I haven't seen a whole lot of women's profiles on OKCupid because, well, I'm looking for men. BUT, having seen some women's profiles and LOTS of men's profiles, yeah, men's profile photos are usually terrible, even if the guys in them aren't completely ugly. I'm guessing part of the problem there is that men are NOT as image-conscious as women and generally just have no idea how to take or select a picture where they look good. Most people are not very photogenic, and it does take effort.
There's an amazing amount of losers on there too, though. It seems the average Craigslist denizen has now discovered OKCupid as well, so that doesn't help matters. The number one annoying thing is getting peppered by one-liner messages (especially every time I log in and get bumped up in their search results) from these morbidly obese dudes that have descriptions that amount to "Uh. I like stuff and things. I wanna fuck", have enemy % with me through the roof, and cannot spell even the one or two sentences they are bothering to write. Most of them telling me how "pretty" I am (because, of course, this will instantly make me want to do it with them -- after all, a man's high opinion of a woman's beauty is the best aphrodisiac there is). Occasionally, they even do an equivalent of street heckling, and get hostile about the length of my profile, or something I said about myself -- basically attacking me because the user already believes (correctly) that I would not even consider giving them the time of day, but feels like they actually deserve to stick their dick in me and I'm a stuck up bitch who's ruining it for them. These are the dudes that get the most explicit about hating the "unrealistic" standards.
As far as just having standards goes, it's harder to know, on a dating site, what a person is really saying about themselves in their profile. Some are lying/exaggerating, some really believe the untrue claims they are making. And, ultimately, it's difficult to judge whether the things people find relevant to tell about themselves are the things you find relevant to know. So you go by the more "objective" criteria... do they look attractive? are there clear dealbreakers in user stats (faith, smoking, kids, etc)? are there dealbreakers among their "unacceptable" answers (like being a libertarian)? and judge the rest on the first date.
Ultimately, it seems that people often feel like, if someone they don't think much about acts even remotely picky, then they have unrealistic standards. This undercurrent of public opinion seems to prescribe that settling is a good thing, and your personal priorities don't matter.
Personally, I think that, regardless of the actual standards people have and how realistic they are, consciously deciding to depart from those standards and "settle" for someone seems like a recipe for disaster. Firstly, the person "settling" is likely to be unhappy, because they have to be insincere with both themselves and their partner about their dissatisfaction, but now they stand to hurt another person, because they've gotten them involved on false premises. Secondly, what if the standard you are relaxing has to do with opinions/behaviors of the other person that makes them likely to hurt you, and you are compromising your personal safety by getting involved with them? So, even if you are so extreme as to want to date the personification of Barbie or He-Man, I think you, and everybody else, is best served by your sticking to your standards, however unrealistic, unless and until they organically change (if they ever do), and remaining single until you actually meet someone you sincerely want (if you ever do).