Hint: It's not what you intend.
Just as I thought I was done with advice articles for 2014, there I was, reviewing membership requests for our dating agency. Then, BAM—there it was.
The two newest matchmaking requests included quite well-rounded and intelligent personality profiles. All seemed well, until I reached the bottom of the forms where we ask to attach photos. Both women attached selfies of themselves ... taken in public toilets!
Yes, I get it: We live in the age of selfies. We cannot pass by a historic monument or a famous landmark without honoring it with an impression of our smiling mugs.
The first thing we do when we arrive in a fabulous (or any) place is pucker our lips and do our best Donald Duck impersonation to be forever etched in the annals of digital images.
We can't wait to plaster these proofs of our fabulousness all over social media so that we can sit back and revel in thousands of affirmations from friends we've never met about how beautiful/adventurous/clever and generally awesome we are.
Should I make a leap from there and assume that it is because we look so spectacular when we go out on the town that we can't help but snap yet another photo as we admire ourselves in a bathroom mirror?
Or, is it because urban living is so space-confining that the only place to take a selfie in a full-length mirror is in a public lavatory?
Sadly, guys are almost as guilty of that as girls. I have seen many a photos of men with stalls peeking out from the edge. With the exception of the duck face, these guy selfies are just as silly.
To a large extent, our society is very accustomed to continuous outbursts of vanity and self-exultations that are selfies.
Most of them are unsolicited and come at us in mind-numbing numbers in forms of posts, tweets, Instagrams, etc. They vary in their degrees of esthetics (or lack of such) and absurdity, yet we all go through the motions of obligatory "likes," "re-tweets," and "reblogs."
It's a lot easier to do that than explain to your social media friends that not pressing "like" on their photo is the kinder option. The other one is telling the truth about what we really think of their hair-flipping-V-sign-flashing bathroom selfie.
I get it. I may not like it, but I get it. However, take a look at LinkedIn. Not too many bathroom selfies there. Why? Because people want to portray themselves in the best way possible in order to attract potential employers or clients.
So, why should it be any different in the dating world? How do you want to be seen—as a beautiful person with a winning smile or a lip-puckering duck grimacing in a bathroom mirror? What kind of mate do you want to attract?
Many women claim they have such well-thought out bios and profiles that it is absolutely bewildering to them why they do not attract serious, successful mates. Well, ladies, whoever said the picture is worth a thousand words was absolutely correct.
You can write all you want about your love of the arts and your volunteer work with the seniors. It's your photos that make the impression.
With the growth of the online dating industry, headshots have become more and more affordable. Instead of another purse, why not buy yourself some professional headshots? Trust me when I tell you it is a better investment in your future than a Michael Kors clutch.
To clarify, your dating photos do not need to be of you in a business suit wearing horn-rimmed glasses and leaning on the mahogany desk.
As a matter of fact, you want to make absolute sure your photos capture the essence of you: the real you, whether it's playful, thoughtful, shy, or outgoing, they need to reflect who you are.
Ask if the photos reveal the real you or a duck-faced lunatic who takes selfies of herself in public bathrooms.
And while we're on the subject, please refrain from using photos where you cut out the face of the person you were leaning on. Not cool.