colleagues, clients, friends, aquaintances) could go on that site, recognize me, and read all about my likes and interests, what I want in a partner, etc. To me that is very personal information to be posting on the World Wide Web with your picture attached. So if I ever do go on a dating site, sorry, but they will have to email me for a picture (after I get a general idea of their likeability through a few emails of course, ie whether they can string a few interesting sentences together without mentioning scrabble).

Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: greencat on September 17, 2012, 03:43:53 AM
Then Raintree, online dating is really not for you.  I understand that for some people, dating sites without a photo work, but generally, if you aren't comfortable with being on there, you should probably stick to other ways to meet people.  It's not like (most, sane) people go on them just to see who they know is on the site in order to mock and stalk them - in fact, usually, in order for the dating sites to show those friends/colleagues/clients/acquaintances would also need to be single and looking for a partner of your gender and age.  I talk about my dating site experiences with my friends, many of whom use the same dating site.  My past experience has been that men who expressed discomfort with being on the site (but still used it to meet women!) were also the ones that would both express discomfort with me being on the site (holy cognitive dissonance, Batman!) and flake out on dates because I was "just someone they'd met online."

I've actually seen several young professors from the nearby megagiantuniversity on the dating site I use.  I've also seen a few school teachers.  Minors are not supposed to be on the site anyway, so students below college-age actually shouldn't be able to see the profile in the first place, and students who are of college age understand that their professors have personal lives.

It's also a lot better to have that personal information up with a photo attached - but no links to my real name or other online profiles (as I use a unique user name for dating sites) than to have it up with an e-mail attached.

I also dislike giving men a way to contact me off the site until the day before a first date - you know that saying, give them an inch, and they'll take a mile?  Every single man that pressured me into giving a non-site form of contact (even by giving me his contact info and asking me to reply to him off-site) prior to the first date has abused the privilege and sent me endless texts/emails/calls, or gifted me with photographs of his scrabble tiles.
Title: Re: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality
Post by: Emmy on September 27, 2012, 11:49:16 AM
I've been out of the online dating game for several years after meeting DH, but I remember those days.  I agree with Shea and blarg.  Major changes or way outdated photos are deceptive.  Minor changes, like a haircut or change in facial hair are ok, but should be mentioned if the people are to meet.  I also think it is a good idea to post several photos because people tend to look different depending on their expression, the lighting, and angle of the photo.  Blarg has a good point that even a recent photo can look a bit different than seeing the person in real life.  I had five photos on a dating site and somebody mentioned I looked like 5 different people.  All were relatively recent photos with no major weight change, hair style changes or anything else, but apparently at least one person thought I looked quite different in all of them.

I don't think it is outright desceptive, but it is questionable to post that might misrepresent your or interests.  For example, if you are a jeans, tee-shirt, and no make-up type of girl 99% of the time, having only dressed up and made up shots would be misrepresentative.  I agree that photos should be flattering, but realistic.  I think an old photo or out of the ordinary photo (such as glamour shots) is OK, but it should be labeled as such and certainly shouldn't be the only photo posted.