Newsflash: Women aren’t necessarily into “ripped physiques.” But that hasn’t stopped men from flooding Tinder with their buff, shirtless bods in every imaginable contortion.
From a quick informal review of the epidemic, it seems men are still heavily committed to tossing up pics of themselves shirtless in bathroom selfies, bashfully naked in forests, dripping wet in showers, hiking while shirtless with backpack, and stoically shirtless, gazing out upon the sea.
We feel strongly obligated to remind you that this is not only unnecessary, but it’s actively preventing you from reaching your one clear goal: getting laid.
At least one man out there seems to have heard this message, so he took to the /r/AskWomen forum of Reddit to ask for guidance on what to do instead. “How should people on Tinder show they have a fit body without being gross/tasteless/tacky etc. about it?” he asked.
Some people like it, but generally I’ve heard that women on Tinder don’t appreciate selfies of muscular men in front of a mirror. Some men show they’re fit by having a picture from them by the side of a pool to disguise the intent of displaying their body. As for women, some just have an underwater selfie. But many show themselves taking a swim. What’s your take on it, how should people display their bodies (if they want to) on Tinder in the most tasteful way?
The best advice I have is fairly simple. All you need to do is this: put on some well-fitting clothing, do something you enjoy and snap a pic.
One commenter responded as much:
I would say the “well fitting clothes” option. Instead of posting a pic of you wearing a long sleeved hoodie and jeans, post a picture of you wearing a slim fit T-shirt and shorts. Preferably when you’re standing in a good position too, not hunched behind your friends or something.
I put the question out to other women to get their perspectives, too.
“Just include a clothed picture of you doing something where you can see your full body,” Alexandra told me online. “You can usually tell if someone’s fit even if they have clothes on. The key is authenticity. I don’t want to see you going out of your way to show off your muscles. I don’t care. Make it natural like with a friend or standing next to something. Just be doing something. It’s an automatic no for me if there’s a shirtless mirror selfie. Obvious swimsuit pics are also sus.”
Briana agreed. “You can usually see if someone is fit with clothes,” she told me. “Just doing something they enjoy.”
Again: Wear some well-fitting clothes, doing something you like.
To be clear, this is not the first time this question has come up. A few years ago, another Reddit poll asked women whether guys with shirtless pics on Tinder are “good” or “bad.” Women universally expressed in the comments that is, indeed, “bad,” because it looks vain, superficial and douchey, and implies all you want is a casual hookup. (You probably do just want a casual hookup, and that is fine, but this is not the way to go about it.)
Of course, not all women are turned off. One thirst-trap investigation at Elite Daily found that some women don’t mind them under certain circumstances — like if it’s ironic, if it’s just one of several other photos in which you’re clothed. Of course, on occasion, they only want a casual hookup and don’t care at all about your personality — in which case it may not matter how much of an asshole you look like.
If you take away one thing from this article, know this:
When you show off your fit bod so aggressively, the general message you’re telegraphing, whether you mean to or not, is: I’m really, really into myself.
Even a woman who has spent her life trying to look good and hot (which is, let’s be clear, most women) will feel that’s a bit much. As one woman put it to Elite Daily, “The guys who post the shirtless ones seem to be way more into themselves than they would ever be into me, and then I feel like in return, they’re looking for someone who is equally as into the gym as they are.”
That’s not even fun for a one-night stand.
It might be hard to understand that transparently sexy photos from women work like a charm, but that the opposite might be true for men.
The reason is, of course, sexism. We’re operating on centuries of portraying women as objects to be gazed upon, sexualized and desired, and portraying men as functional, utilitarian doers who are less concerned with how they look.
Society has conditioned us to believe that men are serious; it’s women who are frivolous and vain. Women have internalized these messages as much as men have. To some extent we all perpetuate them, unconsciously or not. Man and women have spent decades trying to reverse this, proving that we’re more than the world made us out to be, but the die is cast.
That said, as the power has begun to be redistributed, women are starting to opt out of hypersexualized performances while men are picking up that slack. It is, at best, an awkward adolescence, and like any over correction, fingers crossed it evens out somehow. But as of this writing, a man who breaks apart from the masculine expectation to peacock their vanity is not a rebel, he’s cause for concern. Research suggests that men who take a lot of selfies display more narcissistic and psychopathic tendencies.
As a woman named Angie told me about helping men stop posting shirtless Tinder pics, “Studies say men who take selfies are psychos, so maybe don’t help them out with workarounds — because I’d like to still be able to pick the psychos out from the bunch!”
It’s not that women don’t like hot bods or want to see your body, all hot and everything. Contrary to longstanding myth, women are just as visual. Even women in committed relationships spend plenty of their time fantasizing and lusting after other people. And new research tells us, we must reiterate, that women are as turned on as men, and arguably more turned on than men, by a wider range of sexual stimuli, including sex with complete strangers.
But hey, by and large, we still hate the shirtless bathroom selfie. You look really dumb. But, to be fair, we know that you hate the duck lips, too. That’s on us.