ColumnsKeep It 100

Filtered Foolishness

Dear Shameika,

I’m a 40-something male who sometimes uses dating apps to meet what might be my future wife (Hey, a guy can hope, right?). What I’ve found lately is that with the rise of apps like Snapchat and Instagram, it seems more women are applying filters to their profile photos, smoothing out what might be rough edges, looking model-esque, even while ultimately misrepresenting themselves. How do you suggest men like myself go forward when coming across theses profiles? Do we ask for an unfiltered photo? Do we straight up call them liars? Report them as spam? What is the protocol to proffer proper profile photos from potential date participants? Help. Me.

-Fooled by Facial Filters for Far Too Long

Shameika Rhymes

Dear All the Fs,
You know I have to ask this, but what do you look like sir? Are you looking for what someone has to offer on the outside or what’s on the inside?

I get it. It’s hard for you to be on a dating site, swiping or sliding into someone’s inbox hoping for a love connection and realizing you don’t really know what the person on the other end of the screen really looks like. But think about how for years women have had to play hopscotch in their inboxes to avoid the traps men set, whether through sending unsolicited peen pics or vulgar language or even the simple-but-irritating-as-hell, “Hi,” without any continued conversation.

I’ve seen more than my share of men posting how they looked 20 years ago with all of their hair and no beer belly. Bottom line: It’s rough for both sexes.

While I am not currently on a dating site — and haven’t been on one in a decade because my nerves are bad — I can imagine that you are getting plenty of cat ears, puppy dog noses with tongues extended or even the more subtle filters women use to lighten or darken their skin. Photos can give a lot of insight about a person. Let’s be honest, they are the top dealbreaker (or maker) as to whether you swipe right and push the online convo to the next step.

There’s nothing wrong with including those filtered photos on a profile, but making one your top pic or including Snapchat filters on every pic you post is doing the most. What we can’t do is assume that women are using these filters due solely to a lack of self-esteem or body image issues. It’s more likely that, just like on other social media outlets, filtered photos have become the norm — which is scary in its own right.

But as for you, Mr. Fooled, perhaps just like women post “no hookups” or other directives, you could always do the same and post a disclaimer: Any interested woman must have an unfiltered photo in their collection of photos on their profile. Granted, that might get you bypassed, but it would help weed out those that for some reason or another just can’t let the filter go. Calling women liars will get you cursed out and blocked — rightfully so — so don’t go down that road.

You could be bold and ask for an unfiltered photo only after you have looked through their profile and then talked for a bit. If those are, for whatever reason, the lesser pictures, it may not matter as much if you’ve already made a personal connection.

Let me talk to the ladies for a second. Chile, what are y’all doing putting up blurry pics, pics that have stars swarming around your head or turning yourself into an animal with your tongue all out while trying to land a date or future bae? You know they like to ghost!

While looking into Fooled by Filters’ question, I ran across a study conducted by UK website Metro that found that profile pics featuring Snapchat profiles are one of the most common causes for men having swiped left on a woman’s Tinder profile. People just don’t be trusting strangers online in the era of the catfish. It’s time to love yourself and show off the photos that show your inner and outer beauty!

For both men and women, the trick to getting more matches is to make a real connection and that starts with being your authentic self and showcasing that through photos and words. You have to reel in the fish first before you can take it offline, so why not be honest? Ultimately, you have to Keep it 100 with each other if love is going to bloom outside of the app. Good Luck!

If you have a dilemma you need help solving, drop me a line:

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