Monday, March 13, 2006

Photo Leary

I am working on this theory.

In posting an online profile, girls will comb through every photo they have EVER taken and get everybody's opinion - biased and unbiased, known and unknown. A girl believes dating success is hanging on that one photo.

In fact, you might have a "photo shoot" just to get the right picture. You might plan it around a visit to the hair dresser. Because how on earth are you ever going to get your hair as smooth as Chris - er, the hairdresser - does? Perhaps you will visit the makeup counter at Nordstrom's that day. But only because you needed new blush anyway and while you're there you may as well get the works! You will even get a manicure and pedicure. You are at your most prettiest now, girl! And you will most definitely wear your favorite underwear that makes you feel sexy. And always go with the black top. That is always flattering. After all this, you will get the right picture. But only after several takes, of course. Then you will post only those that came out "post worthy." That one with the double chin? Trash. That one from your "bad side." Trash. The one where you were trying to look sexy and ended up looking like you were just really drunk? Well, that goes on the refrigerator.

It goes without saying, that girls will post only pix where they are looking mighty hot. Because you are selling yourself, isn't that so? To girls, pretty packaging is a necessity. That is why girls have the makeup and the hair tools and the walk-in closet. Wait. Is that because WE like the pretty packaging? Or is it the guys who do? Hmm. Well, I don't know about you but I brush my hair for me. So the pretty picture? Well, if the best you have is that picture you took 10 years ago - when you weighed 105 - post it! A girl will do this. (Unless you are me, who can't take a good picture to save her life. So the above does not apply to me. Of course!)

Girls put a lot of thought and consideration in their photo posting. Because of this, they set the bar really high.

Now guys are a whole different breed. As a whole, guys don't care (or don't know any better) what picture they post. They don't put half as much thought into the lighting or the angle of the picture and whether it is a "flattering" picture or not. And they most certainly do not poll the guys: "Do you think this picture makes my nose look big?" "Should I go with full body shot or not?"How should I wear my hair?" "Should I smile or look serious?" "Should I wax?" "Would you date me?"

They most certainly do not do a photo shoot. As such, they set the bar at an even height.

One assumes that guys guys don't put any thought into the picture they post. If it is recent and they are in posession of it, they post it. They don't ask all their friends to send any and all pix they may have residing on their own digital camera. Nope, in the interest of machismo and modesty they will post any picture. It doesn't matter if they have food on their chin or if it was taken at such a close-up angle that their nose juts 3-dimensionally. These guys are rare though.

Is this really naive photo posting by the guys? Because I actually think guys do put thought into their photos - they just go about it differently than girls. Which makes them much more methodical and creative with the shots. While girls will have the pretty face shot, and maybe the one showing off their figure if they have it to flaunt, and maybe an action shot to appeal to the Sporty Spice crowd, and always the one where you are all made up in your bridesmaid dress. "Always a bridesmaid never a bride. Not woe is me. Drunk is me. Don't I clean up pretty?" There is a formula for the gal's photo posting.

The guys are all over the place. Because sometimes I just can't tell which category some of the guy's pictures fall under. The I-Don't-Care-And-Don't-Know-Which-Is-A-Good-Picture-Of-Me guy or the I-Did-A-Photo-Shoot guy? Let's look at some of these conundrums.

Like a cellphone! What is this person trying to convey by posting a picture with a phone to the ear? Does someone really think when they are posting their profile, "You know, I'm going to use that picture of me talking on the phone - you remember the one - I'm holding the phone up to my ear?" If thought went into the photo-posting, this poster might be going for - I'm technologically-savvy (but of course), I have friends (who like to talk to me), and I'm a listener (because, see, I'm listening in the picture). Or, this might simply be a case of that-was-the-only-and-most-recent-picture-I-had. And what friend is snapping photos of phone conversations?

Animal Posing
Guys seriously like to show off the little doggie. Some seem to say, "I will give you one picture of me and four of Fido. There's Fido playing catch. There's Fido eating. There's Fido biting at my leg. And there is me laying on Fido. He really is man's best friend!" When really the girls just want to see YOU. We get it, you like your dog. Conversely, you will never catch a girl posting a picture of their cat. Or maybe you do. But those girls aren't getting dates.

Action Shots
Because guys are sporty! The action shots don't bother me so much. The guy with his full-blown scuba gear? Well it certainly says, "I'm sporty." You can't see his face and just about everybody looks good in a wet suit. These guys are definitely thinking about their photo placements. They want to convey a sport they are passionate about. OR they want to show you their hot little body without saying, "I have a hot body." Or post a gratuitious shirtless photo. They mean to tell you, "I'm a swimmer. Oops, hope you don't mind speedos. And, yes, it's natural! wink." This guy shows rather than tells. Words are meaningless.

Hot Girls
Guys seem to think that a hot girl by their side makes them more attractive. I personally know guys who like to have "hot friends that are girls" because, girls, don't you flock to the one guy in the bar who is WITH a girl. I actually do not understand what the guys are seriously thinking by posting pictures with girls. But there is a lot of them.

These guys want to show you that they have been somewhere other than the Washington Monument. They have left the District and they travel! "I just went to Italy so here are 4 pix for your viewing pleasure of a place you have never been. Oh yeah, I'm not in any of them. I'm taking the photo, silly!" So you have no idea what the poster looks like, but you get to see some pretty countryside. You don't contact the boy, you contact your travel agent!

Sunglasses and Far away shots
This is iffy girls. It can go either way. I recently went out with one of those guys who either had pictures of him with sunglasses on, far away shots, and scenery. There were no close-ups, yet he was so gosh darn cool and that shot of him with the sunglasses was particular hot so I met him, all along fretting whether he was going to have a lazy eye or worse because his photos - I felt - were purposely hiding something. I went out on the Mystery Date Of The Guy With The Eyes. I had to text my friend on that date to verify his eye status. He had two working ones. He was hot in person. I think his was a case of this-is-the-most-recent-photos-I-have. Take it or leave it.

Red carpet poses
This is classic comedy for me. Seriously, I have seen quite a few photos of GUYS with the back to the camera looking back over the left shoulder. It's always the left shoulder. I can't figure out the motive on this one. Were they walking away from their friends and friend #1 shouted out, "Hey Joe!" and he turned at that moment? Candid camera indeed then.

There is not a category for the guy with the napkin tied on his head.

More picture scouring and analyzing to continue, I'm sure.


Morgan said...

I am personally a fan of the shirtless photo in any form but it is always best when he has taken the picture himself. In the mirror.

Anne West said...

Not a fan of the shirtless pose, but I'll actually settle for something that reasonably resembles said guy..I hate surprises!

Virginia Belle said...

great post. this is all so true to life! how about the guy who uses a picture from 1987, where his left leg is propped up and he has a mullet and a sleeveless button-down denim shirt (that is unbuttoned, i might add)? this guy also had a foot fetish to boot. literally. he looked like Foot Fetish Rambo. no joke.

you can read about all the weirdos i found online in my Match posts. (there are two)

i am soooooo glad those days are behind me. for now, anyway.

keep your readers posted on your online adventures in dating!

Mav said...

Guys actually do the "reverse" on-line search to see what their competition is...or so I am told. This actually perpetuates the bad photos...monkey see monkey do.