Male Call: Bring Out Your Inner Shrek


By James Roberts –

Far be it from us to tell you to bring out your less attractive features on your dating profile, but a provocative TED talk suggests that maybe you should do just that.

Now, we’re not talking about how you still live with your mother, how you view every other driver on the road as your sworn enemy or how you erupt in a wild rage just hearing the words “Buffalo” or “cleaning woman.”

And we’re certainly not saying guys should go out clubbing wearing a torn, oily T-shirt or gals should wear pink capris. And we’re definitely not saying you should respond to a simple question like “Do you have any kids?” with “Um…er…no…well, it’s a legal thing y’know.”

No, the TED presenter, British mathematician Hannah Fry in “The Mathematics of Love,” makes the very good point that hiding features that are going to get you busted on the first meeting are not helping your dating life.

I don’t know how many woman friends have complained that they went on an internet date with a guy who said he was 5’11” but turned out to be 5’7”. Like he didn’t think they were going to notice? (Actually, it seems that what bugs the ladies is not so much the height as the fact that you bold-face lied about something eminently observable. We mean, who even does that?)

Fry points out that most people try to minimize the features they think are less attractive in their online pix (bald men wear hats, for example). But the research suggests that it’s better to play up what makes you different, even if you think some people will find it unattractive.

Here’s what’s happening. If you see someone in a bar who is uber-attractive, you might not think it’s worth your while to approach them. So too with a dating profile: if they look like too much of a hottie patottie (the actual technical academic term) you might pass them by figuring they are going to be deluged with offers.

Now, we could catalog the vast array of photo mistakes people make – grouchy faces, duck lips, posing with all your besties (ladies), posing with your Camaro (guys), posing with your family (everyone), sunglasses, bathroom selfies (really…you can’t find anyone willing to take your picture?), excessive skin – that clearly aren’t playing up anything but your poor judgment in photos.

But, if you’re a bald guy, wouldn’t you like to attract someone who fancies bald guys? If you’re a “curvy” woman, wouldn’t you want someone who really digs that?

This is not “settling.” This is maximizing the number of suitable beaus and minimizing the beau-zos. So get out there and let your inner Shrek shine through.

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Photo credit: bramdewilde via / CC BY-NC-SA

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