To Body Shot or Not


And now a quick rant.

This comes apropos of nothing recent; it’s just that I’m awake and working at 2AM, and I always tend to go off on random tangents if I’m at a keyboard around this time.

So here it is, then. A couple months ago, I was browsing around an online dating site, and I found the most intriguing profile of a most intriguing man. I loved his writing style. I thought he was sexy in a rumpled, roughshod, bleary-eyed way. I thought we might have many things to talk about.

Since I pretty much have no profile posted, I wrote a lengthy, well-thought-out message, telling him why I was drawn to his profile, and what I figured we might have in common, etc. etc. I was light and naughty and sarcastic and fun.) I told him that I wasn’t aggressively seeking to get hooked up with someone, but that I couldn’t resist writing to him.

Oh, and I attached a picture, ‘cause I know people are shallow.

Almost immediately, I get back a polite one-line email requesting a clear, full-length body shot.


Now, I understand that pictures can be deceiving, and some women fib about their weight, and everyone has a blind date horror story…but come on!

I used to work in a modeling agency, and full-length Polaroids were part of the interview process.

I also have spent a certain amount of time checking out pictures of prostitutes on Craigslist (don’t judge; it’s fun!), and I understand why full-length body shots could also be part of the solicitation process.

But it seems to me that a regular girl, looking for a conversation, a flirtation, and maybe a few dates, shouldn’t be asked to display the goods like that. Certainly not before a single word is exchanged!

Believe it or not, I’m one of the few non-model females over 25 who’s not shy about showing full-body shots (see, it even reads dirty). Hell, for the right person, I’ll take ‘em topless. Particularly since I dieted my ass off at the beginning of summer, lost 12 pounds, and now fit easily into my skinniest of skinny jeans, thank you very much.

So, as insane as it now seems, I remember that for a few minutes, I actually thought about complying with this man’s request.

Then I thought, “What if the pictures I have are not full-body enough, cause they cut off at the knee?” Then I thought, “Does it matter that I just changed my hair? Should I tell him now or later?”

Then I thought, “Maybe I should just take a digital picture in the mirror, right now."

Then I thought, “Do I need to wear a bathing suit, or is a little slip dress revealing enough?”

Then I thought, “What kind of idiot am I, to be stripping down and taking photos of my BODY for some man who’s never even talked to me?”

And that was the end of that.

You know, though, occasionally I think about him. His profile was so smart, so insightful, so NOT shallow. There was so much potential (in my head, at least), for about 15 minutes. And then that one email ruined everything.

Not that it’s so terrible for someone who’s only known you virtually to want to see the physical package. It’s not even bad to request the full-body, if you’re worried about potential backside issues. (And girls, a candid tip from me: If you’ve got ample booty or Buddha belly or whatever, don’t try to hide it. Sooner or later, he will find out.)

But it is so, so bad to ask right off the bat. No matter how you phrase it, it says loud and clear to the girl, “I really could not give a damn about your personality. It is totally irrelevant.” And for any girl with half a brain, that’s a deal-breaker.

I’m not telling all you guys to change your priorities. I know you won’t. And I’m not asking you to put the whole physical attraction thing in check. I know you can’t. I’m just telling you to be a teeny, tiny bit subtle about it.

Maybe that sweet, funny girl who sent you an email but disappeared after your “Please send full-length pics” request is actually a wild vixen who’d roll around naked on your ‘80s-style zebra-stripe rug, licking wild honey off the oh-so-flexible limbs of a Russian dancer named Tanja, and let you video the whole thing.

And you’ll never know. Because you were too damn impatient.

Poor you.