If you've ever asked a parent or older relative to take a photo of you for your Instagram, you know that the plandid is a Millennial concept lost on anyone unfamiliar with the phrase, "do it for the 'gram." The plandid — a photo of someone feigning ignorance of the camera's presence while appearing effortlessly casual — has been all over Instagram for a few years now. I know because I'm 100 percent guilty of these. Not only am I a huge fan of the Insta-plandid but I use plandids on dating apps, too.
I'm 'fessing up: I like to wow potential matches with plandids, or planned candids, that make me look and feel way more naturally glamorous than I actually am. After all, I'm not the only one who puts thought into their dating app photos. According to Tinder, women are 11 percent more likely to smile in photos than men and, as it turns out, you're 14 percent more likely to be swiped right on if you're smiling in your dating app photos.
My theory is that plandids consistently perform well on dating apps. I can confirm that my aloof, look-away shot always elicits a double tap from the exact person whose attention I'm trying to get that day. Yes, girls do this and yes, it's effective. We might say we want things to be more authentic but what we really want is a VSCO-filtered version of last night's sunset. It's like Lorde says: "Maybe the internet raised us or maybe people are jerks." I'm going with the former.
Regardless, plandids are here to stay and I highly recommend adding a couple to your dating app profile for the following reasons.
1. No one wants to admit that they took photos solely for their dating app profile.
Here's a photo you'll find on my Tinder profile because I took it specifically for my Tinder profile. I got dressed up and stood out on my balcony while my friend reluctantly snapped about 126 slightly different versions of this exact photo so that I'd have a new photo for my profile. Spoiler alert — there is no one else on the balcony with me. No one else could fit, to be honest; my friend, the photographer, is actually standing inside my apartment.
This might seem extreme but I recently cut my hair and, as I've previously advocated, you should always have updated photos of yourself on your dating app profile. Even though one of my friends actually called me out for these plandids on Instagram, I never admit this to any of my matches. To them, it's just a photo of me laughing at the hilarious joke the person across from me just told. See guys? I'm fun!
2. Like on Instagram, plandids make it seem like your everyday life is fun and highly photogenic.
This day was absolutely miserable. I decided to walk to a local fall festival that promised hay rides and pumpkin-picking — both perfect Instagram backdrops for the fall so that I could live out all my Gilmore Girls dreams. The only problem was that I live in South Florida and it was about 90 degrees that day. Everyone at the festival — myself included — looked like they were about to pass out from heat exhaustion. Disappointed and dehydrated, I purchased a frozen lemonade on my way out and asked my brother to take this plandid of me cooling off at a nearby fountain.
Without knowing any of that, this photo just looks like a candid snap of me enjoying a lemonade — almost as though getting the lemonade was what I set out to do that afternoon and not just some shoddy consolation prize for a failed Insta opportunity.
3. People will assume you have cool friends even though they're not pictured in your plandid.
Am I attending one of those fun, pool parties somewhere in the Hollywood Hills with Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid? Or am I in my parents' backyard with my phone and a self-timer? I'll never tell.
Like this one, plandids are also a great way to discreetly include a thirst trap in your dating app profile without having to admit to it.
4. Cheesing for the camera by yourself is awkward and selfies are overrated, anyway.
Instead, how about a professional photo of me pretending to be caught blinking? I've enabled the Smart Photo feature on my Tinder profile so that the app chooses my best-performing photo to display first and this one pops up quite a bit.
It's fairly simple. I look like I'm having a good time and you can clearly see my entire face (without me having to stare into the camera lens), which is a plus on dating apps.
5. Plandids actually let potential matches know what you look like doing regular things.
I included this photo along with an explanation in my bio that I'm looking for someone who looks at me the way I look at pizza. Although this might seem like a lazy attempt at being #relatable, I actually am on a pizza date with friends in this photo. You see, plandids might be staged but they're not always fake.
The truth is that plandids are a great way to capture and share your personality if you're generally a more reserved person or just don't like having your photo taken. I prefer plandids because they're less intimidating than having to look directly at the camera. The end result is a photo in which I feel less vulnerable and more like myself and isn't that what you'd like to share with potential matches, anyway?
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