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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.

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.

But unlike the Abs Shot, this positive effect actually trends As you would expect, women get fewer and fewer new messages as they age (which is a topic for another whole post!

), but this decrease in new contacts is substantially slower for women with cleavage pics.

In fact, not showing your face can in fact be a positive, as long as you substitute in something unusual, sexy, or mysterious enough to make people want to talk to you.

All of the above subjects get far more messages than average, and yet none of them have outstanding profiles.

In the future perhaps we can investigate what’s behind the decline: is it because older guys and their older abs are inherently less attractive, or because women as they age find body shots less interesting?

One final point, vis à vis men, their torsos, and the clothing thereupon: if you’re not the type of guy who can show off your muscles, don’t veer off in the opposite direction and get all dressed up.

All my bar charts are zeroed on the average picture. One of the first things we noticed when diving into our pool of photos is that men and women have very different approaches to the camera.

Now, you’re always told to look happy and make eye contact in social situations, but at least for your online dating photo, that’s just not optimal advice.

The pictures do all the work: in different ways, they pique the viewer’s curiosity and say a lot about who the subject is (or wants to be).