Reverse-psychology photos: Will/does it work?

I have a profile up on (feel free to check it out, its under Incubus ). The only photo I had available at the time was a rather comical picture my friend took at the Boardwalk. I had just climbed out the ice-cold water; my hair was mussed and I had saltwater in my eyes and up my nose. My friend just shoved the camera in my face and snapped a picture. At first I was kind of pissed, but then when I saw the picture I thought it looked so funny I ought to save it.

Why in the hell did I pick this particular photo? Well, firstly, I thought that even a bad picture is better than no picture. With no picture, people will have no choice but to think of the worst; everyone is assumed to be revoltingly ugly until they provide a picture to prove otherwise. Second, the picture is not the most flattering picture of me. I don’t think I look horribly ugly, but I know that lighting, angle, and a comb through my hair would probably make me look a lot better than I appear (in the photo). However, if anything, that is how I honest-to-goodness look when I just climbed out of the ocean. If someone was to see that photograph, then meet me in real life, they would find that I look better than my photo.

And therin lies my question- isn’t it a better idea to pick an unflattering picture of yourself, that way someone who is still interested despite the bad photo will be impressed by how much better you look? A lot of people pick the most glamorous, flattering pictures of them. Or their body parts; I noticed some guys taking pictures of their biceps, women taking photos down their blouses :eek: but who knows what the real person looks like. Some people here on the Straight Dope who are currently trying their hand at online dating even commented that sometimes their dates don’t look as good as they did in their photos. See, I’m trying to avoid that- I’d much rather a woman be impressed about how I am based on my profile photo than disappointed.

I looked up your profile and I think you did a good job with it. :slight_smile:
I agree with your reasoning, personally. I also feel it doesn’t do much good to send someone a glamorous photo only for them to be disappointed when they see you in real life. In fact, the photo I’ve been sending out to people most recently is of me looking all frazzled after spending several hours trudging around the Everglades. :stuck_out_tongue: Sure, I could find photos that look better…but I figure if the person can handle seeing me at my less-than-flattering moments then we’re off to a good start!
Actually, since people can look very different from one photo to the next sometimes, I prefer to send multiple photos to hopefully give the person the most realistic idea of how I look.

I have no idea if your reverse psychology method is a better idea than showing a glamour shot but looking at your photo (which I had to create an account for… blah), I don’t see why you would have any trouble attracting anyone if that’s a *bad *picture.

Good luck.

Some people say use the good photo, the glamour shot, some people sat use the “ugly” shot, the early morning you but invariably men say use the nude shot.

Um… What Aesiron said. Except I didn’t have to create an account.

You look good, dude.

See, a photo of someone trudging around a giant swamp is far sexier than a glamour-studio shot any day.

[sigh] I now have Mrs. Robinson stuck in my head. :smack: That’s my new alarm system.

Really, darling Incubus, it’s a yummy - I mean FINE - picture. Don’t overthink it.

And, um…How *YOU *doin’?

[ :smack: :smack: College boy! No! No! :smack: :smack: ]


Wow really?! :confused: :eek:

And here I’ve been looking at my reflection in the shaving mirror in my shower and thinking, “bleh…”. I guess its easy to get sick of your own face when you see so damn much of it over 24 years :wink: Thank you for all the comments about my profile!

I don’t have a webcam/scanner/digicam in my house; last Friday I was planning on stopping by at my friend’s apartment so he could snap a quick picture of me. I had recently done my audition, so I had a haircut and a meticulously-trimmed beard. Unfortunately, I was very tired that day, and fell asleep in the afternoon. My friend calls me up at about 5:50, asking “So are we gonna take this picture or what?”. I was so out of it, I thought it was 5:50 IN THE MORNING, which is when I usually get up to get ready for work…I was really confused why my best friend would call so early and totally forgot about the picture, so I said, “Why are you calling me so early? I’m trying to sleep?” and he got all pissed and frustrated, saying, “God damn it, YOU left ME a message saying you want to take this friggin picture, and now you’re backpedaling and giving me all this ‘morning’ BS!” :eek: I think I’ll give him a couple of days to cool off before I ask him about it again. :frowning:

I do intend to get some more photos of me, though. The picture I have shows me without glasses or facial hair, which may be a dealbreaker for some (who knows! :stuck_out_tongue: ) so it would only be fair if people see what I look like right now.

The picture is insanely dark on my screen to the point where I can’t make out your features, but nonetheless I think that putting up a non-perfect shot is far better than a studio-pose one. Good on you. :slight_smile:

Same here. I saved it and then lightened it, you know, for the sake of giving a good critique.

Incubus, I don’t think any reasonably sane girl would think it’s a bad shot. But you’re absolutely right- you need to post a pic of what you look like these days. I like your ad overall, too. Positive, not too serious, and reflective of your personality (well as much as I can get from your posts). You’ll do well, kid! Good luck!

Nice photo. You’re cute. And I bet the glasses and facial hair look fine.

I completely forgot about that site. I have an account there (that I never log in to anymore) and my photo is a studio-quality one–but that all I’m able to put up right now. I do look quite pissed in that photo though. I love it.

:stuck_out_tongue: Yeah, uh, basically, my friend just ran up to me and snapped a photo. What you are seeing is the cropped version; there was more of the beach and rollercoasters in the background origionally, and the bright, BRIGHT SUN! In other words, my friend was standing in my shadow when he took the picture, so its hard to make out my face. :stuck_out_tongue:

“How you doin’?” is what immediately came to mind upon seeing your pic, Incubus. So don’t worry.


You’re a cutie, dude! lol I have no idea why you’re concerned. Plus - adding glasses and facial hair…oh baby! lol :wink:

But that’s a side note - on the whole psychology kick - I’d never thought of it that way but it makes sense. Why glam up when that’s not how your normally look on a given day. The same logic applies for putting up worst picture ever. You want to look like you - not only “Stunning Demi-god You” or “Hideous Troll Under the Bridge You”. You could put bad pic, good pic, stunning pic and cover all bases! hehe
Okay- I’m done talking now. :stuck_out_tongue:

Incubus you are (in the words of my 18yo sister) “totally doable.” :wink:

But I agree that you should post a pic with your glasses too. Some girls like a man in glasses.