Have you ever met someone on an online dating site who you were really excited to meet in person? Everything seemed great. You were attracted to them, their profile was funny, they seemed smart, they had a great job and they seemed totally into you. So, you plan a date. You call your best friend to tell her about this person (because this could be your future life-partner… but also because safety first). You show up for your date, but you don’t see your date anywhere. Why? Because the person looks completely different from their pictures, and you didn’t recognize them.
False advertising is the worst! It’s rude, inconsiderate and a waste of your time. But not everyone feels that way. According to this article on The Daily Dot, the founder of PicTricks, a photo retouching website, says you should Photoshop your online dating photos to make yourself look better. He says, “Your profile picture is your personal brand. It is how you present yourself to the world.” In other words, be someone you’re not so the world will be interested in knowing you. We disagree, and here are some reasons why:
1. Physical attraction.
Physical attraction is important (so is every other kind of attraction, but right now we are talking about the physical kind). It’s typically the first thing people notice when they are looking for a potential date online (but not the only thing). So, why would you want to pretend that you look different than you do? The person you are meeting will find out how you actually look, because that’s how meeting people in person works. And they may or may not still be attracted to you (which wouldn’t make you unattractive, just not what the person was led to expect). So, to save everyone’s feelings from being hurt… either from rejection or from being bamboozled… don’t Photoshop your picture. The real you is always a better option than the fake you.
2. You’re more than just a picture.
Your picture isn’t the only important aspect of your profile. What you write, and the way you write it, can tell someone so much more about who you are than your picture can. Your writing can give people an idea of what your sense of humor is like, if you have a positive outlook on life, if you’re self-deprecating, what your interests are, if you’re a good speller, etc.. Being honest with what you write is just as important as being honest with the picture you present. So, find a good picture, then focus the rest of your efforts on writing something that represents you well.
3. Your self-esteem is at risk.
What would happen to your self-esteem if you felt like you could only attract a potential love interest by changing the way you look? Maybe it would feel good temporarily, but it certainly wouldn’t make you feel good about yourself for long. If someone doesn’t want to meet you, then so be it. It wouldn’t have worked out anyway. Our egos are sensitive, so we should only do things that make us feel good about who we are.
4. It’s a lie.
First impressions can make or break a date. No one enjoys being lied to, so lying about what you look like may not be a good start to a relationship.
5. It draws attention to your insecurities.
Insecurities are part of being human. We all have them. But the last thing we want is for our insecurities to be called out. By altering your pictures, you are announcing to the world (the online dating world) that you are insecure about your nose, your weight, your hair color, your skin… or anything else you could possibly Photoshop out of a picture. The less attention we give to our insecurities, the less they will dictate our lives.