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Let’s Get Caught Red-Shirted

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Is red the new black? When online dating is concerned, the answer is a resounding YES! Last March, Slate published an article saying you should wear a red shirt in your online dating profile to get more responses based on a study conducted by Nicolas Gueguen and Celine Jacob. For women, “Twenty-one percent of their emails arrived when they wore red, whereas the other colors – black, white, yellow, green, and blue – attracted 14 to 17 percent of the total.” Pretty impressive!

Why red? The article has two explanations.

  1. Red is associated with love – plain and simple.
  2. People flush red when they are sexually receptive, thus associating the color with attraction for the other person.

That’s quite the correlation! They say the same is true for both men and women, so start stocking up on red clothes. But before you go on that red shirt shopping spree, remember that simply posting a picture in your brand new red shirt is not the golden ticket to getting you a date every night of the week. The most important part of the picture is still you, and only you.

Don’t forget these five rules of thumb for your online dating profile pictures:

1. The main profile picture should be a clear headshot of yourself

If you don’t have at least one clear headshot as your main picture (it’s either blurry or too far away), it will look like you’re hiding something. You don’t want someone to click right past you because he or she can’t see what you look like, automatically assuming the worst.

2. Less is more

Believe it or not, JDate allows a whopping 12 photos in your profile. That sounds more like a Facebook album! I have no doubt that the pictures from your trip to Paris are amazing… just remember, there’s a time and a place for them, and that place is not an online dating site. People have a tendency to look though all of your photos and dismiss you simply because they see just one they don’t like.

3. Be by yourself in the shot

This says it all.

4. Have one “interesting” picture

It’s hard to know what to say to someone in that first email, isn’t it? This is why we need to provide some “e-mail bait” – something to catch someone’s attention and generate questions.  For example, if you have a picture of yourself with a gold medal around your neck, it automatically raises the question, “How did you get that?”

5. Be accurate

The point of doing online dating is to get offline. Don’t lie about your looks – people will always find out the truth in the end.

Now, with these rules of thumb in mind, feel free to break out the red (we’re still talking shirts here), and post away. And then when you have too many dates to count, you can break out the red again… this time perhaps a nice bottle of merlot.

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people navigate the world of online dating. Her services include: writing unique profiles to get you noticed, helping to choose your best profile pictures, writing one-of-a-kind emails to get someone’s attention, and planning dates. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.
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3 Comments »

  • Unlisted says:

    This is a Jewish dating site. How sad that Erika Ettin has no concept of what it means to be a Jewish woman and how Jewish women should dress.

    A Jewish woman is a “Bas Melech,” a Daughter of the King, and she acts and dresses that way.

    By dressing in a “tsnius” manner, she sends out a message of dignity and kedusha (holiness) and attracts a man accordingly, not a message that she is a sex object. Judaism is the ultimate feminism.

    As even “dating coach” Amy pointed out in her comment, red is not a tsnius color for women to wear and sends out a certain message, especially when the goal is to attract a potential husband. The primary message a Jewish woman should be sending out in her photo– contrary to what this story suggests– is NOT, “I am sexually receptive!”

    While the goal of women on this website is to attract a man, we’re supposedly looking for a Jewish husband, not a one-night hookup. When you dress appropriately, you send out the message to that potential husband that “I am not a sex object; I am a Jewish woman who will make a holy Jewish home for you and our family, and you can tell that by the way I’m dressed in my photos.”

    Of course a Jewish man is “attracted” to a woman wearing red and will get turned on. He’s a man, and that’s how Hashem hard-wired him. But a woman who flaunts her sexuality on a website or tries to use it as a tool isn’t what a Jewish man ultimately wants in a wife, so he won’t be picking her. It will have just the opposite effect that this story suggests because that would literally be a “red flag” to him.

    And a good Jewish wife, by definition, IS “sexually receptive.” She’s obligated in the Torah to be so, but only for her husband, not every guy who looks at her photo on the Internet.

    THAT is the message the “dating coach” should be sending out.

    A Jewish woman can– and should– dress attractively and fashionably while still dressing tsnius, which is what a real Jewish man wants and is attracted to and, more importantly, is what Hashem wants! Why not have JMag stories with that message, not encouraging women to dress “sexually receptive” in their photos, which should instead be a “Dating Don’t!” That would really be doing JDate members a service.

  • Schadenfreudian says:

    Nice…but are there any colors men should consider?

  • Amy Schoen says:

    AS a past image consultant – not everyone can carry the color red. It works great for some people like me (I am a warm winter) and not so much for others.

    For my clients, I suggest wearing their eye color because people feel more comfortable with you when you wear your eye color. This especially works well with blue and greed eyed people.

    Gender does come into play here. I do believe men would be attracted to a woman wearing red. However, a woman may feel that red is a bit overpowering for a man and not feel comfortable with that. I suggest a burgandy color is better.

    Your personality has to be taken into account as well. Red is considered a more dramatic color – so you need to have a dramatic personality to go along with it. For a more conservative person, a bright blue may work best.

    All in all you want to feel comfortable so you look comfortable in your photo and be your authentic self. A nice warm smile goes along way.

    Happy Dating and Mating- The Motivated to Marry Dating Coach- Amy Schoen

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