I love when websites use their data as field research and publish it on their sites. I know PornHub does it and so does OK Cupid.
This OK Cupid article analyzes three attributes (facial attitude, photo context, skin) and busts four myths of profile pictures. The researcher used data from relatively medium attractive people (the majority of people on the site) and disregarded the least and most attractive people. He also apparently wrote an entire book, which I have just added to my Kindle Wish List.
Myth 1: “It’s better to smile”
Turns out, it’s only better to smile if you are female and smiling directly into the camera. “Men’s photos are most effective when they look away from the camera and don’t smile.”
Myth 2: “The MySpace Angle is Busted”
Turns out the “‘Myspace’ Shot” is “the single most effective photo type for women.”
Myth 3: “Guys should keep their shirts on”
If you have abs, take that shirt off, especially if you are young. If you are 31, though, your ab pic is only attracting 0.2 more “women per attempt” (of contacting a woman through OK Cupid). The downtrend apparently “continues with age.”
Also, normal clothes get more women per attempts than dressed up.
Cleavage shots for women increase contacts, and cleavage shots help the downtrend in contacts for older women.
“Body + cleavage pics” and “pics taken outdoors” graphed against each other converge at age twenty-five. So, at 25 you are as likely to have an outdoor pic as you are to a body + cleavage pic. After 25, you become more and more likely to have a pic taken outdoors. Before 25, the opposite.
The type of picture that garners the highest “chance a message leads to an actual conversation”: a picture of you “doping something interesting.”
Myth 4: “Make sure your face is showing”
Turns out, a face is not as important as something interesting.