Author Topic: Online da[color=black]ting[/color] question: profile pictures vs. reality  (Read 11436 times)

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sweetonsno

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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.

NyaChan

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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.

SleepyKitty

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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.

ilrag

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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.

Judah

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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.
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jmarvellous

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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.)

Sophia

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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"

whiterose

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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.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 11:19:51 AM by whiterose »
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Outdoor Girl

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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.
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WillyNilly

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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.

Yvaine

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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.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 11:28:49 AM by Yvaine »

WillyNilly

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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.

Yvaine

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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.

Bexx27

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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...
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Sophia

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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.