It certainly makes an impression. I would say I try to make an estimate by reading a profile. But I just glance - something turns me off and I am out, if I see something interesting - I might keep reading.
As far as profile pictures go - I am VERY visual. Some pictures do bother me. But by now, I have a better feeling of people because I have seen their questions and answers. Content outweighs visual impressions. Some responses I don't even read.
It is the same when you meet someone for the first time. There is a Russian proverb:
"When we meet someone, we judge him by his clothes (looks), when we part, we judge him by his intelligence."
The English version is
"Never judge a book by its cover."
But we do judge. When I ask questions, I tend to attach pictures and every time the picture has an impact on answers.
It is called "The Power of Suggestion" - so a profile picture is a signature, a glimpse at your personality.
So, following this train of thought - since I have my profile in Black and White, what does it mean? That I will marry a black man? Just a thought. Associations. And I am eighteen years younger on it - ??? Am I so stuck in my past?
Questions. Questions. Questions.