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How to Give Yourself the Edge in Your Dating Profile Picture

Your dating profile picture is your “shop window.” It is the very first thing other daters see, and if they like what they see, they might investigate further. If they don’t, then they are likely to move on.

The fact is that we form impressions of others very quickly, and these impressions are not only formed from what we see but also established from such cognitive shortcuts as prejudices and stereotypes. For example, people think that the French and Italians are the best lovers (I’m not sure they are) or people wearing spectacles are intelligent (around 14% of all online daters wear specs). Therefore, in order to attract the interest of others, it is important to get your profile picture right.

Clearly, you are going to use what you consider your best photos, but what else should you consider which might give your profile picture the edge?

1. Smile

This should be an obvious one, as people usually look more approachable and friendly when they smile, which is the impression you are trying to create. Use a photo in which you are displaying a genuine smile, referred to as a Duchenne smile. Duchenne or genuine smiles are those which involve the orbicularis oculi muscle, which raises your cheeks and produces wrinkles around your eyes. Fake smiles, on the other hand, generally tend to be lower-face smiles and may also look slightly asymmetrical.

It is quite easy to spot the difference between the two smile types. Surprisingly, however, according to a survey by Dating Scout, only 5% of dating profile pictures of men show them smiling.

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