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But, contrary to everything you read about profile pictures, if you’re a guy with a nice body, it’s actually better to take off your shirt than to leave it on.We would never suggest to a Fitzgerald or a Dave Eggers to limit his profile to 100 words, and so why should guys with great bodies keep their best asset under wraps?For women, a smile isn’t strictly better: she actually gets the most messages by flirting directly into the camera, like the center and right-hand subjects above.from the camera is the single worst attitude a woman can take.To wit: a journalist was visiting our office recently, and when we told her we were researching user photos, the first thing she said was “please tell me people hate it when guys show off their abs.” We hadn’t finished running the numbers yet, so we confidently reassured her that people did. Of course, there is some self-selection here: the guys showing off their abs are the ones with abs worth showing, and naturally the best bodies get lots of messages.So we can’t recommend this photo tactic to every man.
The optimal pose for guys' pics: don't smile, don't make eye contact. In looking closely at the astonishingly wide variety of ways our users have chosen to represent themselves, we discovered much of the collective wisdom about profile pictures was wrong.For interested readers, I explain our measurement process, and how we collected our data, at the end of the post.Outfits more sophisticated than a simple collared shirt fare poorly: There are no clear myths associated with showing cleavage in your picture.Most “experts” recommend you don’t, but everyone knows that breasts get attention, so to treat that recommendation as a “myth” would be disingenuous.