Why you struggle to predict age by looking at a person’s online dating photo

Age may just be a number – but in the world of online dating it’s something that millions of Brits get WRONG, according to research.

Four in 10 said they find it “very difficult” to correctly predict someone’s age by looking at a photo of them.

And when it comes to celebrities, people were way off in their age estimates, according to a poll of 1,300 UK adults by Lumen, the first app-only dating platform for over-50s.

Sixty per cent of people thought 55-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp was under 50, and 46 per cent thought Tom Cruise, 56, had yet to reach the big 50.

And one in 10 thought Avengers star Chris Hemsworth was OVER 50 – when his actual age is 35.

Charly Lester, co-founder of Lumen, conducted the survey as part of its ‘anti-ageism’ mission to end the misperceptions associated with this group.

And the issue isn’t just identifying film stars, Lumen found that in tests conducted by the app, many people associate images of people in their sixties and seventies as being in their fifties.

Lumen uses a unique algorithm to assess the selfie image and authenticate against the other images provided as well as highlight the likely age of the person.

Charly Lester added: “Our aim is to shine a light on images and realities that truly reflect today’s over fifties, not just a Hollywood version of them.

“It isn’t easy to age someone based on their picture, especially as the entertainment industry constantly uses older men to play younger roles.”

She said there is a deeper issue with current portrayals of over-50s missing the mark, with stereotyped stock imagery and misleading language failing to capture the fun and adventure of being single and over 50.

Just one in five of those aged 50 and above believe brands’ representations of their age group are accurate, according to the research.

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Charly Lester said: “Of course those on our app are primarily concerned with the authenticity of images.

“To ensure everyone on the platform is genuine, we make every new user take a selfie when they join, which is cross-referenced against the photos they use in their profile.

“Everyone on the app must have at least three profile photos so people can see what they really look like.”

CELEBRITIES

Age

% who thought he was under 50

% who thought he was over 50

Chris Hemsworth

35

90%

10%

Matt Damon

47

91%

9%

Hugh Jackman

49

61%

39%

Will Smith

50

59%

41%

Robert Downey Jnr

53

63%

37%

Johnny Depp

55

60%

40%

Tom Cruise

56

46%

54%

George Clooney

57

21%

79%

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