Raise your hand if you’ve ever filtered a selfie prior to posting it online? You are not alone. Our most recent data of young adults in the UK reveals that Brits are spending over £4bn per year* crafting and curating the perfect online image. With the ability to digitally enhance our favorite assets or erase unwanted blemishes at our fingertips, it’s very easy to lose our sense of self and what makes us most unique in a battle with our own self-confidence.
Plenty of Fish partnered with Behavioural Psychologist, Jo Hemmings to encourage young adults to embrace their authenticity and who they really are. After all, our research reveals the majority (64%) of singles prefer to see unedited, natural images of potential dates.
Jo Hemmings provides her top five tips to boosting self-confidence online.
Choose a photo where you felt at your happiest and most relaxed
When you’re feeling good about yourself, you tend to have an inner glow that shines through photos (especially spontaneous rather than posed images). It’s worth asking a trusted friend to take a few candid shots of you doing an activity or simply something you love to do. Ask their advice on which photo best represents the real you.
Perspective is very important
Kindness and compassion are qualities that will make you stand out as a potential date and can often be seen in a smile or an eye gaze. If you are posting digitally enhanced photos on your profile, that don’t really ‘feel’ or look like you in real life, try to imagine how you would feel if the situation was reversed? Imagine that situation and use your empathy to see that from the reverse perspective. Empathy can help to boost your own self-confidence.
Get comfortable with not matching with everyone you choose
Rejection – which is simply not being matched with someone you like – is inevitable, but it shouldn’t be a burden. It should be something exciting, that may lead you to meet someone very special in your life. Appreciate that you may not be someone’s type and if you don’t match in this instance, it’s not a personal rejection of you.
Keep the ‘essence of you’ in your profile pictures
It’s what top photographers look for when they are taking pictures of celebrities and it works. You don’t have to be smiling or laughing, but it’s good to look absorbed in your passion, whether that is a few shots of you doing something with your friends – festivals, holidays, sports or you alone looking intently at a painting in an art gallery – it shows that you are not just focused on finding a partner, but you have other social interests too.
Set yourself goals
Recognize that you have value and the more goals and achievements that you gain, however small or insignificant they may feel, will add to both your outward confidence and your inner self-esteem. Set yourself small goals for mental alertness, physical fitness or emotional stability. Become the person that you want to be and that confidence will shine through far more in a real photo, than any filter can possibly give you.
The research was carried out across 2,000 UK adults aged 18-40 between 5th – 21st July via OnePoll
*15,538,662 (Estimation for the number of UK adults aged 18-40 in the UK based on ONS figures) x £269 (average spend) = £4,179,990,978 = £4bn