Why Highlighting Your Flaws Makes You More Attractive


Playing up your worst features actually makes you attractive, shows an OKCupid online dating study.

Hate your big nose? Wish you could lose those last five—or fifteen—pounds before uploading your photo to your online dating profile? Don't! Turns out, putting your best face forward online means putting your big schnoz forward, too.

According to OKCupid's most recent findings, you can improve your dating luck online by keeping this rule in mind: Take whatever you think some guys don't like—and play it up. 6 Tips For A Perfect Online Dating Photo

They came to the conclusion by analyzing the photo vote patterns and messages from a sample of 43,000 women in their user base. What they found was surprising—if you're not "hot," then the next best thing is actually having some men find you downright ugly. Falling somewhere in the middle—being merely "cute"—doesn't always work to your advantage.

How come? According to OKCupid's Christian Rudder, "the more men, as a group, disagree about a woman's looks, the more they end up liking her." Women whose photo ratings fell on dramatically opposite ends of the spectrum (a lot of 5s and 1s, for example, using OKCupid's 1-5 rating scale) were messaged more than women were were deemed to be on the average end of attractive.

It comes down to competition, says Rudder. "Suppose you're a man who's really into someone. If you suspect other men are uninterested, it means less competition." Rudder brings a couple of celebrity examples into the mix to prove his point: Kristen Bell and Megan Fox. General consensus, according to Rudder, is that Kristen Bell is pretty, while Megan Fox creates a bit more debate—"She's the new Angelina!"; "No, she's got weird toe thumbs!"—which makes her more desirable to the men who do find her smokin'. Are Ugly And Beautiful Dating Sites A Good Idea?

Of course, it's hard to imagine that Megan Fox would have a hard time getting a date should she ever find herself trying out online dating—but there's something to it. As a fairly curvy lady myself, I made no attempts to post deceptive photos or hide behind other people/large flora in photos I posted to online dating sites. My rational—besides honesty being the best policy—was in line with OKCupid's findings: Sure, the majority of men on this site might find me unattractive, but I'm not interested in going on dates with men who find me unattractive. So why not put all size 12 of me out there and target the men who like a woman with my body type? (Yeah, the cleavage shots didn't hurt either.) And the findings do put a new spin on the saying, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

What do you think? Do you try to minimize your "flaws" when posting photos on online dating sites, or do you flaunt them?