We’ve all seen them and we’ve all cringed at them, whether it be literally or figuratively. From the aggressive couples looking for a threesome to the millionth The Office quote, everyone has a story. And at some point, everyone has had a cringey photo or bio. There’s no shame in it! But it’s 2021. There’s no time like the present to fix up that bio.
Now, I haven’t been on dating profiles for a minute, but my memories still haunt me. From Tinder to OkCupid, I was on every dating app. And when you’re on every dating app, you’ve seen all the archetypes. And while some profiles were amazingly done, many were not what my eyes wanted to see.
Red flags: men’s edition
We get it, you like to fish. Fishing’s fun, don’t get me wrong—I love to get on a boat and fish for a few hours. The difference, though, is that I don’t post a picture of a dead fish as a first impression. People don’t care about how large the fish was. The only thought they think when they see that is “Oh God, swipe left.” Take a boat picture instead!
Mentioning anything about height
There are three types of cisgender men on dating profiles:
The one that lists their height in the first line of their bio because they’re over 6’0”.
The one that posts their height, followed by the infamous line “because it matters, I guess.”
The one that doesn’t post it at all and instead talks about anything else.
Sometimes people lie about height, too. One of my closest friends is 5’11”, and he fudges a couple of inches on his bio to get more likes. So, like our parents told us, don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
Talk about your heights once the conversation gets going or one of you asks. Because believe me, height doesn’t matter in the long run. If you need to mention height, make a joke of it.
Forced shirtless pictures
Gym selfies and swimming pictures are fine, but shirtless bathroom pictures are a whole other demon. We love the confidence, but dear God, not as a first impression!
Red flags: women’s edition
Excessively edited photos
It’s fine if you have a cute Snapchat filter or a cool-toned edit. But once you go into three or more filters, it’s too much. Choose one. You’re beautiful no matter what, but too many filters yield a recipe for disaster. It’s no longer 2015—so it’s time to dump the folder of heavily filtered selfies. The best luck I’ve had with natural-looking filters is with the Airbrush app.
This should’ve died in 2012. It’s unflattering. Retake those photos as soon as possible—you’ll thank me later. But what type of face should you make? I think we’ve all had that conundrum. A smile feels fake, and trying to look sexy feels like meme potential.
However, there are angels of the internet that are here to help us figure out what the hell to do with our faces. My selfie guardian angel is model and YouTuber Natalia Taylor. She has this video called "Take iPhone photos the RIGHT WAY (even if you’re not a model)." Her best tip has saved me hours of selfie-taking, and it’s saying the word “Prune.” The “P” sound makes you look pouty, and it relaxes your face. So you get all the extra pouty lips you want, without doing a duck face.
Red flags: bio edition
All group photos
One group photo is fine—it shows that other people like you. But all group photos? It’s Tinder, not Where’s Waldo?
Stop tearing yourself down. It’s not funny, it’s sad. People love confidence, and dating apps are where many people fake it the most.
Whether it be a MAGA quote or “I only date liberals,” it’s cringey on both sides of the spectrum. (But obviously, if they appear racist or homophobic, swipe left and never look back.)
Unless you’re a joke account, leave Mr. Krabs out of it! People want to see your face, not a meme they’ve seen a million times on Twitter already.
Red flags: couples’ edition
For every dozen swipes, there’s always one couple looking for a threesome. Now, that’s perfectly fine. More power to you! It’s only a problem when they get super aggressive about it. Bios that are weirdly specific about their preferences or mention that they’re “looking for someone to play with” always send a shiver down my spine.
Listen, I’m guilty of doing some of these myself. It happens. But if you’ve been waiting for a wake-up call to spruce up your profile, here it is. We have a lot of free time on our hands, so why not tweak our profiles? Why not replace that The Office quote and delete those cringey pictures ASAP? Dating might not be the same as it was pre-pandemic, but it’s still alive and thriving—so go revamp your profile of choice.