Sex in the News: What does your profile picture say about you?

Growing up in AOL chatrooms, on MySpace and now as Facebooking adults, we all understand the importance of having a good profile picture. Hell, in some circles, a sexy or interesting picture can create more envy than an adoring boyfriend or a good GRE score. This single snapshot imposes a strong impression on the rest of the world and whether you are going for the fun-party-girl look or the sensitive-animal-lover facade, the right profile picture can be the key to conveying any desired impression.
So how do you take the best profile picture to impress others and inspire conversation? OKTrends has done a significant amount of research through their online dating website about this very topic. If you want to give off a sexy or fun vibe, consider these tips:
1)  Even though women smile about 50% more than men do, this socially encouraged form of invitation isn’t the most recommended look for obtaining messages. In fact, you know that flirty lips-puffed-out look that we all hate? This is actually the number one look for women to use in order to get attention via profile picture.
Warning: This look only works with eye contact towards the camera. Flirting away from the camera was found to be the single worst profile look.
2)  Perhaps more annoying than the always prevalent flirty lips-puffed-out look is the MySpace-coy-angle shot achieved by holding a camera phone above your head and slightly to the side. These pictures always seem so desperate and pathetic, but believe it or not, they were the most popular context for female photos followed by in-bed pictures, outdoor-pictures and travel photos. Photos regarding having-fun-with-friends, drinking-alcohol and posing-with-animals were notably at the bottom of the list.
Note: Even when removing cleavage-shots, this was still the most popular pose.
3)  Just as you were about to get totally annoyed by this research, OKTrends did find one redeeming quality regarding profile pictures. Beating out the cleavage-shot and even the MySpace-coy-angle, doing something interesting in a photo, such as playing the guitar or catching a football, lead to the most conversation. Interesting photos that may or may not even include a face got many more messages than average and sparked a lot of curiosity.
So how do these tips and trends affect you and your profile picture? Are you going back to the flirty lip-puffed-out look and the MySpace-coy-angle or are you sticking to the picture of you and your cat? Either way, you may want to think twice about your picture and the image you are giving off to others. Who knows, maybe a little flirtation to the camera could lead to flirtation from someone else.

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