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Do Profile Photos Matter Around the World?: A Study

A hand holding a mobile phone with an image of a man on the display.

While some might believe that just assessing looks is superficial, we understand that physical attractiveness is an important factor when dating for many daters, especially when deciding which way to swipe. That’s why here at #Dating we decided to conduct a study to understand the preferences that people have when it comes to the looks of their potential future partner. So, how did we do this? We picked our dater’s brains with our Photo Duel game, where we showed users two different photos of others and they had to pick their preferred picture. Our results below contain the most chosen pictures from these duels.

Photo Duel works with you answering fun questions and choosing between two profile photos. Who would you go #traveling with? Who would you like to get #coffee with? Who’s smile caught your eye? Pick your favorite profile and you’ll be one step closer to matching and chatting!

#Dating also has international swiping, so you can match with anyone worldwide. We added this to the mix to see if there were any differences in profile pictures between cultures and countries. So if you’re looking to expand your horizons, we’re here to give you some inside info on what type of profile pictures catch people’s attention from across the globe.



  • Most showed a serious facial expression
  • One-third had facial hair


  • The majority wore makeup, but there was still a large proportion that wore no makeup at all
  • More than half were smiling in their profile photo



  • Many had profile pictures with their cars
  • About one-quarter had a topless picture


  • Majority were selfies
  • The majority didn’t use any filters to edit their photos



  • One-third had facial hair
  • A lot of people’s pictures showed a hobby or activity, the most out of any country


  • Most had long hair
  • A 50/50 split between casually dressed and sexily dressed



  • Very few had selfie photos, with someone else taking their photo preferred
  • More than 60% were casually dressed, But some of the elegant ones were the most extravagant and grand among all the countries


  • Just like Indian males, very few had selfie photos
  • One-third dressed in traditional clothing, taking great pride in their countries’ traditions



  • A lot of big smiles – a contrast to the serious/bad boy posing in most of the other countries
  • Many showed a hobby or interest


  • More than half wore jewelry, which seemed a more important factor compared to other countries
  • The majority of pictures were without makeup

There are certainly some differences between multiple countries and how they create their perfect profile photo. Mexico, the Philippines, and Indian daters seemed to focus more on hobbies, interests, and culture. These countries also seemed more relaxed and all smiles, with fewer calculated selfie pictures. However, to counteract that, in the USA and Australia, showcasing your looks and your best angles was more important (unless you like cars, you’re in luck!). There is a stronger correlation between countries rather than males and females specifically, so it seems that our daters are really influenced by their homeland and culture more than any other factors.

It’s clear that depending on how you want to date, different parts of the world can offer you a range of experiences and that there is something for everyone. Now you know where to turn to if you prefer a man with facial hair or a woman interested in fancy jewelry! The possibilities really are endless, so keep swiping to find that perfect match – wherever they are


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