Online Dating: The Science of Taking A Great Self Portrait

02/27/2013

Let's face it: We're a society that likes to judge books by their covers. And we also like to judge dating profiles by their pictures. A “selfie” is a picture of yourself, which often becomes your face to the online world, especially when used as a profile picture for social media or an online dating site. And just like other aspects of dating, there's some science behind the art of striking good selfie poses, which my colleague Kiley has been kind enough to demonstrate. See four ways to make yourself look better in your own "selfie."

Selfie-1Use Natural Sunlight for Good Skin Tone

Positioning yourself by natural sunlight helps to wash out blemishes and create a smooth skin tone. Some studies find that skin tone by itself might not be attractive, but rather serves to amplify existing facial attractiveness.

Selfie-2

 

Shoot From Above For An Adorable Look

Shooting from above and looking upward gives the appearance of a wide-eyed gaze, a prominent forehead, and a softer jaw. These are the features of a childlike face, which can end up looking adorable.

Selfie-3

Shoot From Below For A Lean and Commanding Look

You might see professional photographers crouch down to photograph a model. This upward angle creates a tall and lean look, which can give you the appearance of being taller or a “socially dominant” person who will take charge of situations.

Selfie-4Turn To A ¾ Pose To Throw In Some Curves

Make a ¾ twist with your shoulders and put your hand on the opposite hip to accentuate your curves. Women’s waist-to-hip ratios and men’s waist-to-shoulder ratios, which are thought to be physical signals of reproductive health, look pleasing when you strike this pose.

If the selfie does what it should -- attract romantic interest -- then someone will eventually want to see the real you. It’s important to keep in mind that selfies are ultimately a fun self-indulgence. Although doing a ¾ twist is great for looking better physically, eventually we all have to square up and show our true selves.

More on Dating and Relationships:

Facebook Dating Faux Pas 

The Risks and Rewards of Online Dating 

Making the Perfect Personal Ad

 


Ty Tashiro is the author of The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love, an entertaining look at why modern dating is so challenging, why people can easily make bad partner choices, and how science can help us make smart decisions in the search for enduring love. It's available on Amazon, Indie Bound and Barnes & Noble. Dr. Ty received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota. His research has appeared in top academic journals and he has been an award-winning professor at the University of Maryland and University of Colorado. Follow him on facebook and twitter.
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