Rhea Myers

Art Data Analysis: Dating Site Aesthetics

“We all know that beautiful people are more successful daters, but let’s quantify by exactly how much.”


“In looking closely at the astonishingly wide variety of ways our users have chosen to represent themselves, we discovered much of the collective wisdom about profile pictures was wrong.”


“Today, however, we’ll analyze photography from a numerical angle–we’ll discuss flash, focus, and aperture instead.”


“We selected 526,000 OKCupid users at random and divided them into groups by their (self-stated) race. We then took all these people’s profile essays (280 million words in total!) and isolated the words and phrases that made each racial group’s essays statistically distinct from the others’.”

The first three posts are aesthetic analyses of a large dataset of images that is strongly correlated to human activity (sending messages and dating). The fourth is an attempt to correlate taste with cultural identity. This is all really interesting as quantitative aesthetics.