Think you and your buddies are the only people who peruse Facebook, scan photos and zoom in on the hot ones? Think again. We women do it, too. Hence, if you’re a bit strategic with the Facebook pics you post, the ladies will love you. And the best part is, you don’t need to be McConaughey to pull it off. Research shows women respond more to photos showing personality (e.g., you with your dog) than physicality (e.g., you with your abs) anyway. Try these six expert tips to become the Don Juan of social media shots. (Special thanks to our friends Scarlett Johansson, Katy Perry, Kate Beckinsale, Hayden Panettiere, Megan Fox and Jessica Alba for helping demonstrate them.)
1. Look Away From the Camera
Where you look is actually more important than whether or not you smile. Analysts at the popular dating site OK Cupid found that men who looked away from the camera—in both smiling and non-smiling pictures—got more responses from women than men who made eye contact. Chalk it up to a woman’s desire for intrigue; a glance askance makes you mysterious, and that’s a good thing.
2. Relax and Dominate
Women seek stability in men, and they can pick it up in pics. A study led by Dr. Laura P. Naumann, associate professor of psychology at Sonoma State University (California), found that people judged the emotional stability of others based on their stance in full-body photographs. Moreover, those assumptions were usually right. To appear laid-back, confident and stable, Naumann suggests keeping your shoulders and arms are relaxed, not shrugged up, and your hands open, not in fists. Unless you’re looking for actual sparring partners, of course.
3. Keep It Tidy
You’re probably more of a big picture kind of guy, but most women are into details and appreciate a man who is, too. Naumann found that women thought a man was conscientious if he had a healthy, neat appearance. This doesn’t mean you have to manscape yourself like a professional cyclist. Just keep messy desks, bedrooms and Ed Hardy T-shirts out of photos and you should be fine.
4. Do Cool StuffPosting pictures where you are actually doing something sends a lot clearer, more attractive message than just saying you love to snowboard. Naumann says pictures posed in front of something worldly (think museums, artwork, exotic places) can indicate that you’re open to new experiences. Outdoor pictures from a camping trip or beach vacation can indicate that you seek adventure. If all your photos are you slumped on a couch, don’t expect any intellectual, active beauties to come calling.
5. Fly Your Flags
Consider interests a girl must have, your deal-breakers, and then post pictures reflecting them. If there’s a band you love and there’s no way you could date a girl who disliked them, post a picture wearing their shirt. Researchers call it an identity claim, because it demonstrates an important part of your personality. You can call it a beacon for a cool gal with similar tastes. Bonus: if she does in fact hate your favorite band, that can be fodder for a goofy argument followed by making up—and making out.
6. Release the Hounds
If “Love me, love my dog” is your mantra, definitely post pictures with your pooch. Not only does it imply your dog is important to you (that identity claim thing again), most girls have a soft spot for animals. Even if you don’t have a pet, pictures with animals are never a bad idea. OK Cupid analysts found men who posted pictures with animals met more women than even the guys showing off their abs. Which is awesome, because walking a dog is way easier than doing endless crunches.