Photo rules

Not allowed on OkCupid:

Also in this article:

Below are details on each of our photo rules. Photos containing any of the following content may be flagged and deleted, and depending on content may also result in your account being banned. If you see a photo that violates these rules, please report it to us.

If a photo is removed you will be emailed and told that this has happened and warned that repeated offences might get you banned. This warning isn't a fake one, and we will ban your account for multiple infractions.

Nudity and sexual content

Nude or overly sexual photos are not allowed and will result in your profile being banned. At the heart of our community guidelines is our golden rule: treat online interactions as you would even if they were offline. This includes photos. When uploading a photo, please ask yourself: would you appear this way in public without freaking people out or making them really uncomfortable?

Not allowed:

  • Kink or fetish photos
  • Overly sexual poses, i.e. crotch grabbing, posing sexually on a bed, etc. 
  • Nudity or states of undress that are not appropriate in a public setting:
    • Images where a hand, pastie, blur effect, or sticker/icon is barely covering explicit body parts count as nudity. The intent of photos like this are to get away with as much as possible and do not follow the spirit of the "no nudity" rule.
    • Images where you can see outlines of explicit body parts through clothing also count as nudity, as do cleverly cropped photos (for example: photos that barely crop before the pubic line)
    • Your photos must be socially acceptable for a public setting. Some states of undress are acceptable in certain public contexts (bikinis on the beach for example) but the same state of undress has a different meaning in different and more private context (lingerie in bed). Keep things respectful and only post photos of you that are appropriate for public settings.
    • For example: would you send your boss a photo of you shirtless in the bathroom, or wearing lingerie in bed? Probably not, because it's an intimate photo. However, if you ran into your boss at the beach and you were in a swimsuit, it would be fine. Same rules apply here.

Hateful, illegal or violent imagery 

Any photos with hateful imagery, or anything overly violent, offensive, illegal, disturbing, or otherwise inappropriate for a dating site will be removed and may also get you banned.

Not allowed:

  • Images, logos, or hand signs/ gestures for hate groups
  • Hateful memes
  • Images with gun or other weapons in them
    • Photos of weapons without you in them, or weapons being pointed at the camera are definitely not allowed
    • A photo of you with a weapon you at a shooting range or as an officer in uniform may be acceptable, but context is important and  any photo that is seen to be threatening or otherwise inappropriate by our community will be removed. 
  • Drug photos 
  • Images that are bloody or violent (including some hunting photos, horror/gore photos, etc)
  • Images of self harm (these can in turn be harmful for others to see, so they are not allowed)

Photos with contact information on them

Photos will be removed if they show a phone number, email address, kik, Facebook address, etc). Repeated violation of this rule or other suspicious behavior may result in the profile being blocked as well.

Photos of children (alone or posted without permission)

We recognize that some parents want to be open about having children on their dating profiles, and so we don't outright ban all photos with children in them. However, we will remove:

  • Photos of your kids without you in the photo
  • Photos of your kids if their other parent/guardian tells us they don't give permission to post them
  • Photos you have posted of someone else's kids, even if you are in the photo
  • Photos of you as a kid (if it's in the Profile Photos section, see: "are you recognizable?" for more info)

Images posted without permission/ Copyright photos

Images posted without permission will be removed. For example:

  • Chat/ message screenshots with another person
  • Group/ couples photos where the other person has complained, or photos of children where a parent/ guardian did not give permission
  • Copyright photos (either where the photographer complained, or photos where we strongly suspect you are not the copyright holder, ie stock photos, memes, celebrity photos, etc)

Photos where you are not recognizable

Photos in your Profile Photos section must be clearly and recognizably of you, and must show enough of you that someone can get a feel for who you are. Photos in your profile Essays must still follow our other rules but do not have to show you so clearly. (See the "where to post different types of photos" section further down this help page for more details). Therefore the following are not allowed in the Profile Photos section:

  • A photo that is just a closeup of a body part is not allowed in the Profile Photos section. However, you can upload the photo to your Essays if you like. 
    • Not allowed: a photo dominated by feet, hands, breasts, the rear end, piercings/tattoos, or specific facial features. 
    • Allowed: a photo that shows enough of you/ your body that you are recognizable, for example: just your head, or your body but without your head, chin to waist/hips, waist/hips to feet, or at least half a torso with an arm.
  • (Photos that are closeups are allowed in Essays: we even have some essay prompts all about tattoos which are the perfect place to show off that cool ink!
  • Photos that are manipulated via filters, snapchat, photoshop, etc. must still be recognizably you. If so much of your face is obscured or blurred that someone can't tell that it's you, then it should be posted to the Essays section. 
  • Drawings or other artwork that are of you but aren't a photo are not allowed in the Profile Photos section, but are allowed in Essays.
  • Photos of you as a child are super cute, but please upload them to your Essays instead of your Profile photos. Same goes for photos from a decade ago, or where you look totally different than you do today.

If you don't want to show your face, that's ok, but make sure the photo still tells us a lot about you. A photo of you from behind is fine, for example, or a photo of you from the neck down but with your head cropped out. 

For multiple offenses or extreme cases regarding photo rules violations, profiles may also be banned and removed.

A note about honesty 

OkCupid is for dating, and so photos of you should accurately visually describe who you are as a person. Just as we expect you to honestly describe your age, location, etc. we also expect photos to accurately describe you. 

It's ok to post photos of you from years ago if you caption them as such, or to post photos of you without showing your face, but photos should not be misleading or false. Please also reference the more detailed parts of these rules for guidelines on cropped photos, child photos, etc.

Where to upload different types of photos

To make it easy for people to see you and what you’re all about, we have two places you can upload photos.

1. All photos in the Profile Photos Album should be of you

  • All photos must have you in it
  • The photo cannot be an extreme close up (i.e. just a photo of your eyeball)
  • The photo must tell others something about yourself (otherwise, what’s the point?)
Note: If you upload a photo that is not of you to your Profile Photos album, it may be flagged and removed. If this happens, you’ll get an email reminding you about the photo rules. As long as the photo doesn’t break any of our other rules feel free to upload the same photo to your profile essays instead.

2. Your Profile Essays can contain other types of photos

  • Pictures you’ve taken (your pets, places you’ve been)
  • Photos of you that are close ups (like tattoo photos, or close ups of your pretty eyes)
Note: We do not allow copyright photos anywhere on OkCupid, including in Profile essays, so don’t upload memes, photos that other people have taken, or photos saved from the internet.


You do need to upload a photo of yourself in order to message/ send introductions to other people. After all, it’s only fair that both people get to see what the other looks like. If you upload a fake or blank photo to get around this rule, your account may be banned as a fake account. 

If you’re especially shy or have privacy concerns, we do have an Incognito option which allows you to hide your profile and photos to everyone on OkCupid unless you have Liked their profile.

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